» » План 9 из открытого космоса (1959)

Short summary

Evil aliens attack Earth and set their terrible "Plan 9" in action. As the aliens resurrect the dead of the Earth to destroy the living, our lives are in danger.
In California, an old man (Bela Lugosi) grieves the loss of his wife (Vampira) and on the next day he also dies. However, the space soldier Eros and her mate Tanna use an electric device to resurrect them both and the strong Inspector Clay (Tor Johnson) that was murdered by the couple. Their intention is not to conquer Earth but to stop mankind from developing the powerful bomb "Solobonite" that would threaten the universe. When the population of Hollywood and Washington DC sees flying saucers on the sky, a colonel, a police lieutenant, a commercial pilot, his wife and a policeman try to stop the aliens.

Trailers "План 9 из открытого космоса (1959)"

Contrary to popular belief, the detective who points his gun at himself several times did so deliberately. The actor was actually testing director Edward D. Wood Jr. to see if he would notice. Needless to say, Ed Wood didn't notice.

Bela Lugosi appears in footage shot just before his death, but with no script in mind. Edward D. Wood Jr. wrote the script to accommodate all the footage shot in a cemetery and outside Tor Johnson's house in the new production. Lugosi was doubled by Tom Mason, Wood's wife's chiropractor, who was significantly taller than Lugosi, and played the part with a cape covering his face.

Bela Lugosi's last film appearance. He died before the film was finished.

The film played for years in relative obscurity on late night television until 1980 when critic Michael Medved dubbed it the worst film ever made. Almost instantly, a cult classic was created.

Edward D. Wood Jr. always claimed that this film was his pride and joy.

According to Maila Nurmi, she would put on her Vampira makeup and costume at home and then take a bus to the Quality Studios soundstage where her scenes were filmed.

One of the legends about the production of this film was that Edward D. Wood Jr. used everything from automobile hubcaps to pizza pans to pie tins and even paper plates as flying saucers. The truth is that he bought a number of the Lindberg 1/48 scale "Flying Saucer" plastic model kits for use as props. One was modified with a wooden block, to represent the squared walled flying saucer set (the UFO seen landing in the graveyard).

Joanna Lee - who played the female alien - disowned any involvement in the film in later years.

When Gregory Walcott read the script, he told Edward D. Wood Jr. that it was the worst script he had ever read. He reluctantly signed on.

Funded by a Baptist church. Several members of the cast let themselves be baptized.

The company was able to get police cars and uniforms through Tor Johnson's son, Karl Johnson, an officer in the San Fernando Police Department, who also makes an uncredited appearance in the film.

Bela Lugosi supplied his own costume. He wore one of the capes he used when portraying Dracula on stage.

Maila Nurmi was paid $200 for her appearance in the film. She insisted that the character be mute as she didn't care for the dialogue.

Named 'Worst Film of All Time' in the book "The Golden Turkey Awards".

Footage from the same shoot that produced Bela Lugosi's performance in this movie was meant to be used to make another film, "The Ghoul on the Moon". When Edward D. Wood Jr. went to retrieve the film he found it had been ruined, so the new movie was scrapped.

Bela Lugosi's role in the film is listed in the credits as "The Ghoul Man". In Edward D. Wood Jr.'s screenplay it is called "the Dracula character".

The screenplay was written in less than two weeks.

Previewed as "Grave Robbers from Outer Space" at the Carlton Theater in Los Angeles on March 15, 1957, the film went into general release as "Plan 9 from Outer Space" in July of 1959, on a double bill with the British suspense thriller Time Lock (1957), which featured a pre-James Bond Sean Connery. The actual copyright for the film is 1957.

Although some saw the insertion of footage of the recently deceased Bela Lugosi into the film as exploitation, in his autobiography Edward D. Wood Jr. saw it as a homage to the actor. In the last few years of his life, Lugosi had become a firm friend of the director.

The scene where the military fires at the flying saucers is real military stock footage.

Copies of the original 35mm release prints are extremely rare. There were reportedly fewer than 20 release prints struck for the original release. As part of the distribution deal with the Distributors Corporation of America (DCA), producer J. Edward Reynolds had to pay for the release prints and advertising material.

After an argument with Edward D. Wood Jr., veteran makeup man Harry Thomas insisted that his name not be used in the film's credits. His assistant, Tom Bartholomew, received sole credit.

The DVD release of the colorized version of the film features an audio commentary track by comedian Michael J. Nelson of Таинственный театр 3000 года (1988) fame. The producers of the series at one point actually screened the film for airing on the show, but found it to have too much dialog to fit the show's format.

The film script seems to aim at making this an epic film, a "genre" which typically requires a big budget provided by a major film studio. That Ed Wood filmed the story with minimal financial resources underlines one of the qualities of his work: His ideas tended to be too expensive to actually put on film, and yet the director attempted them anyway.

The film opens with an introduction by Edward D. Wood Jr.'s friend, psychic Criswelll: "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! ...". At the time of filming, Criswell was the star of the KLAC Channel 13 (now KCOP-13) television series, "Criswell Predicts". The introduction could be an allusion to the opening lines of his show, but since no episodes of the television show are known to survive, a comparison is impossible. Another phrase of the introduction "Future events such as these will affect you in the future", served as a signature line for Criswell. He used it repeatedly in his newspaper and magazine columns, and probably his show as well.

The aliens obligingly fly by the ABC, CBS and NBC buildings in Los Angeles.

A video release, making note of the actor's death before production began, lists on the cassette box, "Almost Starring Bela Lugosi". This same box also touted the film as being "science fiction gold".

