3 July 2009 | hasosch
The Ed Wood Effect
"Brainwaves" is an excellent horror movie. Its story, dramaturgy, cinematography and acting - and thus the main branches of the requirements of film theory - are not only satisfactorily, but very well fulfilled. However, Ulli Lommel - to whom we owe, amongst many other movies, also the brilliant "Tenderness of the Wolves" (1973) with the unforgettable Kurti Raab in the main role - is unfortunately subject to what I call the "Ed Wood Effect". This effect contains in blindly giving very low votes to a film director who once had the misfortune to become known as a B-picture maker.
In Ulli Lommel's special case this Ed-Wood-Effect is the more astonishing as the B-pictures that he produced after "Bogeyman" (1979) are not worse than this movie which was a success around the world, although or because it was filmed in the style for which nowadays people like to criticize Lommel, i.e. the use of video cameras and the "journalistic" cinematography which imitates the eye movement of a visitor who would be by chance witness of the crime that is filmed. If Rosa Von Praunheim takes a video camera and walks around on the streets or in bars filming just what he sees, the voting of these products are in the average higher - probably because Von Praunheim's topic is the gay-scene, and who would dare making respect-less comments against such a controversial topics without risking to get criticized not for his real critique but for his alleged attitude against a minority? As one can see, the Ed Wood effect implies that one measures with different measuring systems. To cite only one example: The "Underworld" movies are as silly as Lommel's younger horror flicks - and not a iota better, although they are produced with a guessed amount of ten times as much money as Lommel's productions. Perhaps one would achieve a juster judgment, if Ulli Lommel would release his older German movies - especially the wonderful "Adolf and Marlene" with Kurt Raab, Margit Cartensen, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and others - on DVD. But it also could be that even these movies would fall immediately under the spell of the Ed Wood Effect.