EDWARD
SCISSORHANDS

HOME REVIEWS FEO'S STUFF FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?
Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME

COMICS

CONS

HORRIBLE NEWS
Movies E.C. McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Bookmark and Share
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
Edward Scissorhands posterEDWARD SCISSORHANDS - 1990
USA Release: December 14, 1990
20th Century Fox
Rated: USA: PG

Care for a fairy tale? Howz this?

Director/Writer Tim Burton got his start in Hollywood doing animator work at Disney. Disney long knew they had something in the energetic young, talented Tim but they probably weren't sure what (even tried to protect him from their own movies that they weren't sure about*). After sponsoring a series of his funky short films, Disney let him go out into the world to make his mark with Paul Reubens, aka, Pee Wee Herman. Together they made the delightfully madcap Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

Though Big Adventure was a roccoco confection of comedic film making, it also made an innocent satirical statement on the American lifestyle. It was accusatory without condemnation and remains a cult fan favorite.

Then came BEETLEJUICE, another innocent comedy that was just as funky and offbeat as Big Adventure but with a decidely darker theme. As a comedy it garnered both critical acclaim and audience appeal. Even more, despite its big box office, it too has endured as a cult fan favorite and marked Tim Burton as a Director in tune with the Goth fashion of the Industrial nations, as well as those who like Industrial music in the . . . uh . . . anyway.

When Tim Burton brought EDWARD SCISSORHANDS to the table, he did so with the kind of success behind him that allowed complete control over the project. More than any feature length film before, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS was entirely under Burton's command. The studio bosses couldn't even begin to fathom Burton's appeal or what made it click with mass audiences. They were more than happy to let the goose create his own gold.

What Burton produced was a film that made the studio bosses gasp in wonder. Without question, the film had all the depth of an arthouse movie, yet with none of the presumption or amatuerish quality. It clearly had broad based audience appeal, yet it also had the Burton stamp of being both out of step and unique.

It could be PR hype, but at the time it was said that that the movie brought tears to the eyes of some of the movie execs. It's easy to see how it could happen. For one thing, I don't know any big studio executives - at least none that will come forward and admit it. For another thing, I've seen girlfriends get all weepy watching this movie and even Jerry Seinfeld had an episode that featured two grown Italian men sobbing over the film, their differences dissolved in compassion for Edward.

Eddie's Father
EDWARD'S FATHER MEANT TO GIVE HIM REAL HANDS, BUT LIFE HAPPENED.

Edward, as we're told in the preamble, lives in the decrepit house on the hill at the end of the neighborhood cul de sac. The neighborhood is a fictional 1960s setting of contemporary Americana. Like an alternate history tale, the setting is both the past and the present. The houses are a myriad of solid pastel colors and the cars are all from the 1960s and 70s.

*
During pre-production of TRON, Burton nearly begged to work on the film. The Director was all for it, but the Disney studio execs said no.

^
Yeah, we admit it. We like Johnny Depp.

As for the DVD, the additional goodies we've come to expect from the big studios is woefully inadequate here. The additional features are SO thin in fact (especially for a DVD that boasts itself as a 10th Anniversary Edition) methinks tis but a ploy by 20th Century Fox to come out with another special edition down the road; the better to sucker fans into buying the disc a second time.

Like, for example, all the damn "Special Editions" of TERMINATOR 2. So its probably best to rent EDWARD SCISSORHANDS for now until the eventual "Special Edition" is released - and probably for a only a few dollars more.

As the movie gets started, Peggy (Dianne Wiest: THE LOST BOYS), a lone yet bubbly Avon lady, makes her sterile rounds through the neighborhood. No one is buying, no one wants anything, and doors are closed or slammed in her face, sometimes with laughter. Frustrated after a fruitless day, Peggy spies the old decrepit house in her rearview mirror and figures, 'What the hell?'

There in the house, Peggy discovers, first to her fright, Edward (Johnny Depp: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE, THE NINTH GATE, SLEEPY HOLLOW^, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL): A young man who wears his hair like that Hollywood Director, Tim Burton, but dresses like Michael Jackson when the gloved one is in one of his "moods".

When Edward steps out from the shadows, he raises his sharp blades and Peggy is horrified to see the long and deadly knives/scissors he carries on each finger. Then she realizes that the blades are no gloved weapon, but his actual hands, the blades are his fingers. As Peggy starts in terror Ed explains, "I'm not finished."

When Peggy asks where his parents are, Edward says of his Father, "He didn't wake up."

Nodding with compassion, Peggy decides that she should bring Edward into the world. That's when Merry Mishaps occur.

It sounds hackneyed but it's true: Wonderful performances are given by all.

Vincent Price (THE FLY, THE RETURN OF THE FLY, THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, THE TOMB OF LIGEIA, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN!), plays the old, kindly inventor who, in his loneliness, is inspired to create Edward vie a heart shaped cookie. The inventor learns as he creates and Edward is built piecemeal, brought to life before he is fully developed. There are scenes of the limbless Edward learning things like proper etiquette as well as humor.