The film was colorized in 2006.

The film's original title was "Grave Robbers from Outer Space", but, supposedly, the Baptist ministers who financed the picture objected to it, so Edward D. Wood Jr. changed it to "Plan 9".

The scar worn by actor Tor Johnson had to be moved every day, as it caused severe skin irritation.

One of the locations used for the silent footage shot with Bela Lugosi was the home of co-star Tor Johnson.

The cemetery used for filming is the Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in Sylmar, CA. It still stands, although many of the grave stones were stolen or vandalized.

Much of the filming took place at an independent soundstage called Quality Studios. Though it hasn't been used as a soundstage for many years, the building still exists. It is located on Santa Monica Blvd. near Western Ave. The entranceway is located next to the Harvey Hotel.

The film contains a cautionary message from the aliens. The earliest use of this concept in film was probably in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and it had since seen frequent use in science fiction films. The idea was that the self-destructive behavior of humanity was the real threat, not any external source of danger.

J. Edward Reynolds, who headed the group of Baptist ministers financing the film, and associate producer Hugh Thomas Jr., played the gravediggers.

This film was shot in late 1956 and copyrighted in 1957. It took almost three years to find a distributor who would handle it.

What Maila Nurmi contributed to the film as the female ghoul was a "regal presence" and theatrical mannerisms. Her performance is reminiscent of a silent film actress. She credited Theda Bara as her main influence for the part.

John Breckinridge, who played the alien ruler, and his secretary David DeMering, who played Gregory Walcott's co-pilot, were cast in the film because they happened to be house-guests of actor Paul Marco at the time. Marco played Officer Kelton.

The narrator at some point starts claiming that "we" (the filmmakers) are bringing to light the full story and evidence of fateful events, based on the "secret testimony" of the survivors. The lines seem to emulate the style of sensational headlines in newspapers, and promise the audiences access to "lurid secrets" as if following the example of "True Confessions" and other similar magazines. The notion that a film or show could be based on true incidents and testimony would be familiar to a 1950s audience, because it was used in contemporary police procedurals such as Dragnet (1951).

Ranked #12 in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time."

Although trade publications announced the movie's general release in July 1959, distributor DCA had already made prints available to cinemas from June 1958 onwards, with the film playing on regular movie theatre bills in states as far afield as Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas during the 13 months prior to its supposed "general release".

Through Trent's initial conversation with his wife, the film introduces the notion of a government and military conspiracy to cover up information on documented UFO sightings. This notion was clearly influenced by the emergence and increased popularity of a UFO conspiracy theory. The implications concerning the public's distrust of the government were atypical for a 1950s American film. Anti-statist ideas were to become more popular in the 1960s, which is when the subject became "safe" for mainstream cinema.

Working titles: "The Vampire's Tomb" and "Grave Robbers from Outer Space"

The Pentagon office depicted includes a map of the United States with the sign of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. The same map appears in Bagdad After Midnite (1954), which was also filmed at Quality Studios; it was probably a standard prop used by the studio.

When the saucers are flying above Hollywood, nightclub marquees can be seen heralding Frances Faye and Eartha Kitt as headliner acts.

Leading actor Gregory Walcott was at the time a busy Hollywood contract player who attended the same Baptist church as executive producer J. Edward Reynolds.

Paul Marco got the surname for his character "Kelton the cop" from the street on which his agent lived.

Filming was done outside Tor Johnson's house in Sylmar, California.

Last film of Tom Keene.

In 1977, Glenn Danzig created his own independent record label to release his band The Misfits' music, originally called Blank Records, later renamed Plan 9 Records. The band's song "Vampira" is about the movie, including the lyric "Graverobbers from outer space," which was the film's original title.

As early as 1961, the film was already playing on TV.

At the time of the film's creation, David De Mering was the personal secretary and alleged lover of fellow cast member John Breckinridge. His inclusion in the cast was probably a result of this association.

The male alien Eros is apparently named after Eros, Greek god of love.

The "tombstones" in the cemetery were styrofoam and cardboard props. A couple of times during the film they can be seen bouncing or falling over when brushed by the passing actors.

The Woman in the Telephone Booth when the flying saucers are flying over Los Angles is the wife of J. Edward Reynolds, Pauline Reynolds.

Before appearing in this movie, Tor Johnson had been a professional wrestler. He can be seen plying his trade when a television broadcast of a match is shown on the orphanage's new television in Angels in the Outfield (1951).

Criswell wrote all of the film's narration himself, after judging the narration that Edward D. Wood Jr. had originally written for him to be too boring.

For the model of Eros' and Tanna's flying saucer a squared, corner section was added to the bottom of the model. The reason for this was so that it would later match the space ship entrance in the cemetery: which was angular instead of round due to budgetary limits.

The trailer is shown at Sci-Fi dine in theater in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resorts.

Due to its mixed use of stock footage, there is no technically correct aspect ratio in which this film can be shown. While the material shot for this film is framed for matted widescreen - and presenting the film at around 1.75:1 removes many of its visible errors - this in turn over-crops the stock footage, which was produced years earlier in 1.33:1.

To save money, the same shower curtain is used throughout the movie, including: as a door to the alien cockpit, to unveil the bomb, and once as a shower curtain.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Nicanagy
    While it thoroughly deserves its reputation as a film only worth seeing so that you can enjoy its remarkably amateurish production, on the other hand it seems a bit unfair to label "Plan 9 From Outer Space" as the worst film ever made. Most of it is quite watchable, it's not at all offensive, and the story - utterly ridiculous as it is - moves fairly quickly, and gives you some reasons to stick around to the end. Those qualities put it well ahead of a great many movies that cost a lot more to make and that involved many more recognizable names than you'll find in this cast.

