I Woke Up Early The Day I Died (1998)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Satire  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Karl Williams

Based on a never-filmed script from no-budget, Z-movie director Edward D. Wood Jr., this literally dialogue-less horror comedy contains some alternately funny and disturbing scenes but flags seriously by its conclusion, unable to sustain interest for its entire running time. There's a reason that Wood is considered one of the worst filmmakers ever, and his spineless fever dream of a script is a blunt reminder that the ardent but talent-free Hollywood wannabe wasn't much of a writer. Still, like Wood himself, star/producer Billy Zane and the film's director Aris Iliopulos nearly make up for the lack of a story with sheer energy and enthusiasm, embracing Wood's skewed worldview of ravenously murderous psychopaths, sexual deviants, blandly flat-footed cops, and cemetery hangouts with a pseudo-hip, ironic self-awareness. However, even a punishing number of cameos by B-list celebrities such as Sandra Bernhard, Rick Schroeder,and Eartha Kitt, among many others, can't keep this bad tribute to badness afloat without an interesting tale upon which to hang its narrative hat. Basically a collection of wacko set pieces and character tomfoolery, I Woke Up Early the Day I Died is strictly for Wood enthusiasts and, possibly, a few deranged John Waters fans.