Plan 9 From Outer Space


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Plan 9 From Outer Space
"A wonderful testament to the idea that anyone can make movies, even if they have absolutely no talent at all."

Plan 9 From Outer Space is widely considered to be the very worst film ever made, and when you watch it, you'll see why. But it's also one of the funniest, and one of the most lovable. It's a wonderful testament to the idea that anyone can make movies, even if they have absolutely no talent at all.

Made on a desperately low budget, with flying saucers purchased from a local toyshop and only curtains to serve as spaceship doors, this is the story of a group of aliens who arrive on Earth and start digging up graves, terrifying the local population. They're raising the dead as zombies - but why? What is the secret that forced them to resort to the terrible Plan Nine?

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Director Ed Wood Jr wanted his aliens to be as scary as possible, so he drew on the talents of two of his most famous regular accomplices: Bela Lugosi and Vampira (mostly scary for her 15-inch waist). Unfortunately Lugosi died before filming was complete - this is a poignant swansong - and the actor Wood found to replace him was a head shorter. He got around this by having him hold his cloak up over his face (with no explanation given) for the rest of the film. It helps that most of the graveyard scenes are shot in the dark; unfortunately, other outdoor sets are permanently in daylight, and the actors stroll back and forth between them apparently oblivious to the peculiar behaviour of the sun.

Given all this, it's really rather amazing that Wood managed to complete the film at all, let alone get it released. But what he lacked in talent, he more than made up for in passion and determination. It is this passion, and the fact it's all played absolutely straight, that makes Plan 9 compelling viewing. One star for quality; five for fun.

Reviewed on: 07 Mar 2009
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Plan 9 From Outer Space packshot
Alien grave robbers arrive on Earth in what is widely believed to be the very worst film of all time.
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Director: Edward D Wood Jr

Writer: Edward D Wood Jr

Starring: Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Duke Moore, Tom Keene, Carl Anthony, Carl Anthony, Tor Johnson, Vampira, Bela Lugosi

Year: 1959

Runtime: 79 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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If you like this, try:

Ed Wood: Vol 2
Ed Wood