    To be sure, almost everything about it is of amazingly poor quality, from the incompetent directing and acting to the slipshod special effects to the dialogue that produces countless unintentional laughs. The story is goofy, and uses ideas and devices that lack credibility even by sci-fi standards. Everyone who watches it has their own list of favorite examples of this film's complete ineptitude.

    If you have any interest in old movies, you should see this if you have the chance, as long as you can do so without paying for the privilege. It says something that so many viewers are still talking about it over 40 years after it was made, which is a lot more than will ever be said about most of the movies you could see in a theater today. Whether you will ever want to watch it again is an entirely different question, although there are those who have managed to enjoy watching this several times. Take a look for yourself and see what you think about this classic example of inept film-making.
  • comment
    • Author: Alsardin
    This is one of the best of the worst films of all time. When viewed with the right mindset it never fails to entertain. Poor production values, terrible acting, worse directing, and dialog that has to be heard to be believed, combine to create a cinematic gem.

    When speaking of bad movies, it is important to understand what is meant by "bad". There is good bad, and there is bad bad. Bad bad is a movie that combines all the elements listed above--bad acting, bad directing, etc.--to produce something that bores. Good bad combines the same elements in such a way that a highly entertaining movie is made, although not in the way the movie makers hope.

    "Plan 9" is not just good bad, it is brilliant bad. It is unintentionally hilarious, and that's as funny as it gets. This is a movie that has absolutely no redeeming qualities. Everything about it is bad. When George Romero made "Night of the Living Dead" he did it on the cheap, but still produced a film that was intense, scary, and had a point. "Plan 9" is nothing but bad, albeit in a wonderful way.

    As an example of bad production values, there is a scene where a police car is speeding away from headquarters. As the action begins it is broad daylight. The next scene is the car racing across the city. Now, however, it is night! Next is the car arriving at its destination, a cemetery, and again it is daylight. That is either one huge city, or somebody on the Plan 9 crew was asleep at the switch.

    "Plan 9" is so full of great badness that to detail all the goofs, flubs, and cheesiness would require remaking the entire movie. The cemetery is a weed-infested lot; an airline cockpit set is a shower curtain, some plywood and a couple chairs; a cop scratches his head with the business end of a gun barrel; the outside of the space ship has a ladder that goes nowhere; the plan itself, that is, plan number 9, makes no sense at all. And on and on and on...

    If you love movies, and want to consider yourself conversant in all genres of film, seeing at least one bad sci-fi movie is a must. "Plan 9" is the Hamlet of that genre. See it with a couple people who get it, and have a great time.
  • comment
    • Author: Vaua
    OK, I'm Deaf. There are no subtitles in this movie. Usually, I would turn it off after five minutes because there was too much talking.

    But this was different... it was hillarious even without dialogue. The hearing person I was watching it with told me that I could make up my own dialogue and it would be better. Now, I don't know how true that is, but any movie that I can watch without subtitles is a 10 in my book.

    Hillarious. :)
  • comment
    • Author: GODMAX
    Poor poor Plan 9: So bad people just watch it to laugh about how bad it is, yet this fundamental flaw pushes it above bad movies, and so it's stuck in between the bottom 100, and well, no where near the top 250...

    Anyway, back to the movie. It is as bad as you've no doubt heard. The scene changes from night to day to night, the spaceship is a hubcap (you can see the string it hangs from catch on fire at one point), I could do a better job acting, etc. ad nauseum. But it takes a hell of a lot to be almost universally considered the worst movie of all time, and here is Plan 9's true strength. There are many horrible of movies, but most of them are so bad because they are too bad to be truly bad, and therefore sink into mediocrity. Plan 9, however, has no redeeming quality's, and so it stands out. Few will recognise a movie such as "The Medallion," but every movie-goer knows Plan 9.

    As I said before, it takes a hell of a lot to be the worst. Because of this, Plan 9 is some of the most fun you'll EVER have watching a movie. Almost every scene is so bad I broke out laughing. Few other movies achieve that kind of humor, whether intentional or not. For that I give it a very intentional 10/10.
  • comment
    • Author: Mysterious Wrench
    For anyone that wants to make movies, Plan 9 is a must see. Not for it's lush style, great dialogue, fabulous production design, nor for the compelling performances given by the players. It doesn't have any of that. What it does have though, is poor production design, continuity gaps you can drive a space shuttle through, and writing that's so bad, it's amazing anyone had the nerve to show it. That is what makes it a must see.

    Ed Wood, Jr. was not talented, but he was determined. He did something that many extremely talented people have not done. He got it released. He wrote it, produced it and directed it. When his star, Bela Lugosi, died during filming, he still finished it. Not just this one either, he put out several films, and not one of them is any good.

