While I think Ed Wood (1994) is probably Tim Burton’s best film, I’ve always wanted to see an alternative version that ends with the titular Ed Wood directing porn. I suppose Wood’s real finale was too grim for Hollywood: a penniless drunk, shakily shooting boring sex, dolled up in drag, dead in bed with a drink in his hand. While it’s awfully depressing to watch the once great-bad Wood relegated to out of focus bush and limp dicks, I’m kind of fascinated by his work from these sad final years. They are, after all, from the mind of the man that gave us Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), Bride of the Monster (1955), and — my favourite — Glen or Glenda (1953). So I grovel at the feet of Alpha Blue Archives for releasing previously thought lost (and, in this case, previously thought nonexistent) sex films directed by Wood.
USA, 1971, Edward D. Wood Jr.
To call Nympho Cycler “bad” is pointless. Of course it’s bad. It’s Ed Wood. It’s worse, far worse, than his great-bad classics because the laughs are nearly nonexistent. But Nympho Cycler transcends bad. It transcends film. It follows a motorbike riding hippy girl: Misty (Casey Larrain). Misty is married to Ed. Ed is a cross-dressing photographer. Ed is played by Ed Wood. We endure a long scene of Ed and Misty fumbling around in a hot tub and laughing. It is the best part of the film.
Ed hires Misty out to his pals for fucks. She doesn’t mind. She loves fucking. She has sex with a really sad looking man with an enormous limp penis. She decides she doesn’t want to fuck Ed’s friends anymore. She leaves him. On her bike. She loves bikes. She tells us this. Many times.
Misty gets molested by some lesbians. She likes it. She then meets a guy with a hat. They fuck. She likes that too. Misty and the guy with the hat go look at things. It’s captured with shaky camerawork and, at one point, it appears that Wood has left in a candid moment where Misty and hat guy get legitimately told off by an old man for fooling around at his stall. The guy with the hat gets beaten up by some toughies. Misty gets gang-raped by a “fruit” who spends ages “nibbling” her. Luckily, Misty doesn’t care too much about getting raped and nibbled on. She continues on with her fuck-filled existence.
I’ve always thought that softcore sex, rather than hardcore sex, could be potentially quite damaging to an uneducated mind. If you knew nothing about sex outside softcore skin flicks, you’d assume a woman’s vagina is somewhere on her stomach, and, that in order to have sex, you need a limp dick. Blowjobs look like bellybutton licking.
The sex in Nympho Cycler is awful. It’s not that Casey Larrain is unattractive. She looks pretty good. But Ed Wood shoots each sex scene with bumbling stupidity, creating some of the most awkward, unerotic fucking to be put to celluloid. There’s plenty of unflattering shots of arses, there’s lots of nervous fumbling, at one point Misty rubs her hair over a guy’s limp dick. Most of it is set to a stolen Santana soundtrack. It’s not fun.
Nympho Cycler is purely a curiosity piece — a slice of Ed Wood’s bizarre life and a bleak time capsule of the saddest part of his career. The end of his career. The scenes with Wood onscreen are golden. He mumbles, he wears disgusting underwear, it’s hilarious. Wood fans will get a huge kick out of the unearthed Nympho Cycler. Everyone else will be left feeling befuddled and furious.
Nympho Cycler — along with three other releases of Wood’s lost sex flicks — is available on DVD from Alpha Blue Archives. The quality of the video is poor but surprisingly watchable considering the film’s history. The sound is also not great. It drops out sometimes. But all this is to be expected from the source material. Alpha Blue throw a few more Casey Larrain films on the disc to fill out the package. This is a definite must buy for fans of Ed Wood.