The Sinister Urge (1960)

For its time, The Sinister Urge was pornography. Today, it could probably play on normal television.

In 1959, Ed Wood finished writing The Racket Queen and got producer Roy Reid of Headliner Productions to cough up the dough. Obviously, Ed was influenced by Psycho, just like every exploitation filmmaker at the time.

If you’ve watched more than one or two or, like me, nearly every Ed Wood film, you’ll see a fight scene that Wood had shot for his unfinished project Hellborn, AKA Rock and Roll Hell. Ed Wood was an early believer in being green, as he recycled that very same scene for Night of the Ghouls.

This would be the last film that Wood would make with William C. Thompson as his cinematographer, who some sources say was colorblind and others say only had one eye. Regardless of how many working eyes he had, they weren’t working too well so he retired.

The sleazy filmmaker, Johnny Ryde, is pretty much Wood just writing himself into a film. In his office, you’ll see posters for Jail Bait, Bride of the Monster, The Violent Years and Plan 9 from Outer Space. There’s a really telling line here, as Ryde yells, “I look at this slush, and I try to remember, at one time, I made good movies.” That said, Wood never made good movies. He made interesting ones. But man, I don’t know if he ever made a good movie. Yet, I love him and his work still.

This movie is about the “Mary Smiths” from “Everywhere, USA” who graduate at the top of their class, were great in the school play, then come on out to Hollywood hoping to be discovered yet are afraid to go back home a failure. Throw in “The Syndicate” and some murder and well, we have an Ed Wood movie.

This $20,000 wonder was the last mainstream film Wood would make. He did have an idea of a sequel that he called The Peeper, but it never happened. After here, it was all adult films. The dirty picture racket, as they say. Movies like Take It Out in TradeNecromania and The Young Marrieds. And yes, you just know I’ll get to those soon.

You can also see this movie on an episode of Mystery Science Theater (season 6, episode 13) after the short educational film Keeping Clean and Neat. Obviously, with the name of his 2001 solo album, Rob Zombie is also a fan of this movie.

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