HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Glen or Glenda Angora Management
Year: 1953
Director: Edward D. Wood Jr
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Lyle Talbot, Timothy Farrell, Dolores Fuller, Edward D. Wood Jr, 'Tommy' Haynes, Charles Crafts, Conrad Brooks
Genre: WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Scientist (Bela Lugosi) sits in a chair in a large study filled with skeletons and laboratory equipment and begins to lecture us on a subject only he knows the meaning of. He picks up his test tubes and mixes the contents in a flask until a smoking solution is formed: the Scientist is satisfied. Then he surveys a busy street, observing all those people going somewhere with their own personalities. One of those people has just killed himself, a man dressed in women's clothing who has left a suicide note saying he couldn't face being arrested yet again for his passion in life. The police inspector (Lyle Talbot) investigating is confused and goes to a doctor to find out more... what drives a man to dress as a woman?

This nakedly personal film must have seemed very surprising to those lucky few who saw it back on its initial release, and its obvious confessional style and ludicrous logic still catches you off guard today. It was the first film written and directed by cult "Worst Director of All Time" Edward D. Wood Jr, and if he'd never directed again, and it's surprising that he did to be honest, then he would at the very least left his mark on Hollywood cinema. When the doctor asks the inspector if he's there for "Business... or pleasure?" you can tell this is no ordinary story.

But then, seeing an aged Lugosi intoning nonsense in between footage of lightning and traffic might have let you in on that information anyway - who knows what was going through his head? He must have filmed his scenes in a day, and was in the film because he was a star name, such as it was by 1953, and available, but nevertheless adds to the bizarre tone of the production, one which was already highly unusual. You can tell how personal a project it was by the fact that Wood pseudonymously plays the transvestite Glen (who periodically becomes Glenda), and it's his story which is the focus.

Glen is an apparently normal man who happens to like dressing in women's clothing, but society, as the doctor and the narrator don't miss any opportunity to inform us, will not tolerate this surely harmless fixation. Complicating matters is Glen's fiancée Barbara (Dolores Fuller, Wood's wife at the time) who isn't aware of his secret, so how can he tell her without losing her forever? The film is very careful to point out that transvestites aren't homosexuals, and the addition of a doctor character makes this distinction all the more pressing although what we're to make of the contention that cross dressing makes for happier citizens is anyone's guess.

That's not all there is to this movie, as there is always room for stock footage (an awful lot of traffic passes before our eyes, as does the occasional buffalo) and the all-important dream sequence halfway through. Part of that is patently exploitation on the request of producer George Weiss, including women ripping off their clothes, lounging in negligees and being bound in sadomasochistic set-ups, but there are also realisations of Glen's predicament, with him unable to lift a log crushing Barbara while in Glenda guise (angora sweater present and correct), but finding it easy in man's garb. This is all so obviously from the heart that the reason for the film, a prurient look at the sex change operations that were in the headlines, is allocated a swift ten minutes at the end (and most of that is World War II stock footage). There has never been a film quite like Glen or Glenda, which may be a blessing, but it's the most unfeeling of viewers who isn't on Wood's side by the end credits.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4526 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Edward D. Wood Jr  (1924 - 1978)

American writer-director of trashy low budget movies, hailed as the worst director of all time by The Golden Turkey Awards and others. His interest in cross-dressing and angora sweaters informed Glen or Glenda, after which he turned to science fiction and horror - Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Night of the Ghouls - all starring his motley crew of friends (Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, Criswell, et al).

Wood's career opportunities got worse as he drifted into writing softcore porn like Orgy of the Dead, and he eventually became an alcoholic. Sadly, he died just before receiving the peculiar adulation his eccentric movies deserved. Also the author of many pulp novels.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: