Plan 9 from Outer Space

Plan 9 from Outer Space

3.9 10
Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.

Cast: Bela Lugosi, Mona McKinnon, Gregory Walcott

     
 

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With its incoherent plot, jaw-droppingly odd dialogue, inept acting, threadbare production design, and special effects so shoddy that they border on the surreal, Plan 9 From Outer Space has often been called the worst movie ever made. But it's an oddly endearing disaster; boasting genuine enthusiasm and undeniable charm, it is the work of people who loved…  See more details below

Overview

With its incoherent plot, jaw-droppingly odd dialogue, inept acting, threadbare production design, and special effects so shoddy that they border on the surreal, Plan 9 From Outer Space has often been called the worst movie ever made. But it's an oddly endearing disaster; boasting genuine enthusiasm and undeniable charm, it is the work of people who loved movies and loved making them, even if they displayed little visible talent. In Plan 9, alien invaders attempt to conquer the world by raising the dead, starting with an old man dressed in a Dracula costume (Bela Lugosi, in a few minutes of left-over footage grafted into this film), his much-younger and well-proportioned wife (Maila "Vampira" Nurmi), and a remarkably overweight police officer (Tor Johnson). Often funny and consistently entertaining (if almost always for the wrong reasons), Plan 9 From Outer Space is an anti-masterpiece if there ever was one, and as Criswell so brilliantly puts it, "Can you PROVE it didn't happen?!?" Its legendary director Edward D. Wood Jr. was played by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's 1994 biopic, Ed Wood. One of the DVD releases of Plan 9 From Outer Space includes the documentary Flying Saucers Over Hollywood: The Plan 9 Companion, an exhaustive and entertaining look at the making of the film that runs a half-hour longer than the feature to which it pays tribute!

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jason Bergenfeld
The crowning achievement of schlock titan Ed Wood, Plan 9 from Outer Space (1958) is a cheaply made and crude expression of cinematic love. It's also widely regarded as the worst film ever made, a distinction it wears like a medal rather than a scar, embodying the cult-classic credo: "It's so bad, it's good." The dubious story follows a group of aliens who resurrect the dead into a zombie army as part of their ninth attempt to take over the earth. (The previous eight attempts failed, it seems; and it's remarkable that no producer has stepped up since to shoot the prequels.) Plan 9 is notably the final film to feature horror icon Bela Lugosi who, contrary to popular belief, did not pass away during the film's production -- he died before it even began. Determined to pay homage to the actor, whom he had befriended while casting Bride of the Monster, Wood rewrote Plan 9's script to incorporate past footage he had shot of Lugosi but had not used. Cast in Lugosi's role for the remainder of the film was Wood's wife's chiropractor, a noticeably taller man than Lugosi; he spends most of his screen time traipsing around in Dracula-like fashion, covering his face with a black cape. An unintentional compendium of continuity errors, wooden acting, and set designs worthy of an elementary-school play, Plan 9, like all of Wood's films, never ceases to amaze in its shoddiness, but it also never loses its unique charm. Every frame exudes the endless excitement and can-do spirit the director was known for, resolute traits Tim Burton hits on tenderly in his 1994 biographical love letter to the cult icon.
All Movie Guide - Fred Beldin
Plan 9 From Outer Space has been unjustly deemed the worst movie of all time. It's true that cardboard gravestones are knocked over, that scenes change from day to night at a moment's notice, and that half of Bela Lugosi's scenes are shot with a taller stand-in who has trouble keeping his vampire's cape on his shoulders. But technical gaffes like these are shared by a number of low-budget sci-fi films with plots that equal the absurdity of this epic's tale of extraterrestrial grave robbers. What distinguishes Plan 9 from less interesting failures is the bizarre but sincerely overwrought screenplay from now-famous director Edward D. Wood Jr. As in his other works (such as the autobiographical Glen Or Glenda? and Bride of the Monster), Wood's words expressed far more of his interior obsessions, beliefs, and philosophies than any other hack churning out similar kiddie spook shows. It's clumsy poetry to be sure, but Wood loved the movies and tried to speak through them. An alien invader's soliloquy on the stupidity of modern man comes off like a strange man on the bus, demanding to tell you what's wrong with the world. Most of Wood's films have this strangely direct feel to them, but Plan 9 From Outer Space is definitely the tightest synthesis of the man's personal idiosyncrasies and his deep desire to tell a story that everyone would love. As a result, it's proven itself to be immensely popular, a rare combination of accessibility and outsider vision that unfortunately never paid off within Edward D. Wood Jr.'s lifetime.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/27/2006
UPC:
0844503000569
Original Release:
1959
Source:
Legend Films
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:19:00
Sales rank:
7,182

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bela Lugosi The Ghoul Man
Mona McKinnon Paula Trent
Gregory Walcott Jeff Trent
Duke Moore Lt. Harper
Tom Keene Col. Edwards
Tor Johnson Police Inspector Clay
Maila "Vampira" Nurmi Vampire Girl
Criswell Himself
Carl Anthony Patrolman Larry
Paul Marco Patrolman Kelton
Dudley Manlove Eros
Joanna Lee Tanna
John Breckinridge The Ruler
Lyle Talbot General
Norma McCarty Edith
Bill Ash Captain
Ben Frommer Man
Conrad Brooks Policeman
J. Edward Reynolds Gravedigger

