49°F
weather icon Clear

Area’s haunting stillness charmed Wood

“Bride of the Monster” is a 1955 horror movie directed by the late, not-so-great, Ed Wood. As I noted in my previous column, my October Throwback Thursday movie recommendations are based on not only ties to Boulder City, but also ties to “Saturday Fright at the Movies” with Las Vegas icon Count Cool Rider (Danny Koker).

Wood was an underwhelming Hollywood hack. His movies were so bad that his reputation was not only based on his “one take is enough” attitude, but Johnny Depp starred in the 1994 biopic movie about the odd director, aptly titled “Ed Wood.”

“Bride of the Monster” was written and directed by Wood. The movie starred Bela Lugosi as Dr. Vornoff and Tor Johnson as Lobo. Filmed mostly in California, with a few scenes also around Lake Mead, “Bride of the Monster” is about a psychotic doctor who is trying to create atomic men or atomic monsters.

Out of all of Wood’s failure films, “Bride of the Monster” was the only one that actually made money. Ironically enough, this film was also one where Wood insisted on using cue cards for Lugosi out of stated concern for the actor’s memory. Lugosi was defiant and refused to use the cards on set, often improvising his lines and ignoring Wood’s writing. However, right after shooting this movie, Lugosi checked himself into a rehab center for morphine addiction.

Wood, whose birthday would have been Oct. 10, was born in New York. He was a member of the military who moved to Los Angeles in 1947 after being discharged from service. His work was often oversexed and, in 1975, the director was awarded a Golden Turkey Award for being worst director of all time.

When I watched “Bride of the Monster” on “Saturday Fright at the Movies,” I don’t remember the film being hokey, but it wasn’t scary either. Instead, the movie and backgrounds of the actors and director went underappreciated as a result of my youth.

I recently rewatched “Bride of the Monster” and found myself glued to the bad acting, comical plot and searching for — and capturing — a small blink of Lake Mead. With other scary movies filmed around Boulder City and Lake Mead, I can see why Wood and his film crew were charmed by the haunting stillness of our desert background and the eerie stillness of the our nighttime air.

The movie is one of two of my Throwback Thursday movie recommendations today. “Bride of the Monster” is a corny family-friendly Halloween movie with a short tie to the city, but “Ed Wood” with Johnny Depp is even better — but not kid-friendly. The life of Wood was complicated as the director had more dumb luck than he had talent. Even more odd? The movie about the so-called “worst director of all time” was nominated for two Academy awards and the major Hollywood stars featured in “Ed Wood,” such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray and Martin Landau, to name only a few, would have made the director with big screen dreams proud.

Tanya Vece is an entertainment and music writer who resides and volunteers in Boulder City. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @hollywoodwriter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Machines and human love

After dropping my wife off at work, since she had her car in the shop overnight, I enjoyed the beauty of Clark County’s mountains as the snow is near the valley floor.

What is the 3D Project?

Doesn’t it bug you when someone speaks in their trade-language?

Partnerships crucial to LMNRA

In September 2023, Lake Mead National Recreation Area launched the More to Mead initiative. The project aims to deepen relationships with surrounding communities and tribes.

Sometimes it’s the little things

In my office I have a small shelf near my desk where I have a few knick-knacks, a couple of coffee mugs, two funny journalism-related signs and some tea. Last week, I added something that has come to mean a lot to me, not so much for what it is but what it represents.

Hi, my name is Bill…

Having the chance to do a little column once a month is one of the most fun parts about this job. It’s something I look forward to.

Local veterans look north for assistance

During the past several years at least three separate individuals have told me that they would like to finance a building for veterans, a place where all vets could go to just hang out, have meetings, converse and feel at home.

Our road map to success needs your input

Setting and achieving goals is vital to many success stories. Whether it was NFL coaches Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan starting their seasons wanting to go to the Super Bowl, a mailroom employee working their way up to the CEO of a company, or the desire to make a community better, it helps to have a road map to measure progress. That is where a strategic plan is valuable. A strategic plan can also translate as the community’s road map.

What is Valentine’s Day if not a day of love?

It was likely first celebrated in the eighth century on February 14. How have our relationships as well as love changed since the eighth century? We no longer have the support of a familial culture. It is now more secular.

All the World’s a Stage

Last month, I was privileged to share the State of the City Address with more than 170 people in person and many others watching the live stream. I came up with the idea to do a center stage because the circle brought the pieces all together.