PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE

(1959)
With Tor Johnson, Bela Lugosi, Vampira, Criswell, Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene, Duke Moore, Mona McKinnon, Dudley Manlove, Joanna Lee
Produced, written and directed by Ed Wood, Jr.
Black and White
Reviewed by JB

When a fat man loves a busty woman very much...     The movie that dares to ask "Can you prove it didn't happen?"  Universally hailed as the worst movie ever filmed, PLAN 9 may or may not be that, but until somebody comes along with a better candidate, it retains the title. Produced, written and directed by Ed Wood, Jr., PLAN 9 is certainly one of the most inept films ever made. Insane dialogue, bad performances, ridiculous plotting, minimalist sets, mismatched shots, ultra cheap effects, all held together, if such a thing is possible, by hammy narration that, not surprisingly, barely makes sense.  PLAN 9 is to bad movies what CITIZEN KANE is to great ones.  This film has been celebrated so many times by so many people, I can add little except to mention my favorite moments and lines:

    - A zombie attacks a police officer, while, just a few feet away, virtually the entire cast sits on a patio, casually watching without lifting a finger to help.

    - "Because all you of Earth are idiots!"

    - An alien goes on for several minutes explaining something called Solarnite.  Apparently, it's like a gas can, only it can explode the Universe.

    - A detective constantly uses his loaded gun to point to other people, other things, or just to scratch his neck.

    - A man looks at a pitch black sky and mentions "It's getting dark".

    - A colonel spends five minutes firing rockets at three UFOs in a failed effort to blast them out of the sky.  After which, an underling comes up and asks "Are you worried about them, sir?"  The narrator goes on and on about how firing the rockets was the most important decision in the colonel's life, yet it accomplished diddley squat.

    - A woman uses the word "there" three times in a row to describe three different places (the sky, a graveyard, her house), yet gives the word strange, offputting inflections as if they are all the same place.  This comes some time after her husband blabs and blabs and blabs to her how he is "sworn to secrecy" and "can't say a word" about the UFO he saw.

    - "Visits?  That would indicate visitors."

    - A space ship, designed to work in zero gravity, features a wooden table not attached to the floor in any way.  Which seems weird, since long shots of the space ship clearly show that when idle, the craft wobbles uncontrollably.

    - "Sometimes in the night when it does get a little lonely, I reach over and touch it, then it doesn't seem so lonely anymore. "

    - The "Plan" itself, which consists of raising three people from the dead: a large busted woman who looks like a vampire, a big fat guy who can hardly walk, and an already dead Bela Lugosi, who, in real life, died during the test footage stage.  Somehow, this is supposed to convince earthlings to stop being so stupid or something.  Judging by the number, there have been 8 other previous plans that apparently failed.  God only knows what they were all about.

    - An advanced race of aliens has not yet discovered that doors make for more secure entrances to offices than curtains.  The same can be said for humans, who have created a wonderful invention call the airliner, the cockpit of which is accessible through a curtain seemingly manufactured from the same place the aliens got theirs.

    - "It's because of men like you that all must be destroyed."

     - And, of course, the greatest opening speech in movie history, delivered by "famous" "psychic" Criswell (who has something on top of his head that looks like "hair"):

      "Greetings, my friends.  We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.  And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future. "

    At which point, Criswell goes on to describe events that have already happened.  I guess the future isn't what it used to be.

     As for the rest of the movie, you'll just have to see it for yourself.  But can your hearts stand the shocking facts about grave robbers from outer space? God help us in the future!  - JB

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