Sunday, 24 June 2012

Plan 9 from Outer Space

"Plan 9 from Outer Space" (1959, Edward D. "Ed" Wood (Jr), Valiant Pictures) is an infamous cult classic from an infamous director.

According to the box, the film is about aliens raising the dead as part of their mindless army against Earth as Earth's weaponry progression is looking likely to end the Universe.

This confusing, woodenly acted and B-er of all B-movies film is hilarious! Not that it was ever intended to be a comedy!

It bills Bela Lugosi in the credits, but alas Bela died in 1956, before this film was even begun! Instead, Wood used old unused footage of Lugosi in places and tried to incorporate them into the script. Bela was replaced, in parts which he had not filmed in advance, by a taller not-quite-a-look-a-like, holding his cape over his face and walking very slowly.

 So one scene, where Bela Lugosi attends a funeral and weeps is really not for 'Plan 9...' but they tried to write it in, making Vampira (real name Maila "Vampira" Nurmi) Bela's young wife. Got to hand it to Mr Lugosi,  however, that quivvering lip at his young wife's graveside was very touching!

The movie suffered from several issues; no cash, bad plot, bad acting, a conflict of baddies and genres, and scenes that didn't make sense.

I wonder why the airplane pilot and his wife consistently sit in their garden at night. Especially since their garden appears to look on to a graveyard! Don't they have a livingroom?

The space ships/flying saucers are more like hub caps on very visible strings. They're also described by the pilot as looking like cigars... Have you ever seen a saucer-shaped cigar? Didn't think so. No idea what that was about, unless they filmed that scene prior to sourcing the 'space craft'...

The 'aliens' are hilarious too. They are simply humans in shiny suits!

Generally, this film is really only watched by cult fans who wish to laugh at this terrible 'photoplay'. A genuinely terrible movie. I think a lot of 'Red Dwarf' fans would appreciate it though, when watching it,  you can't help but hear Kryton, and suspect that Ed Wood must of been taking the proverbial on some level!

By far the best thing about this film is Inspector Dan Clay (Tor Johnson, a Swedish wrestler!) who's 'zombie/ghoul' face is just the funniest thing!

The film is also narrated by "The Amazing" Criswell,  who as well as narrated terrible movies, was also a Psychic... although, not a very good one! He was real character, an eccentric who reportedly slept in a coffin. His narration is odd and his voice, I find, harrowing... however, it really made this movie what it is!

So, if you have 78mins to kill and want to not believe your eyes, have a gander at this film.

[Picture: Valiant Pictures]

Hani