Horror. Worldview. Faith.

Plan 9 From Outer Space – Review

Plan 9 From Outer Space – Review

Jun 29, 2010

reviewed by hallo
directed by Ed Wood Jr, 1959

This is the second review in my series of the movies showcased in Disney’s Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.

According to Michael Medved, Plan 9 From Outer Space carries the dual distinction of being the worst movie ever made by the worst director of all time.  Of all the movies shown in Disney’s Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, my hunch is that Plan 9 is the most recognizable name of the lot.  The movie is about a group of extraterrestial beings (who look and talk remarkably like humans) descending to planet Earth in order to prevent the humans from creating a bomb that will destroy the universe.  Unlike Doc Brown’s lesser degree scenario of the “destruction being limited to our own galaxy”, the extraterrestials are convinced that the universe is at risk of being obliterated.  Since their first 8 plans apparently failed miserably, they decide to give the green light to plan 9 which brilliantly involves bringing the dead back to life in order to create mass confusion and stall the work on the bomb.  Despite the fact that they are only able to resuscitate 3 corpses from the dead, they remain strangely optimistic that their plan will prove successful.  Of course, it doesn’t and a group of highly boring army generals, an airplane pilot, and some keystone cops save the day by really not doing anything.  Fortunately, the UFO housing the foreign visitors catches on fire and explodes in space.

One of my favorite parts of the film was the opening narration by “The Amazing Criswell.”  This terribly written monologue features some of the worst, and therefore some of the best, lines of all time.  For example, Criswell prepares the viewer by asserting that “future events such as these will affect you in the future.”  It really has to be seen to be believed.

From there the movie is just one bad scene after another.  Bela Lugosi, who passed away before filming ended, is seen only for a minute or two in the movie.  The rest of the time a stand-in holding a cape over his face plays Bela’s character.  The acting is atrocious and the dialogue is fantastically bad.  Add to all of this the classic philosophical narration that is so typical of Ed Wood.

So, put all of these bad things together and what do you get?  One heck of a good movie!  Plan 9 should be seen by all true horror/Sci-Fi lovers just because it embodies so many of the things we love to make fun:  wobbly flying saucers clearly hanging by a piece of string, martians in shiny pajamas, shadows of boom mics and camera operators, and the kind of acting that made Leslie Nielson turn into a comedy genius!

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