Plan 9 From Outer Space is frequently hailed as one of the worst
movies of all time. This is no small accomplishment since it must
surpass the horrific Jaws: The Revenge in order to claim that title.
Writer, director, and producer (a triple threat), Ed Wood manages to
unwittingly avoid his original purpose - a brilliant science fiction
classic - and create a movie so inconceivably bad it's funny.
The rather simplistic story line contrived in Plan 9 from Outer
Space entails aliens plotting to save the universe. The movie
inherits its title when they conclude that "Plan Nine" - resurrect the
dead and destroy Earth's inhabitants - is the best idea after presumably eight other faulty attempts. Needless to say they fail miserably and in the end their flaming pie plate spaceship spontaneously combusts in mid-flight, hurling towards an inevitable
Little can be said of the script for Plan 9 from Outer Space,
as it has no merits. The trees used to produce the paper this script
was written on would have served better use as firewood than disgracing
its bark with this campy dribble. Including such memorable lines as
"We should all be interested in the future as that is where we will
spend the rest of our lives" and "How could any race be so stupid?" it
is difficult to imagine how this film ever became a reality.
Although the characters in Plan 9 from Outer Space are somewhat
imaginative the performers' portrayals leave much to be desired.
Vampira plays a zombie vampire girl flaunting a 19 inch waist that is
scarcely surpassed by her 19 inch fingernails. The only satisfactory
aspect of her performance in this role is merely a result of her
ghostly appearance; she seems all too frail and emaciated to be living.
Vampira is briefly accompanied by Bela Lugosi, who was also slated to
star in this flick. However, the man renowned for his leading role
in Dracula died after only two days worth of shooting and was replaced
by a younger, taller man. Lugosi's departure is never explained, but
the change is badly concealed by a cape held across the new Lugosi's
face. Inspector Clay (Tor Johnson), known as "the big one" by the
aliens, is also a resurrected corpse. In this film, Johnson is truly
an animated caricature reduced to stomping around grave yards and
stalking innocent Earthlings in the dead of night. Johnson's facial
expression never changed throughout the entirety of the film, and
while it is supposed to be frightful and threatening, the result
comes across as laughable at best.
One of the films most memorable performances is turned in by Eros (Dudlee Manlove),
who frequently explodes with such uncanny insults as,
"Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!" Who utters such memorable
lines as "I? A fiend?" with a dreadfully unsound delivery, Eros
is one of those bad science fiction movie characters you will never
Costumes and make-up in this film were almost non-existent. No, I
don't mean they were naked, although that certainly would have made
things more creative and interesting. The aliens paraded around in
tacky metallic jumpsuits and the people draped themselves in
unimaginative and uninteresting clothing.
The art decoration in this movie rated about the same as everything else...only
worse. Much like myself you are probably wondering could this be possible?
Graveyards reeked of cardboard headstones and 3 foot under corpses.
The alien spacecraft also appeared to be made of cardboard; in aerial views of the
ship it closely resembled a prehistoric pogo-ball. If you looked closely, you could
even see the strings supporting these flying crafts, proving that the special
effects were non-existent. In fact, the only real special effect in the film occurred when the craft
caught fire and spiraled off into space. This of course was merely a flaming
pie plate dangling in front of the camera, and to top it off, you could see the
Ed Wood should have been shot. How could anyone have done a worse job on a movie? This movie even makes Superman 4 sound appealing. The only reason why anyone should be subjected to its awfulness is as suitable torture for unsuspecting film students. Ed Wood knew nothing about writing, producing, or directing a motion picture. To quote Eros "How could anyone be so stupid?" A frontal lobotomy victim could have surpassed the work of this has-been, wanna-be moron. You simply must see it to truly believe in all its awesome failures.