Plan 9 from Outer SpaceDirector: Edward D. Wood Jr.
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!
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Legend Films
- Region Code:
- [Full Frame]
- Sales rank:
Cast & Crew
|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|
|Carl Anthony||Patrolman Larry|
|Paul Marco||Patrolman Kelton|
|John Breckinridge||The Ruler|
|J. Edward Reynolds||Gravedigger|
|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|
|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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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.
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!
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.
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
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!