Technical Credits
Edward D. Wood Director,Editor,Producer,Screenwriter
Bruce Campbell Score Composer
Richie Chechilo Executive Producer
Wolfgang Droysen Score Composer
Trevor Duncan Score Composer
Charles Duncan Special Effects
Jane Huizenga Production Designer
Tom Kemp Set Decoration/Design
Lindsay Lucht Producer
Franz Mahl Score Composer
David G. Martin Executive Producer
Susan Olney Executive Producer
Van Phillips Score Composer
Steve Race Score Composer
Harry Reif Set Decoration/Design
J. Edward Reynolds Executive Producer
Barry Sandrew Executive Producer
Ward Sills Score Composer
James Stevens Score Composer
William C. Thompson Cinematographer
Gilbert Vinter Score Composer
Gordon Zahler Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Plan 9 From Outer Space
1. Terrible Secret Revealed [2:42]
2. A Time to Live...A Time to Die [1:33]
3. Flying Saucers and Zombies [13:02]
4. Flying Saucers Revealed [4:29]
5. Alien Plan [3:15]
6. There's Something in the Cemetery [10:21]
7. Police Investigation [5:27]
8. Pentagon Conference [5:51]
9. Alien Conference [4:41]
10. Unexpected Guest [4:49]
11. Alien Trap [13:50]
12. Final Showdown [6:48]

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Plan 9 from Outer Space 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plan 9 From Outer Space is without question one of the worst movies I have ever seen from a technical stand point. There are tons of mistakes with it. Criswell's opening narration redundantly informs the viewer how "future events such as these will affect you in the future", all the while referring to the viewer(s) as "my friends" four times in the same minute. Criswell also begins the narration by referring to future events, only to later describe them in the past tense ("...the full story of what happened on that fateful day"). Other examples of misleading lines include when Jeff Trent describes the saucers to his wife as having a cigar shape, even though the craft seen in the film is of saucer form. String is clearly visible from the top of the wobbly saucer to the top of the screen. These same flying saucers cast obvious shadows on the mothership in the "space" backdrop. The first characters attacked, the grave diggers, have seemingly just finished burying the character that attacks them: the old man's beloved wife. Several exterior sets on sound-stages are interspersed with second unit footage shot outdoors. Among a number of these scenes, the outdoor footage was intended to be shot day-for-night, but this is not apparent in video transfers of the film, making these scenes contrast harshly against the on-set footage. Similarly, one (obviously cardboard) porthole on the alien spaceship shows a cloudy day outside, during a scene set at night, while the others show only devoid blackness. In addition, Mason's attempts to hide the fact that he is not Lugosi are in vain. As an early version of Leonard Maltin's movie guidebook puts it, "Lugosi died during production, and it shows." At one point, as his character is being riddled with bullet blanks, Mason's Dracula cape unintentionally starts to slip off his shoulders, so he quickly pulls it back into place while simultaneously attacking a cop, thus rendering the scene anti-climactic. During the first airplane cockpit scene, Norma McCarty as Edith the flight attendant bumps the curtain several times while waiting to enter. The first officer also shows two mistakes: first, he is visibly reading from the script which is in his lap; second, he uses a candlestick telephone, rather than a microphone, to communicate with the tower. Also in that scene, a flash of light from a flying saucer reveals the shadow of the boom microphone as the two pilots "fly" their plane without touching the indescribable objects placed before them where control yokes would usually be. However, the boom mic, non-existent controls, and first officer's script are not prevalent in its intended ratio of 1.85:1. They were not visible in the film's original theatrical release these mistakes are noticeable only because of the film's open matte transfer on video. There are numberous others, but by in large this makes Plan 9 From Outer Space unintensionally one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.
Educator85 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the funniest movies you'll ever see. It's great to show at parties with friends who are solid with their ability to insert their own dialogue. I've seen amateur preteen filmmakers put together short films that have better acting, a better script, and better production value than "Plan 9". Excellent crap! Profound garbage! Buy your copy today!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The critics of the time were right. When Bela Lugosi died in order to save re-shooting another actor was hired and shot from the back. Pity not shot in the back. The acting is wooden. The direction is Wood-en. The best thing about Ed Wood's films is the portrayal of him by Johnny Depp.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To say this is a threadbare production is an understatement. Someone said the sets were worthy of an Elementary school play, They weren't kidding. If you look closely, you can see a wooden brace holding up one of the fake grave stones. Inside the Flying Saucer, they had no qualms about using shower curtains as doors. In fact, It looks like they did it in the shot of the airplane cockpit too. Still, the actors were giving it their all. Trying to make the best out of a slipshod production. The most entertaining part about this movie was listening to Eros (Yes, that's his name)talk. This guy was giving it his best shot. Constantly down talking the intelligence of the people of earth. This movie is worth seeing. There are a few laughs to be had. Mister P.S. McCoy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Undoubtedly one of the top 5 worst films ever made and scared me half to death when I saw it in the theater when I was a kid. Now, it is so bad it is funny!
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