The Ninjabot

Grindhouse Review: Plan 9 from Outer Space

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm by AGouff

Ah, the horribly awesome Plan 9. Generally, this is billed as the worst movie ever made, and honestly, after having viewed it (possibly masochistically) more than 100 times since childhood, there is no doubt in my mind it deserves the title. The basic plot involves aliens coming to Earth to prevent humans from destroying the universe. Humans are in the process of developing a bomb, using what is called “solarmanite.”  The solarmanite, is an explosive, which the aliens believe will blow up the sunlight “atoms,” then blow up the sun and therefore “the universe.” Obviously, Ed Wood was not a physicist. In order for the aliens to stop the humans, they execute “Plan 9,” which involves resurrecting dead bodies as zombies to distract the humans.

The total lack of an understanding of basic physics (even for 1959) isn’t the only problem with this film. Scenes regularly change time of day from one shot to another – and in one scene, from one WINDOW to another; cars change make and model; boom mics are regularly visible in shadows; tombstones visibly rock back and forth, as well as change size wildly; lines are delivered with emphasis in obviously the wrong part of the sentences… and all of it is pure, undiluted, awesome.

This was horror movie legend Bela Lugosi’s final film. He was a terrible heroin junky by the point Wood met him, and died part way through the filming of Plan 9, being replaced by a man who vaguely resembled him and made up for the disparity by covering his face melodramatically with Lugosi’s trademark black cape. This was also late-night horror fest host Vampira’s (Maila Elizabeth Syrjaniemi) first major starring role. Though the Finnish-born actress had some previous uncredited and minor roles.

The sheer quotability of Plan 9 cannot be understated. “..and I’LL be locked up in there,” has got to be one of the most awkwardly delivered lines in the history of cinema; “And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future,” is part of Criswell’s great, passionate introduction; “Yeah!” says one beat cop to absolutely everything, including Inspector Clay’s (Tor Johnson) lack of pulse; and of course, “I, a FIEND?!” can always lighten a conversation. After a single view with a group of friends, you will never be short a non-sequitir to throw out in each other’s’ company.

Overall, I rate Plan 9 from Outer Space a solid 9 flying paper-plates out of 9. An absolute MUST view for anyone looking for a great way to spend 77 minutes.

Plan 9 From Outer Space
Written and Directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.
Starring: Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson,Vampira, Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene

Plan 9 can be seen on Hulu.com.

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