aka Grave Robbers From Outer Space
79 min., 1959
Written by Edward D. Wood Jr.
Directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.
My rating: ★★
It’s not the worst movie ever made, but it isn’t a great movie either.
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Our movie starts with a Narrator (Criswell) telling us that what we are about to see is based on accounts given by survivors of the incident. We then switch to some people around a grave and the narrator telling us about an old man (Bela Lugosi) who has just lost his wife and how devastated he is. Two grave diggers start working, then they hear a strange sound and we see the old man’s wife (Vampira) as she “attacks” them. We then switch to a pilot, Jeff Trent (Gregory Walcott), flying a commercial plane when there is a sudden flash and him and his co-pilot sees a flying saucer. From there the old man ends up killing himself and he is also brought back from the dead and an Inspector (Tor Johnson) is also brought back. It turns out that aliens are using their ninth plan (hello title) to use the reanimated corpses of the recently deceased to defeat (?) the human race. How can the human race survive against aliens and zombies?
The acting of the movie is actually pretty good, well more okay. Gregory Walcott is really good in his role as Jeff. I don’t know if it’s his aggression because he had to partake in this movie, but when he gets upset you can really feel it. Mona McKinnon who played Jeff’s wife, Paula also does a pretty darn good job. There are parts where she doesn’t seem to know exactly what to do or feel, but considering the plot and script it’s not hard to understand why. The rest of the cast are okay. The three main draws of the movie, Vampira, Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson have pretty much no dialogue and spend most of their time with their arms out, like they are about to grab someone and Bela is acting like Dracula most of the time (even when played by Tom Mason).
Now the effects of the movie are one of those things of legend. They are supposed to be just over-the-top bad and extremely cheesy. Too bad for me they really weren’t that bad especially for the day. Don’t get me wrong in thinking that they are great, they aren’t by any stretch of the imagination, but they aren’t the worst that I’ve ever seen. “Oh but you can see the wires.” Is that really your argument that this is the worst movie ever? How about the modern movies where it is painfully obvious that something is CG? Isn’t that the same as seeing a wire? To me it is. So the effects are bad, but there are a whole lot worse out there.
What can be said about Plan 9 that hasn’t been said before? How about it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be? Yes it is a bad movie and the acting, effects and overall sets are pretty rotten, but I’ve seen a whole lot worse that has come out before and after Plan 9. I think a lot of it comes with the “awards” shows that dubbed it the worst and then toss in the Tim Burton movie Ed Wood and that made Plan 9 look even worse. It’s like an urban legend where it started off as a bad movie but through word of mouth and some bad reviews it all of a sudden turned into the worst movie ever made. I’ll just name five movies that I find worse than Plan 9, and these movies should have learned from past mistakes of other directors but they failed to. If you can sit through these movies and think that they are better than Plan 9, there must be something wrong with you. In no particular order, Vapid Shallow Models Must Die, Nights And Weekends, The Beast Of Yucca Flats, Grace and anything by Michael Bay (directed by or produced by). You know what? The problem is that there are always going to be fans for any movie (somehow Funny Games got an American remake) so saying that these movies are worse is really just a matter of opinion. So I am challenging anyone out there that thinks that this is the worst movie ever. YOU make your own movie (full length not a five minute short), written by you (so no remakes or taking it from a short story/novel) and with an almost nonexistent budget and send it to me. If you can do a better job I will admit that Plan 9 is the worst movie. The ball is now in your court.Have You Read...?