Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998)
Around five years ago, not long after I met my G, we hanged out in my rented room outside
watching a movie. Somehow, from someone, I had heard about this movie called IWoke Up Early the Day I Died - but because of legal reasons it was never
released. I'm kinda stupid, so I checked the torrent sites, everything... and
suddenly, there it was! Okay, I wanted to see it and I downloaded it. A few
hours later I came to think of it and I wanted to try it, just check the
quality. Ninety minutes later we had seen the whole movie! Stockholm
That's how good this movie is. It's not a normal movie by any means, it's based on a crazy incoherent comedy/thriller script by Ed Wood (I think it was written in the fifties or sixties), without dialogue and with a bizarre cast of legends and has-beens. How is it possible to not love this?
It starts with Billy Zane dressed as a nurse. He's just escaping from an asylum and after fixing himself some less spectacular clothes he robs a bank, shoots one in the staff and escapes with money! Soon he looses the money and he needs to find them, but where? He has four suspects and goes after them one by one until... well, it's difficult story to describe, so try to find it and watch it yourself!
I Woke Up Early the Day I Died feels like a big, bold, colourful, crazy music video slash slapstick-thriller with a huge does or surrealism and anarchy! Billy Zane, who also is the producer, delivers a very funny and over-the-top performance as "The Thief", and everyone in the cast goes 100 % for the best form of overacting! And what a cast! From Tippi Hedren to Ron Pearlman, Christina Ricci, Ann Magnuson, Will Patton, John Ritter, Tara Reid and even Vampira herself, Maila Nurmi! Oh, and another Ed Wood-veteran, Conrad Brooks plays... a cop, of course!
The production is a bit rough around the edges, but it fits the story and the soul of Wood is all over the movie. Director Aris Iliopulos might be a little bit more advanced in his visuals than Wood, but never goes to far and is smart enough to keep it simple. He also uses stock footage, mixes day and night shots and other classic Ed Wood-trademarks to bring the movie even closer to what it might have been if Wood himself directed it.
It's also one of the best soundtracks I've heard, often more obscure indie-bands and old-school music in an odd mix, which perfectly to the always weird and tacky Los Angeles scenery.
There's a lot of love in I Woke Up Early the Day I Died, a lot of love for Ed Wood and to create something a little bit out of the ordinary. It's fun to see serious actors just having fun, not caring about looking good or without that silly shame that some actors seems to have after appearing in a "b-movie".
I wish this flick got the respect it deserves and that a proper DVD or blu-ray release could come sooner or later. It's well worth it.