    So for all of you aspiring Scorseses or Spielbergs, when the world gets you down, and you just don't know how you can get it done, when you feel like you've lost it, pop in "Plan 9". I bet you'll feel better.
  • comment
    • Author: romrom
    First things first - anyone who calls 'Plan 9 from Outer Space' "the worst movie ever made" needs to watch more movies! To me "the worst" would be one that was dull and has no entertainment value whatsoever. 'Plan 9' is the complete opposite of dull, and is it entertaining? You bet! It's still one of the greatest beer'n'pizza and have a bunch of your pals over movies ever made. Hell, it isn't even the most inept and bizarre movie Ed Wood ever made, that would still have to be 'Glen Or Glenda', which for some strange reason still doesn't have a tenth of the cult following 'Plan 9' does. Speaking of cult, in some ways 'Plan 9' is almost THE definitive cult movie if you consider that it virtually vanished without a trace when it was first released and it still lives on because it was subsequently rediscovered by thousands of enthusiastic movie nuts, collectors, journalists, cartoonists, rock musicians (e.g. The Damned), and other film makers (Joe Dante, Sam Raimi, Tim Burton). I think 'Glen Or Glenda' is Wood's most amazing achievement myself, but I still love 'Plan 9'. I've lost track of how many times I've seen it over the years. I wouldn't go so far as to say I have it memorized or anything, but it's always in the back of my mind. It's like part of the collective pop culture unconscious that I carry around with me at all times. As much as I love Bela Lugosi I think the three main reasons this movie is truly unforgettable (apart from the obvious - silly aliens, laughably bad dialogue and "those" flying saucers,etc.etc.) are Criswell, Vampira, and especially Tor Johnson. Any three of those people being involved would have made this something special, but all three! Man! This is trash heaven! It's hard to believe there's anyone left alive who hasn't already seen this movie, but if by some strange twist of fate you are one of the uninitiated, you MUST, I repeat MUST watch 'Plan 9' as soon as possible! And remember, my friends, future events such as these will effect YOU in the future!
  • comment
    • Author: Hra
    First of all, how could a film that has brought so much enjoyment to so many people be called "the worst film ever made"? I have seen major Hollywood products with major Hollywood stars and some of these films are impossible to sit through even once. "Dick Tracy" comes to mind, as does "Caligula." The very first time I saw "Plan 9" in a NYC revival house, just hearing Tor Johnson's struggle with English pronunciation and watching him wriggle out of the ground was worth the price of admission! It was probably the hardest I'd laughed in a movie theatre in many years. I don't know what kind of movie the actor who plays Eros thinks he's in, but he seems to be having a lot of fun. We all know that the comedy of the film was unintentional, then why do we laugh? We laugh because Mr. Wood does everything conceivable to mask his non-budget to give the illusion of a grand sci-fi-horror epic. And he does it with such unabashed gracelessness with so little concern for time continuity or any other kind of logic, that we laugh at just how absurd the medium of film can become, if used in incompetent hands. Ed Wood gives new meaning to the word "schlock." The cinematic legacy he has left to enjoy should be called "pop-schlock." If the point of the film is to ultimately entertain, this is one of the best films of all time, not the worst.
  • comment
    • Author: Captain America
    Plan 9 was made during the hysteria of Macarthyism. For this reason, there was a myriad of "invisible invaders" movies that permeated the landscape at the time Wood created this movie. While the script is flawed, the storyline one-dimensional, the special effects non-existent, stock footage galore, and the acting as cardboard as they come, this movie blends these aspects together in spectacular fashion. Had this movie had Tim Burton or the Zucker brothers names attached, and been released 20 or more years later, this movie might be considered one of the greatest spoofs ever made. There is so much to get caught up in, and so many different things to hit the rewind button for, that it may take upwards of 2 hours to get through this short film. This film is bad, but it could be argued that this film was created to be bad! From cut shots that move from midnight to midday and back again, to mattresses readily apparent as fall-aways, to the ever-popularly sighted man in the cape covering his face from the camera, this film has more Easter Eggs in it to search for than Oliver Stone has conspiracies.

    We sometimes forget that films are created to be enjoyable. We don't always need to have to ponder the meaning of existence after every feature. This is a film from within the era is seeks to mock. Every cliché is used. It's not quite a horror film, and yet holds some of the well-worn clichés of the genre. Same for the Sci-Fi genre. This is a film that rises above it's own limitations to entrench itself upon the cinematic landscape it seeks to make fun of. Remember, this is Ed Wood's idea of the greatest film he could create.

    This film has to be listed among mandatory viewing for anyone aspiring to work with the industry, as it is a mockery of both the big budget as well as the independent spirit.

    This is one film you will not soon forget, and for all the right reasons. Is it right to be so wrong? Or is it wrong to be so right? Is this film a great parody? A masterpiece of a spoof? Or was it genuinely trying to be as good as it possibly could? This is all up to debate. The fact remains, your time viewing this film will seldom be thought of as a supreme waste.

    A masterpiece? Maybe. The worst film of all time? Absolutely not.
  • comment
    • Author: FLIDER
    What can I say! This is not a "1" or a "10" movie... and neither it deserves any grade in between. It's simply a guilty pleasure for me... watching the absurd sights... listening to the amazingly inept dialogue, worthy of George Lucas' "Episode II" (maybe it's a bit better ;), watching Bela Lugosi freeze for a couple of frames, then being replaced by someone else...

    No, it's not the worst film ever made. No, it's not the best one, either. It is the testament of someone who wanted to leave his mark, made an honest effort to deliver the goods (Ed Wood, of course), and instead delivered a strange mix that works because it makes us perfectly identified with him. As in "if I made a movie, I'd surely make one as bad / good / unintentionally funny as this one".