Like the Inventor's haphazardly intricate machines, so goes his mind however. The Inventor, though a genius, is far from perfect and, before we even see how it happened, we know that he died before he could finish Edward. Why the Inventor gave Edward scissors for hands remains a secret of his own kind, but flawed character.

Edward and Peggy
PEGGY BRINGS EDWARD INTO THE WORLD

Other great performances include Alan Arkin as Peggy's very laid back and overly understanding husband, Bill. Anthony Michael Hall is the selfish and cowardly Jim, and Kathy Baker chews the scenery as the tacky, creepy, bored and horny housewife, Joyce (wherever she goes, Tom Jones sings in the background).

A modern fairy tale in the realm of what has come to be called "Burtonesque", EDWARD SCISSORHANDS is bright, colorful, and dark all at the same time. Edward, like any good monster, is both supremely deadly and an object of pity. His deathly potential is only kept in check by the kindness of his heart.

The more cynical folks, particularly those who affect a jaded sensibility without hardly any life experience at all, may judge EDWARD SCISSORHANDS maudlin, and there are times when it nearly becomes sappy. But those moments are bordered by the helplessly deadly nature that is Edward. In one scene, Peggy's daughter Kim (Wynona Ryder: BEETLEJUICE, DRACULA, ALIEN: RESURRECTION), overcome by Edward's quiet kindness, asks him to hold her. Edward raises his long sharp blades, and slowly draws them around her. We can all see the danger, right? So can Edward, who lowers his hands and says, "I can't."

The film boasts make-up effects by Stan Winston Studios and led by Richard J. Landon. Music by long time Burton buddy Danny Elfman. This isn't the first time I've made mention of the hairstylist in a Johnny Depp movie, but Hair Designer, Yolanda Toussieng deserves special mention for this movie. If you've never seen it, you'll understand why in the first ten minutes of this film, and it gets crazier as the story progresses. Special mention must also be made of the sets designed by Rick Heinrichs, Paul Sonski, and Ann Harris. Kudos also to Art Director, Tom Duffield. All these talents and their crews came together to create the special atmosphere that Burton wanted and needed to communicate his dream of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS.

It would be nearly ten years before Tim Burton would make his first bonafide Horror movie with SLEEPY HOLLOW, but EDWARD SCISSORHANDS is a classic film in every sense of the word. It is a wonderful addition to any Horror film fan's collection, and is arguably Tim Burton's best movie to date.

Five Shriek Girls.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2002 E.C.McMullen Jr.

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS STUFF
BLU-RAY STREAMING SOUNDTRACK POSTER BOOK
Bookmark and Share Edward Scissorhands (1990) on IMDb

Return to Movies

E.C. McMullen Jr. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
BLOG
DEVIANT ART
ECMJR
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
YOUTUBE
ZAZZLE SHOP

 

LOVE THIS SITE?
SUPPORT IT WHEN YOU BUY WORKS FROM
E.C. McMullen Jr.
PERPETUAL BULLET
Perpetual Bullet Paperback
"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus

WILLOW BLUE
Willow Blue
"'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of
FINAL DESTINATION

IN OTHER BOOKS
E.C. McMullen Jr.'s

short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
Fear The Reaper
"This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Amazon Review

HORROR 201: The Silver Scream
PAPERBACK

Horror 201: The Silver Scream
Filmmaker's Guidebook
featuring
RAY BRADBURY,
JOHN CARPENTER,
WES CRAVEN,
TOM HOLLAND,
E.C. McMULLEN Jr.,
ED NAHA,
GEORGE A. ROMERO,
and many more.

Extensively quoted in
Phantasm Exhumed
PHANTASM EXHUMED
The Unauthorized Companion


Robert S. Rhine's
SATAN'S 3-RING CIRCUS OF HELL
Satan's 3-Ring Circus of Hell

Forward by
GAHAN WILSON,
FEO AMANTE.
Featuring comics by
WILLIAM STOUT,
HILARY BARTA,
STEVE BISSETTE,
FRANK DIETZ,
JIM SMITH,
TONE RODRIGUEZ,
FRANK FORTE,
ERIC PIGORS,
ALEX PARDEE,
MIKE SOSNOWSKI,
OMAHA PEREZ,
DAVID HARTMAN,
D.W. FRYDENDALL,
SHANNON WHEELER,
VINCENT WALLER,
JACOB HAIR,
NENAD GUCUNJA,
STEVEN MANNION,
and more!

ALSO
IN CINEMA
E.C. McMullen Jr.

HEAD PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Mine Games
MINE GAMES
(Starring:
JOSEPH CROSS, ALEX MERAZ, BRIANA EVIGAN)

Dept. head
SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKE-UP
(SFX MUA) and Michael Madsen's stunt double on the movie
A Sierra Nevada Gunfight
A SIERRA NEVADA GUNFIGHT
(Starring:
MICHAEL MADSEN and JOHN SAVAGE).

PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Universal Dead
UNIVERSAL DEAD
(Starring:
DOUG JONES, D.B. SWEENEY, GARY GRAHAM)

ART DIRECTOR
The Crusader THE CRUSADER
(Starring COLIN CUNNINGHAM, GARY GRAHAM)

I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright 1997 - 2017 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.