Alright all you Trekkies and Whovians, Star Wars fans and Brown coats! Science Fiction day is upon us, and it’s time to celebrate our collective nerdiness in a worldwide extravaganza of sci-fi fun! Science Fiction Day is set to honor the day of the birth of the father of Sci-Fi, Isaac Asimov.
There’s been some great Sci-Fi come out over the years, whether you herald back to the old “Day of the Triffids” monster flick, or the classic “The Day The World Stopped Turning”, there’s little from the old B-Movie days of Sci-Fi that haven’t effected everything to follow. However, I’d like to focus on a little known and much maligned figure of Sci-Fi films, Ed Wood.
The King of Bad
Ed Wood was a man who made movies simply because he loved to make movies. His budgets were often terrible, and he started his career in the 1950’s, not exactly the hey-day of special effects technology. If you’re expecting this story to end with him making some of the most amazing and game-changing movies to ever grace the silver screen… You’re going to be horribly wrong and fantastically right at the same time.
The most notorious of his works was Plan 9 from Outer Space, which contained some of the most fantastically awful, and unerringly memorable, pieces of sci-fi fluff. The acting was wooden at best, and the script was the worst form of late night high-school script writing you’ve probably ever seen. When it all came together, it was absolutely glorious and without a doubt one of the best worst films to ever hit the big screen.
In some of the more iconic moments in the film, cardboard set pieces got knocked over, and due to the cost of film and the limited budget, those takes got left in. Recycled footage of a then expired Bela Lugosi was used to both add length and represent the space vampire element in the movie. (You heard me, I said Space Vampire… Move along). Unsurprisingly, many of these scenes had been shot during the day.
Celebrating Science-Fiction Day
So we’ve already given you one stellar idea, get together a bunch of horribad science fiction films and get together with your friends to watch it. Go full out with the theme, foil wrapped candy dishes with toilet-paper tube robot arms, bobble ear hats and bad alien props to liven up the theme, and go all out with some home-made cardboard spaceships to really bring it all home.
Science Fiction Day is without a doubt the best day ever for us fans of science fiction. This year, rather than remembering just the greats who paved the path to modern cinema, let’s remember those who tried to blaze a trail and just ended up a pile of ashes on the road to victory. Ed Wood is a long forgotten genius of science fiction, if by genius you mean “A man who lived his passion and died consumed by it.”
Happy Science Fiction Day everyone!