What makes it sad, though, is that he sincerely wanted to turn out good films, but lacked the talent to pull it off. You can tell from his films that he was also very concerned with social issues until his need for money overwhelmed his better judgment (that is, turning out puerile porno stuff). His films are amusing, though, in a very legitimate way and when compared to some of the other trashy sci-fi and horror films of the 50s, it really isn't all that different.
It's that sincerity, I think, that is the crucial quality that endears him to so many...myself included. Any fan of film has
to admire, at least is some small way, his dedication and sense of perseverance. Many of the flaws and weaknesses in his work are just as easily spotted in what people shell out a good $10 freakin 50 for at the local AMC's today. He just didn't have the resources to overwhelm and distract people from them, the way major studios do with inane record label soundtrack tie-in blitzes, video game cash-ins, Hummer promotions and the like.
While Tim Burton's ED WOOD was a heavily fantastical take on Wood's career, it still got to the heart of what he represents for every starry-eyed dreamer who doesn't have some nepotistic contact at Universal. Take the moment when Wood runs into Orson Welles in that bar and Welles confides to Wood about being cajoled by the studios...him!...Orson Welles
For me it's like a positive twist on the thought from THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE..."When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." Even though he never met Welles(let alone in such an unlikely circumstance), it's nice to believe Ed Wood could well have. It seems to serve a greater good.