On this Halloween bonus edition of Parallax Views, the Hungarian-born actor Bela Lugosi has become immortalized in pop culture since he starred as the title vampire in Tod Browning's 1931 Universal Studios monster movie classic Dracula. Additionally, Lugosi is also remembered for his collaborations with the notoriously inept filmmaker Ed Wood in the final years of his life. Together Wood and Lugosi made Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and, most infamously, "The Worst Movie Ever Made" Plan 9 from Outer Space. Lugosi's relationship with Wood went on to become the subject of a major motion picture, Tim Burton's Ed Wood, and garnered the late Martin Landau an Academy Award for his performance as the iconic thespian. Even after his passing 63 years ago, Lugosi's place in the pantheon of popular culture remains cemented into the collective imagination with the legendary actor being referenced in works by artists as varied as Andy Warhol and the goth rock band Bauhaus. In other words, the Lugosi legacy lives on all these years later.
Joining us to discuss the life and times of Bela Lugosi, from Dracula to Plan 9 from Outer Space, is film historian Gary D. Rhodes. Having written multiple books on Lugosi, including Bela Lugosi, Dreams and Nightmares, Ed Wood and the Lost Lugosi Screenplays, and Bela Lugosi and the Monogram 9 (with previous Parallax Views guest Robert Guffey), Rhodes is without a doubt the foremost scholar of all things Bela Lugosi. In this previously unpublished conversation Rhodes takes us through the life and times of Lugosi, from his rise to stardom to his eventual struggles with addiction and infamous collaborations with Ed Wood.