Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Alfred Hitchcock / Ed Wood Collaboration Discovered!

Hitch and Wood: A fruitful collaboration.

A demolition crew working near the vaults at Universal Studios has recently discovered a cache of incomplete film credited to Alfred Hitchcock and D-movie genius Ed Wood as co-directors. Although their work went unfinished, these celluloid fragments -- and a helpful script treatment -- tantalize film buffs about what could have been.

Blight, a story about a cross-dressing vampire falsely accused of selling U.S. state secrets to a shadowy network of clergymen, schoolteachers and gentleman farmers covers themes familiar to fans of both Hitchcock and Wood. Its plot devices such as the accused man-on-the-run, moral relativism and Cold War sexual politics are vintage Hitchcock. But the vampires and transvestitism are all Wood—though preview audiences definitely track a straight line from reel #3's Prince Necrono and Norman Bates.

The 17 minutes of footage consists primarily of screen tests and second unit research. There is, however, one 2:48 reel in which Hitchcock rehearses his cameo, repeatedly stepping off of a street corner and being splashed by a taxi as it hits a nearby puddle. This scene fascinates me as it demonstrates Hitchcock’s attention to detail with regard these seemingly off-the-cuff, brief walk-on appearances. In this, I see a Chaplinesque perfectionist streak.

They say Hitch never made a monster movie in the tradition of Dracula, Frankenstein or The Werewolf. Ordinary human behavior was monstrous enough for him -- or so we've been led to believe. Further, auteurists hold that he would never share directorial credit in this way. Such doctrinaire historical views may soon be drastically reconsidered as these newly-discovered film clips speak for themselves.

I have a friend-of-a-friend who promises to get me copies of this footage soon. Check back in tomorrow.

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Brad F. said...

Brilliant April Fools piece. I can't believe you didn't get any comments, so I had to add mine. It was fun to imagine this, if only for a moment.

Alexis said...

Joel- I wanted to tell you that I have awarded you the splash. check it out here--

Thanks for all of your support and you're amazing work! I am glad to have found a fellow geek on blogger and twitter!!
(imagine Notorious or Spellbound theme music as you receive this!)

Felix Cruz said...

I'm just now reading this for the first time, and I love it. That would've been quite a collaboration if it were true. Jesus, could you imagine the final cut of the film? Whose vision would dominate?

Alexis said...

I have given you the Friendly Blogger Award-- keep up the great work!

Lolita said...

I can't wait to hear more of this! I still can't get it into my head... Hitchcock. And. Wood. Totally unpredictable, to say the least! Fascinating, none the less.

Lolita said...

Hahahaha, oh no. Not funny. April fools? Okay, I'm a dumb Swedish girl. But sure as heck, it was brilliant! (Can I hide somewhere deep in the Earth's most inescapable hideouts?)

Joel Gunz said...

Thanks everyone for dropping by. And Lolita - heh heh heh - you've been owned!

Lolita said...

Quite owned, ues... Haha.