in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 5

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

I don’t know how this film became the poster child for all bad movies but it certainly is a doozy. Ed Wood’s grand opus of sci-fi shlock has has somehow become a cult phenomenon in the last thirty years and is now considered required viewing for any fan of the strange or absurd. Who is to say what makes this film the grand campy classic that it is? Is it the cheap special effects? Is it the corny performances? Is it all of the above? Yes and more because this may possibly be the best worst movie ever made.

Let’s start with that tile “Plan 9 from Outer Space” great sci-fi title though I would of been just as amused with Wood’s original title “Grave Robbers from Outer Space”. The premise isn’t actually that bad but it’s handled with such incompetence, possibly due to the low budget or hasty production or maybe the fact that campy was all Ed Wood knew. So the humans are developing Solaranite (a sun-powered bomb) and in an effort to stop them aliens have decided to resurrect the dead because as well all know nuclear weapons are no match for zombies. This is the best plan a race of space traveling aliens could come up with? Not to mention this plan only creates about three zombies, yeah real threatening.

Aside from it’s convoluted plot Plan 9 is also infamous as Bela Lugosi’s last film, though I would hardly call silently wandering around a graveyard a performance. Of course star power can boost any low budget flick but Ed probably included Bela even more so as a tribute to his fallen friend. Other Wood notables include Tor Johnson and Vampira, they may not do much but they sure look cool doing it. What I love about Plan 9 is that it isn’t as much a series of scenes progressing the story as it is a collection of many upon many mistakes. It has the worst continuity I’ve ever seen, bad performances, the worst sci-fi effects, people knocking over cardboard tomb stones, actors reading from the script and the list goes on! Who would of ever thought that this would become a hit so many years after it’s release? What does future hold for this film? As TV psychic Criswell memorably said in his opening introduction to the film “Future events such as these will affect you in the future.”

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