I Woke Up Early The Day I Died

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I Woke Up Early the Day I Died
I Woke Up Early The Day I Died.jpg
Directed by Aris Iliopulos
Produced by Chris Hanley
Billy Zane
Written by Ed Wood
Starring Billy Zane
Ron Perlman
Tippi Hedren
Andrew McCarthy
Will Patton
Nicollette Sheridan
Music by Larry Groupé
Cinematography Michael F. Barrow
Edited by Dody Dorn
Distributed by Cinequanon Pictures International, Inc.
Release date(s)
  • September 10, 1999 (1999-09-10)
Running time 90 min.
Country United States
Language English

I Woke Up Early The Day I Died is 1998 American camp comedy film written by Edward D. Wood, Jr.. The film, directed by Aris Iliopulos, stars Billy Zane, Stephan K. Gunter, Tippi Hedren, Ron Perlman, and Christina Ricci, among many others. The film has no dialogue, only atmospheric sounds, alternating bursts of laughter, and screams.

Production[edit]

The movie, produced two decades after Edward D. Wood Jr.'s death, was aimed at being a tribute to him. Wood was awarded a posthumous Golden Turkey Award for being The Worst Director Of All Time,[1] and has since gained a cult following. The producers of this film used many techniques that Wood himself would use, such as including stock footage to save filming expenses.[2] The cast was made up of a huge list of actors, including several who were previously associated with Wood's films.

Plot[edit]

Overcoming a nurse, and dressing in her clothes, a madman escapes from the Casa de la Loco Sanitarium. The Thief (Billy Zane) then goes on a crime spree that nets him a gun, a car, a fortune in stolen cash, and one dead loan office manager. As he escapes the murder scene, he comes upon a forbidden cemetery as a burial, replete with bagpipe music and a bizarre ceremony employing tuning forks and strange icons, is taking place. As the undertaker, the caretaker, and an odd assortment of mourners leave the service, The Thief peers into the coffin, thinking it is a good place to hide his briefcase of ill-gotten gains. As he strikes the tuning fork that is buried with the robe-draped skeleton, bagpipe music fills the air and throws him into convulsions. The coffin lid slams shut, locking his money inside, and The Thief is thrown into an open grave, knocking himself unconscious. When he awakens, he sets off to track down everyone present at the funeral in an attempt to find his cash, killing anyone who gets in his way.

Cast[edit]

  • Billy Zane as The Thief
  • Ron Perlman as Cemetery Caretaker
  • Tippi Hedren as Maylinda Austed/Professional Mourner
  • Andrew McCarthy as Cop
  • Will Patton as Preacher
  • Carel Struycken as Undertaker
  • Max Perlich as assistant Undertaker
  • Patrick Painter as assistant Undertaker #2
  • John Ritter as Robert Forrest/Professional Mourner
  • Karen Black as Honey Child
  • Sandra Bernhard as Sandy Sands/Professional Mourner and Stripper
  • Eartha Kitt as Cult Leader
  • Ann Magnuson as Loan Secretary
  • Abraham Benrubi as Bouncer
  • Christina Ricci as Teenage Hooker
  • Jonathan Thomas as Boy at Beach
  • Michael Greene as Tom Harris - Professional Mourner and barfly
  • Roberta Hanley as Housewife
  • Robert Musselman as Eartha Kitt's Escort
  • Marvin Lorence as Eartha Kitt's Piano Player
  • Megan Odebash as Wardrobe Mistress
  • Rain Phoenix as Bartender#1
  • Summer Phoenix as Bartender#2 / Girl at the Beach
  • Steven M. Porter as Detective #2
  • Jed Reghanti as Prom King
  • Tara Reid as Prom Queen / Nightclub Bartender
  • Joann Richter as Woman at Supermarket
  • Kathleen Robertson as Ticket Girl
  • Mark Rolston as Hot Dog Vendor
  • David Ward as Cruiser Cop #1
  • Rick Schroder as Cruiser Cop #2
  • Nicollette Sheridan as Ballroom Woman
  • Gregory Sporleder as Loan Manager
  • Steven Weber as Policeman in Alley
  • Kathleen O'Hara Wood as Woman at Carnival
  • Billie Worley as Fat Taxi Driver
  • Lee Arenberg as Parking Lot Attendant
  • Mark Boone Junior as Cop #3
  • Conrad Brooks as Cruise Cop #3
  • Joseph Darrell as Uniform Cop #1
  • Leif Garret as Cruiser Cop #4
  • Dana Gould as Carnival Barker
  • Michael G. Hagerty as Flop House Manager
  • Brent Hinkley as Detective #1
  • Jeff Horny as Smokey
  • Denice D. Lewis as Star Stripper
  • Blake Lindsley as Ticket Girl
  • Anna Austin as Nurse
  • Maila Nurmi as Woman in Hotel Lobby
  • Donita Ganzon Gold as Savannah
  • Bud Cort as Shopkeeper Lord Heinrich 'Binky' Alcoa III
  • Louise Ashby as Show Girl (uncredited)
  • Angella Kaye as Girl (uncredited)
  • Celeste Octavia as Ballerina (uncredited)
  • John Patrick Patti as Pimp (uncredited)
  • Roberto Santana as Conga Player (uncredited)
  • Tilghman Branner as Policeman in Alley/Snakewoman Cirus

Reaction[edit]

The film received negative reactions by fans and critics alike, achieving a 30% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many criticized Iliopulos's failure to recreate Wood's innocent ineptitude at film making, including Entertainment Weekly, which said the movie "never truly finds a way to evoke [Wood's] fractured hard-boiled syntax, his inimitable idiocy".[3]

Music[edit]

The instrumental soundtrack for the film was composed by Larry Groupé and recorded and mixed by John Kurlander.[4]

Instrumental Soundtrack Track listing[edit]

  1. "Escape!" – 2:05
  2. "My Kingdom For A Hot Dog" – 2:15
  3. "My Ears Hurt" – 1:20
  4. "Parking Booth Fight" – 0:54
  5. "The Bank Job Tango" – 3:30
  6. "Scaffold Dream" – 2:40
  7. "Cult Waltz & Processional" – 3:57
  8. "Caretaker's Lament" – 1:51
  9. "Cemetery Knight" – 1:42
  10. "Coppers" – 1:21
  11. "Journey Continues" – 0:45
  12. "Where's The Money?" – 0:58
  13. "Caretaker's Death" – 1:18
  14. "Mausoleum" – 1:30
  15. "The Coffin Has No Money" – 2:23
  16. "Shack Attack" – 2:16
  17. "Purse Snatch" – 1:29
  18. "Desperation" – 2:03
  19. "Head Over Heels" – 1:20
  20. "Torment And Woe" – 1:59
  21. "Journey Smoke" – 1:03
  22. "Long Ride Home" – 1:00
  23. "Bagpipes Of Death" – 3:36

Additional Music[edit]

There is additional music featured in the film that was not composed by Groupé. These songs were never released in compilation as a soundtrack to the film. The following is the listing of songs as they appear in the end credits of the film.

  • Jesus I Was Evil by Darcy Clay
  • Plastic Bag by Minty
  • Minty by Minty
  • Puttin’ and Takin' by The Ink Spots
  • Geezer by ZVH
  • Courtesy Phone by ZVH
  • El Guapo by ZVH
  • Elephant Graveyeard by ZVH
  • Sandy Dance by ZVH
  • Bink e Bink by Lisa Zane
  • Love of Life by Gene Bua
  • If You Want To Go Away by Nico Fidenco
  • Anywhere I Hang My Heart by Eartha Kitt
  • Heavy Water by Ray Davies and His Funky Trumpet
  • Nature Boy by Nat King Cole
  • Inside the Hut by Nathan Haines
  • Adios al Presidio by Los Hermanos Vega
  • Opera Buffa by Penelope Anderson
  • Circus Macabra by Frank Macchia
  • Temper by Goldie

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (1996), documentary film directed by Brett Thompson
  • Rudolph Grey, Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (1992) ISBN 978-0-922915-24-8

External links[edit]