    Yep. Ed Wood is one of us. Long live "Plan 9" and his misunderstood director.
  • comment
    • Author: Asher
    Often considered the worst movie of all time, Plan 9 From Outer Space does boast tombstones that are made of cardboard and tip over during the movie, it does feature one shot of Bella Legosi that is reused over and over and over, it does show a cop scratching an itch on his head with his gun, and stars a Swedish wrestler as a California cop, but it is not the worst movie of all time because the story is not that awful. The first 8 plans by aliens from some planet that doesn't really matter fail, so they employ their ninth plan for taking over Earth. At least I think they are taking over Earth, they say they are taking over Earth to save the Earthlings. All I know about the aliens is that they are dedicated to their cause, you would have thought they would have given up taking over Earth after 6 tries. You will have a good chuckle during the movie with the cheesy special effects and the silly acting and cheap props, but the entertainment value does make it better than some movies out there. Maybe 2 or 3 movies, at least. For more on the background to this movie and why it turned out the way it did, check out the 1994 film Ed Wood, and you will appreciate this film, at least a little more.
  • comment
    • Author: Ygglune
    Ed Wood must have been a fascinating man. He had a burning drive and ambition to succeed in the film industry, yet his creative and directorial talents were infantile.

    Plan 9 is his most famous film and has become a cult favourite. The film is an example of extreme amateurism which creates an assortment of unintentionally funny scenes. It's truly amazing this film managed to be funded and released to the public (then again, The Swarm was too …).

    Within Plan 9's ridiculous and convoluted story are a number of silly subplots due to the fact that Ed had such a variety of interesting an un-related footage which he really, really wanted to use in the one film. One needs to pay close attention to understand everything that's going on in this mess (although, when you do understand everything that's going on, you may wish you'd have remained ignorant!)

    Plan 9 has heaps of priceless quirks: hub-cap flying saucers, idiotic dialogue, the last gasp of the great Bella Lugosi, and the luscious Vampira (who apparently would have breached an existing contract if she uttered a word in Plan 9).

    One of the most interesting aspects of Plan 9 is the great variation in performance techniques by the actors. Some speak their lines like they know the script is idiotic while some speak their lines like they don't understand them (which is possible because some of the dialogue uttered by the bumbling aliens doesn't make any sense). But my favourite character is the airline captain played by Gregory Walcott.

    Greg's a real trooper and attempts to take his role very, very seriously despite the constant lunacy around him. How did he remain so professional? Did he imagine his role in Plan 9 would lead to greater things?

    Although Ed Wood has been voted by the US film industry as the worst director in history, he lives on as a kind of cult anti-hero. As a director then, he has achieved a level of lasting success.

    6/10 – For fun value.
  • comment
    • Author: Bludsong
    There is a scene in Tim Burton's Bio-flick/homage to Ed Wood where the director bumps into Orson Welles in a Hollywood watering hole-in-the-wall, and gets a brief spirit-lifting speech from the great one about remaining true to your vision and not letting the clerks and backers (who ARE clerks, regardless where they live or what fate finds them doing for a living) get you down. Maybe we should have to look at that scene before watching this film.

    If Plan Nine is awful, it is probably so precisely because it IS so grandly ambitious. --If all ambition cannot culminate in a Citizen Kane or a Vertigo, maybe it gives us a moment to mourn quietly for the rest of us, the ones who worship genius –as Ed Wood no doubt did– without being geniuses ourselves. Bottom line, no matter what cards you get, you can laugh or you can cry at life. Ed Wood put on nylons and pumps and, making sure his seams were straight, marched into the fray of life like a true Hero Born. He stuck incongruous, obvious stock footage into his magnum opus, knowing the poetry would arise from the montage; he improvised long stretches, fully certain he would get the same results Welles could working under similar circumstances; he tried valiantly to coax performances out of wretched actors, or fatally self-conscious non-actors, like Criswell and Vampira, and put them in no matter how their work turned out ("No time to re-shoot!"). No matter what, you have to admire his staying in the game.

    VanGogh is perhaps the best case scenario of a loser who cranked away, certain he was onto something, who is lucky enough to have the entire world one day concur. Ed Wood's is, sadly, the more often played scenario. He is positive attitude, high ambition and wishful thinking, unsupported. He was certain he was onto something. He could not have been more wrong about anything if he had tried to be.

    Oh yeah baby. "Ich bin ein Ed Wood."
  • comment
    • Author: Thundershaper
    IMHO, Plan 9 is a fantastic film. Sure, it's completely ridiculous, and everything is cheap and nasty with no thought for quality of set design, special effects or really anything that happens in front of the camera- but that's what makes it so special. It's the ultimate corny, silly 50's sci-fi/laughable horror movie.

    I watched this film after seeing Tim Burton's biographical film Ed Wood, who wrote, directed and produced Plan 9 from Outer Space. Having "seen" the hilarious making of Plan 9 while watching Ed Wood meant watching the real Plan 9 was immensely enjoyable, as you could pick up on all the arcane humour from Tim Burton's great film.

    Be sure to watch the documentary "Flying Saucers over Hollywood: The Plan 9 Companion" which is on the Plan 9 DVD. While it probably rates as the worst documentary of all time (bad sound, bad lighting, bad jokes, and more...) it has interviews with the real Vampira and other cast and crew from Plan 9. A must for Plan 9/Ed Wood fans.
  • comment
    • Author: black coffe
    Compared to the garbage that fills the theaters and direct-to-video tapes of today, Plan 9 is actually pretty good by today's (much lowered) standards. Sure, it's done on a cheap budget, the script is horrible, the dialogue achingly bad, and the actors untalented. But heck, that just means Plan 9 would go direct to video today, and Cinemax would be hyping it as their Friday Premiere two months later. At least Woods seems to be _doing_ something, and trying to convey some kind of message. Go down to the video store and pick out a few direct-to-videos, and see if most modern-day auteurs can claim as much.
  • comment
    • Author: Moralsa
    When I need an amusing diversion, nothing helps quite like watching one of those dreadful 50's sci-fi flicks: "Teenagers From Outer Space", "The Brain From Planet Arous", or my personal favorite: "The Giant Claw". Ed Wood's infamous "Plan 9 ..." is a good choice too. Criswell, in his sing-song voice, cracks me up every time I hear him intone: "Future events such as these will affect you in the future."

