Movie Review – Plan Nine from Outer Space

1958 Valiant Pictures
One Star
Entertainment Value!

Five Stars

“The saucers are up there and the cemetery’s out there but I’ll be locked up in there.” With dialogue like that how can you go wrong?
That is only one example of the absolutely terrible writing that is the signature of Ed Wood’s “classic” films. Plan Nine is without doubt one of the worst movies ever made but for some reason it’s entertaining in a weird way. It has all the elements that go into the making of a bad film: Terrible actors, a dead actor, a chiropractor pretending to be the dead actor, cheap sets, bad dialogue, laughable special effects, and an inattention to detail that makes it extra special.
Plan Nine starts off with the psychic Criswell speaking of terrible and evil events, as he speaks your eyes will be drawn to his claymation hairdo and you will not be able to look away…freaky! After that the story really fails to kick in as stiff aliens from outer space bring the dead back to life in an attempt to save the universe from human idiocy.
Please note the fine use of shower curtains as backdrops for various sets, the way day turns to night several times in the span of a few minutes. These little things make Plan Nine a treasure to behold. I for one was fascinated by the scenes of people standing in the 12 x 12 foot cemetery set with the really cheesy looking headstones and dead branches sticking out of the ground.

This is pretty much the whole cemetery set. Most impressive.

Who needs more than a table and assorted junk to conquer the universe? Not these aliens.

Well actually you need a snazzy outfit as well and these are snazzy indeed.

Vampira, Tor Johnson, and the chiropractor give special and understated performances as the former corpses brought back to life. I was very impressed with the choice of clothing for Vampira’s burial outfit, nothing like a bit of cleavage to lighten up a funeral. The last footage ever filmed of Bela Lugosi is used to maximum effect. I almost cried when he walked out of a scene and the sound of a car crash was badly inserted to tell us of his terrible fate. I almost cried but decided to giggle instead. Poor Bela, he never seemed to get a break later in his career.

She may be dead but gravity still can’t conquer Vampira.

In addition to the fine set design and acting I have to say the special effects are very special; the flying saucers dangling on their strings are a nice change from the more stable, in-control saucers usually seen in movies.

Until Star Wars came along many a movie had better special effects than this.

There are just so many little treasures to be found in this movie. Plan Nine is a must watch for bad movie fans.

Do you dare watch Plan Nine From Outer Space?


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