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Classic Hollywood: Science Fiction Movies - Plan 9 From Outer Space

Updated on April 19, 2011

Plan 9 From Outer Space

Unspeakable Horrors From Outer Space Paralyze The Living And Resurrect The Dead!

Plan 9 From Outer Space holds the dubious honor of the worst movie ever made. Written and directed by Edward D. Wood Jr. it is the story of aliens with an evil plan. They've come to earth to commandeer a cemetery and resurrect an army of vampires and zombies. But airline pilot Jeff Trent is on hand to save his wife from this fate and in turn save the world.

This movie was originally titled Grave Robbers From Outer Space and it was Bela Lugosi's last movie. The scenes with Lugosi in it were from an unfinished film called Tomb of the Vampire. When Lugosi died, Wood took the scenes and used them in Plan 9. Lugosi's part was filled in by Wood's chiropractor. The good doc kept his face covered by his black cape so as not to give away the fact that he was Lugosi.

Shot on an extremely low budget, the film is filled with obvious flaws. Most of the scenes were shot in one take and were unedited. In the opening scene, the string the flying saucer was suspended from is clearly visible. The tombstones in the cemetary are made of cardboard and move when the actors brush by them.

Because of the poor script, bad acting and laughable special effects, Ed Wood was posthumously awarded the Golden Turkey Award for worst director ever.

Plan 9 From Outer Space
Plan 9 From Outer Space

Opening narration by Criswell

Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?

Plan 9 From Outer Space

Classic Hollywood Science Fiction Movies
Classic Hollywood Science Fiction Movies
Plan 9 From Outer Space
Plan 9 From Outer Space

Plan 9 From Outer Space was colorized and re-released on DVD in 2005. The DVD features a black and white version of the movie with running commentary by Michael J. Nelson from Mystery Science Theater 3000. It also included is a skit by Nelson about failed plans 1 through 9 and a home movie clip of Wood doing a striptease.

Johnny Depp

Ed Wood
Ed Wood

Edward D Wood Jr.

Writer and director of Plan 9 From Outer Space.
Writer and director of Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Johnny Depp in Ed Wood

Ed Wood's career was documented in the Tim Burton film, Ed Wood staring Johnny Depp. The film covered Wood's career during the 1950's. During this time he, made Glenn or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 From Outer Space. Depp's performance gives us a quirky transvestite with a passion for film making and close friendship with Bela Lugosi.

The real Edward D. Wood Jr. was at best a hack, but had a passion for film-making that carried him much farther than he should have gone. Despite the critical disaster of his films, he persevered, but never reached any level of success. His films were rediscovered in the 1980's mostly due to the Golden Turkey Award, making him more popular than he ever was when he was alive. Wood was best known for his cross dressing and his affection for angora. He was however a devout hetrosexual and was married until his pre-mature death at the age of 54. He died penniless shortly after being evicted from his apartment.

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