    I can forgive "Plan 9..." for some of its, let us say ... "imperfections": anthropomorphic aliens who speak English; women aliens who wear lipstick; the hammy, sophomoric acting; the dime store special effects ... But there's really no excuse for a mickey mouse script. You get the feeling that the film was put together by a quarrelsome committee of third graders, and aimed at an audience of chimpanzees.

    Criswell drones on: " ... the secret testimony of the miserable souls who survived ...". And later, a VO intones: "The ever beautiful flower she had planted with her own hands became nothing more than the lost roses of her cheeks." Evidently, Wood saw no need to hire a script editor.

    And yet, specifically because of its technical crudeness, "Plan 9 ..." is fun to watch. We may not want to admit it, but the film gives us viewers a chance to feel superior to Ed Wood; we get to conjecture that even we could make a film that has more credibility than ... that.
  • comment
    • Author: Andriodtargeted
    I watch about 10 to 30 films a month, from mainstream to independent features, and what qualifies as a great film, to me, is its ability to capture my attention every time I watch it. Granted, this movie wasn't well written, and granted, this film was poorly acted, and granted, if this were any other film with any other cast, it would probably really suck, but remove any element from the film as it stands, and it falls short of perfection. Be it by accident or be it on purpose, this piece of cinematography is pure genius. This is a film worth seeing with friends; trust me, you'll be the life of the party if you dig this film from the vaults.
  • comment
    • Author: Wel
    What are all these people moaning about? I've rarely had more fun while watching a movie as I had with Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space. Besides, most criticism goes out to the lousy scenery and the goofy decors. Well excuse Mr. Wood for not disposing over a huge budget or funds! He did what he could and sure, the jet cockpit looks amateurish and the Pentagon-offices have the image of being build by a kindergarten-crew but so what? I have a lot more respect and sympathy for this film than for those over-budgeted, uninspired blockbusters! Like in ALL of his films, Ed Wood proves that he's full of good intentions, creativity and a strong will to proceed and purchase his dreams. The only thing you can reproach him here, is the silly and pointless screenplay. Aliens are desperately seeking contact with humanity and in their ninth attempt to achieve this, they even resurrect the dead. Why?!? To make humans aware of their existence and to figure as prophets with a message. This is where the silliness comes in. But it all remains pure fun, all the time! What also makes this film legendary is the fact that it contains the last on-screen appearance by Bela Lugosi. Lugosi died during filming and another guy in a Dracula outfit who constantly hides his face behind a cape (!) replaces him. Am I the only one who thinks this subtle cast-change is absolutely charming and nicely tried? Vampiria and Tor Johnson are credited as main performances but all the have to do is stumble around and look ghoulishnot a difficult thing to do if you have the posture of Tor Johnson. Overall, Plan 9 from Outer Space remains the absolute top-recommendation to watch with a group of people when there's beer and snacks.
  • comment
    • Author: Doomwarden
    I really love this movie, I have seen it so many times, spotting all the mistakes. But I love it, it entertains, it's funny. Ed Wood was a good film maker, because he made movies because he loves doing it, not because he wanted to make money. The way he made his movies was amazing, the things he went through, he was a legend. I love this movie so much it's in my DVD collection. 10/10 from me!!!! Ed Wood rules!!
  • comment
    • Author: Quamar
    Say what you will about it, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE is not the worst movie ever made. It is, however, the most incompetent, with unbelievable ineptitude seeping from its every orifice. And that's what makes it fun.

    The "plot" concerns aliens and their you-can-see-the-strings-attached flying saucers seeking (gasp!) domination of Earth. To help them in their evil quest, they borrow a page from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD by raising the dead from their graves to serve as a zombified army. Now it's up to hapless earthlings - led by moronic police, clichéd army officials and feeble-minded airplane pilots - to stop them.

    The storyline serves as little more than a front for the pure anti-genius of director Ed Wood to shine through. The most famous quirk is the employment of Bela Legosi as a star. Legosi, bless his heart, died three years before the film's release. No matter, said Wood, who sought to base his low-budget creation around a few scant minutes of unused silent footage of the horror icon. Wood is to be commended for his ambitious, if not inappropriate, attempt. What really makes the illusion crumble is Legosi's hilariously obvious stand-in, who, not blessed with much resemblance to the deceased actor, compensates by inexplicably covering most of his face with a cape.

    The Legosi gimmick may get all of the attention, but the truth is PLAN 9 would have been just as horrendous without it. Take the dialog, which must be heard to be believed. When a laser ray suddenly morphs Legosi's zombie into a skeleton, a bystander is heard to note, "He wasn't like that a minute ago!" Very observant. Then there's the head alien henchman, smirkingly reminiscent of a '50s TV announcer, who tries hard but is about as convincing as Pauly Shore as Al Capone. "You're all stupid... stupid, stupid!" he tells the earthlings during an unimpressive temper tantrum. (Thankfully one of the good guys then proves how intelligent we really are... by punching the alien's lights out!).

