Glen or Glenda (1953)

Glen or Glenda (1953)
Glen or Glenda (1953) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Henry J. Fromage (Six Pack) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space is properly billed as the worst movie ever made, but I would have to say that Glen or Glenda, his first feature, has to give it a run for its money.  It’s hard to describe properly, but it’s basically the story of a cross-dresser’s struggle with society as well as a passionately retarded defense of the same (Wood’s fault, not that of the activity itself) and finally some sort of quasi-horror art film with Bela Lugosi.

So… a dirty mess

A Toast

There’s a portion of the film where Wood tries to go super artsy, and well, I’ve got to admit that I can’t really discern any difference between his random nonsense and Jean-Luc Godard’s.

Histoires du Balls-Ass Crazy, you mean

Beer Two

Let’s start with Lugosi, probably because this is where the film also begins.  He received top billing as the only recognizable actor in film, but was obviously shoe-horned in later.  He plays a god-like figure with lots of high-falutin’ talk about humanity that is cut into the film in mostly awkward moments, none of which make a lick of sense.

Beer Three

He’s a revelation compared to Wood, though, who plays the title character of Glen/Glenda, Iapologizeinadvance, woodenly.  He makes for an almost disturbingly unattractive woman, which is probably why he chose to cast even manlier-looking women for the rest of the parts.  A final piece of casting hilarity goes to the woman he picked to play his post-sex change self, who has to be at least fifteen years older.

And not, you know, a man

Beer Four

As to be expected with Wood, the editing is terrible.  Newspapers magically appear in characters’ hands from moment to moment and you’re never quite sure what the characters are supposed to be wearing.  He also appears to have three stock footage scenes to chose from.

Beer Five

Yet another beer has to go to Wood’s sophisticated argumentative techniques.  He deftly argues with a screechy old woman and dumb hayseed full of positions like “If the creator had meant for us to roll around the countryside, we’d have been born with wheels.”  The result is probably a draw.

Beer Six

What makes this a true sixer, though, is all the science!  It turns out that men’s clothing is designed to kill you.  In particular, men’s hats cut off blood flow and cause baldness.  On the other hand, everyone knows 1950s women’s clothing was more comfortable!  Particularly all of the waist-squeezing corsets and ankle-destroying heels…

Although it’s hard to argue that this hat doesn’t decrease potency

Verdict

This is a classic of the six-pack genre, a true Titan in the field.  They may have coined the phrase “So bad it’s good” specifically for it.

 

Bonus Drinking Game

Take a drink: every time Bela Lugosi shows up

Take a drink: every time someone cross-dresses

Drink a shot: for every continuity error, optional if you’re the first to spot it

 

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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