    Other absurdities abound. There are times when it appears Wood had to stop the camera so he could think of what to do or have the characters say next. A woman being chased by the zombies "trips" over nothing not once, but twice. Presumably sturdy tombstones fall over. After being brought back to life, burly Inspector Clay can't climb out of his grave. Policemen belittle a woman for not wanting to be alone with murderous creatures roaming the grounds. The same footage of Legosi walking out of the graveyard is used over and over again. No other film has given the viewer such little credit. Wood simply shrugged his shoulders at the glaring errors and must have thought, "Well, heck, who pays attention to these things?"

    What really allows PLAN 9 to succeed (to some degree) despite itself is the fact that it's so damn innocent. It doesn't seem Wood was trying to be campy; he really thought he had a winner. To his eternal credit, he did create something truly memorable, just not in the way he intended.
  • comment
    • Author: Mora
    Well, at least I finally this "famous" movie. It took me a long time but so many people have said "it was so bad that it was good" I finally gave it a shot. Previously, I settled for enjoying the Tim Burton "Ed Wood" film, which is very good and tells the story of the making of this movie.

    Well, I agree "Plan 9" is bad and, yes, perhaps, "the worst movie of all time" as many label it, but I'm sure there are worse ones out there. Really! I've seen worse (usually the "B" sci-fi movies of the '50s, too!)

    I loved the first third of this film. I laughed many times at the hokey flying saucers, the walking "dead" and the corny dialog. I thought, "Wow, this was a bad (meaning good) as advertised," but then I found the film starting to lag at the 35-40-minute mark and recovered a little bit in the end, but not enough to make me want to watch this again. It got too talking and too preachy. Holy cow, this movie is nothing but preaching for everyone to take "flying saucers" seriously. Then we got more preaching at the end about the usual how- violent-mankind-is" blah, blah, blah. The writers here obviously took themselves too seriously. They should have just kept it as sci-fi/horror flick without all the heavy-handed preaching.

    Highlights included Tor Johnson's face, the many lines of ridiculous dialog, Vampira's zombie walk with her outstretched hand, and Criswell's incredible speeches and the beginning and end of the movie! All of the above made me laugh almost every time!
  • comment
    • Author: Zinnthi
    Clearly this is a very difficult film, judging from the multitude of critics that have failed to comprehend its intricate fabric of multi-layered symbolism and rich, evocative imagery. That Ed Wood was an authentic American genius is altogether beyond dispute; and like most geniuses, he has continued to be subjected to the rancorous attacks of tiny minds unable to grasp the sheer enormity of his conceptions. That those conceptions, so lovingly crafted and nurtured to fruition, were largely ignored by the hormone-crazed drive-in theater audiences to which they were usually consigned, might have claimed the sanity of a lesser man. But for the peerless and indomitable Wood it was always truly "arse gratia artis," and it was this passionate commitment to artistic perfection that set him apart from his contemporaries. Even the inscrutable Federico Fellini was apparently so moved by Wood's work that he was reported to have cried out from his death-bed: "Merda! Son Morto!" Certainly there can be no greater tribute than this, from one dying artist to another.

    "Plan 9 From Outer Space" is unquestionably the shining centerpiece of Wood's creative efforts. From the incisive opening comments by the impeccably urbane Criswell, we are transported into an unparalleled realm of cinematic poetry. The perpetually fog-shrouded cemetery is a metaphor for the murky depths of the human soul, while its cardboard tombstones evoke the fragility of man's earthly fame, even as the rapid transitions from day to night proclaim the transience of his earthly existence. And moving silently in the midst of this cosmic desolation, the always elegant Vampira is like the primal earth mother, gathering her wandering children to her bosom, while the brooding figure of Bela Lugosi strides endlessly to and fro, wrapped in unanswerable questions.

    Veteran Swedish actor Tor Johnson (fresh from a string of triumphant performances as Charles the Wrestler in the Stratford Festival production of "As You Like It") is a standout in the technically demanding dual role of Inspector Daniel Clay/Fat Zombie. Who else could have injected such pathos, dignity and depth of meaning into such seemingly trivial lines as "I'm a big boy now, Johnny"--who but the man that (on two separate occasions) graciously declined the part of Antonius Block in "The Seventh Seal," thereby effectively launching the career of his hitherto unknown countryman, Max von Sydow? And who else could have risen so magnificently from the grave as a symbol of man's eternal quest for redemption and resurrection (a theme which is carried forth in the subtle Grail connotations conjured up by the Arthurian garb of the alien leader)? However, in the end, it is Wood's acerbic wit that propels this film to true greatness. Boldly rejecting the vision of his contemporaries (born of human vanity) that superior aliens would actually wish to conquer and possess our ridiculous little planet, Wood shows us that the only aliens that would waste their time on such an unpromising venture would have to be even more ridiculous. Hence he presents us with aliens who, having presumably bungled their way through eight previous plans for world conquest, have arrived at the ninth without even grasping the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs. Their supposedly superior technology is constantly malfunctioning, most of their pilots appear to be flying while intoxicated, and they actually have to tie strings to their flying saucers so they can find their way home again. (Sadly, many unperceptive critics have dismissed these brilliant satirical touches as mere shoddy special effects.) Little wonder, then, that the ninth plan fares no better than any of its predecessors. In a burst of flame, the aliens are gone, and it is just as if they had never been. One may well imagine that the fire that consumes their spacecraft travels all the way up the string to their home planet, and incinerates the whole dreary lot of them (thus effectively bringing to pass their own worst fear). The earth continues on its sad course, seemingly impervious to Criswell's final, angst-ridden plea for divine aid, and we are left with the distinct impression that (contrary to the mindless optimism of the fifties) all may not be well, after all.
  • comment
    • Author: Damdyagab
    "Plan 9 from outer space", the worst film ever made. Who dares to utter such pathetic schlock. This film is definitely somewhere among my favorite films. It's the inspiration for just about every Mel Brooks spoof I would say, only it's a million times better because it is intended seriously. Ed Wood is the king, he deserves 20 oscars, he has done more for cinema than Cecil B. DeMille or the Coen brothers. He deserves the same kind of recognition as Orson Welles, and maybe even more. I am not going to give away any of the story of this film, I don't want to spoil it for you. But remember, don't watch this film as a "bad film", watch it as a thigh-slappingly funny comedy. And respect Ed Wood with all your mite, the genius. Enjoy! 10/10
  • comment
    • Author: Sadaron above the Gods
    Although this movie got famous for having the reputation of "the worst film ever made" I really do disagree. Sure there are many continuity mistakes including shots shifting between day and night in the same scene and the unrealistic dialog and silly looking sets but it all adds to the fun. The story revolves around UFO sightings happening in a Los Angeles town. The police and eventually the army step in to blast them out of the sky but can't hurt them. The martians who run the UFO'S look and sound like regular people but with silly uniforms. Their mission is to release "Plan 9" on the humans which is a plan involving bringing the dead to life to get everyones attention. The martians want to bring peace to earth by communicating with the humans but all the humans want to do is destroy the UFO'S making it hard for a peace talk. How this weird plan is supposed to work to bring peace is silly in itself. There are so many mistakes and silly scenes in the movie I would take up too much space writing it all. When Gregory Walcott, one of the lead actors, read the script, he told director Ed Wood it was the worst script he ever read but he needed the work. Bela Lugosi appears in some footage shot just before his death with no project in mind. Ed incorporated it in this movie so he can include him in the film. Lugosi was doubled by Tom Mason, Woods Wife's chiropractor, who was inches taller and played the part with a cape covering most of his face. The movie stars Wood regulars Paul Marco and Conrad Brooks. This movie reinforces my belief that the only bad film is a boring film!
  • comment
    • Author: Lbe
    In California, an old man (Bela Lugosi) grieves the loss of his wife (Vampira) and on the next day he also dies. However, the space soldier Eros (Dudley Manlove) and her mate Tanna (Joanna Lee) use an electric device to resurrect them both and the strong Inspector Clay (Tor Johnson) that was murdered by the couple. Their intention is not to conquest Earth but to top mankind from developing the powerful bomb "Solobonite" that would threaten the universe. When the population of Hollywood and Washington DC sees flying saucers on the sky, a colonel, a police lieutenant, a commercial pilot, his wife and a policeman try to stop the aliens.

    I belong to a generation that worships the Japanese "National Kid", my hero when I was six years old. Therefore, I was raised watching trash movies (LOL). "Plan 9 from Outer Space" is the masterpiece of Edward D. Wood Jr., a.k.a. Ed Wood, a man without talent that loved cinema.

    "Plan 9 from Outer Space" is totally lame: the screenplay is messy, with characters that do not have any development; the lines are awfully silly and stupid; there is an absolute lack of continuity, and sometimes the shot begins in the night, the next scene is in the sunlight and then it is night again. The scenarios are very poor and it is funny to see crosses shaking in the cemetery and other errors. But the performances are the funniest part of this film, with unbelievable ham actors and actresses. In one of the last scenes, it is hilarious to see the Colonel Tom Edwards (Tom Keen) with hands on the pocket; the police Lieutenant Harper (Duke Moore) with a gun on his hand; Paula and Jeff Trent embracing each other and the policeman with a stupid face watching the flying saucer burning on the sky.

    Ed Wood did not have producers or sponsors so his budget was extremely low. Therefore he could not afford to lose any shot and he used footages from the studios, like for example the sequence when the three flying sources are bombed by the army. Another example is the footages of Bela Lugosi, who was drug-addicted, forgotten and poor in 1956, and died three days after the beginning of the filming of "Plan 9 from Outer Space". Ed Wood used a substitute actor that partially covers his face with a cloak since he was not alike Bela Lugosi. I do not recall how many times and the dates when I had seen this film, but yesterday I saw it again on DVD. My vote is ten.

    Title (Brazil): "Plano 9 do Espaço Sideral" ("Plan 9 from Outer Space")
  • comment
    • Author: Vivaral
    I give it full rate of points due to unvilling comedy apperance. It is so bad made that it will stand forever as an example. STRANGE that it is worth to see just for that reason but it is.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Gregory Walcott Gregory Walcott - Jeff Trent
    Mona McKinnon Mona McKinnon - Paula Trent
    Duke Moore Duke Moore - Lt. Harper
    Tom Keene Tom Keene - Col. Edwards
    Carl Anthony Carl Anthony - Patrolman Larry
    Paul Marco Paul Marco - Patrolman Kelton
    Tor Johnson Tor Johnson - Inspector Clay
    Dudley Manlove Dudley Manlove - Eros
    Joanna Lee Joanna Lee - Tanna
    John Breckinridge John Breckinridge - Ruler
    Lyle Talbot Lyle Talbot - Gen. Roberts
    David De Mering David De Mering - Danny
    Norma McCarty Norma McCarty - Edith
    Bill Ash Bill Ash - Captain
    Lynn Lemon Lynn Lemon - Reverend (as Reverend Lynn Lemon)
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