Plan 9 from Outer Space
Plan 9 from Outer Space is a 1959 Ed Wood science fiction horror movie. It was originally titled Grave Robbers from Outer Space, but it was renamed because that title (as well as much of the original dialog) was considered to be "sacrilegious" by its religious funders. It is widely regarded as a leading candidate for the worst movies ever made.
The plot involves aliens who come to Earth to stop humans whom they fear will develop the ultimate weapon—one that can explode the "particles" of sunlight and ultimately destroy the universe. The aliens try to conquer Earth by resurrecting corpses from a cemetery. At the end of the movie, the aliens are defeated, presumably leaving humanity free to develop the universe-destroying weapon.
Television psychic Criswell introduces and narrates the movie in a cliché style that neatly matches Wood's stilted dialogue. It is actually possible to see his eyes moving as they read the cue cards in the introduction and conclusion.
Actors screw up their lines—Wood did not have time for retakes—night turns to day and back in a single scene, and the movie's best-known guest-star is an actor who died early in the filming (Bela Lugosi). Lugosi appears in a few silent scenes in the beginning and middle of the movie, one of which is repeated during the film. Later in the film, Lugosi's character is portrayed by a taller, younger, blond-haired man: Kathy Wood's (Ed Wood's wife) chiropractor Dr. Tom Mason (who helped finance the film) holding a cape over his face.
Almost all of the movie takes place on small, unconvincing sets. The interior of the alien spaceship contains wooden tables, nondescript pieces of electronic equipment, a Jacob's ladder similar to the one used in the 1931 Frankenstein, and a warning flasher used by roadway crews. The cockpit of an airliner is represented by a small, featureless room with a curtained doorway.
The special effects consist of model UFOs purchased from a local hobby store, Cadillac hubcaps, and stock footage. (Wood originally used toy UFOs from a hobby store for the flying saucers, but the shop soon ran out of the toys and Wood used hubcaps from then on. He prided himself on this fact: "...'Plan 9' is my pride and joy. We used Cadillac hubcaps for flying saucers in that.")
The movie has a "campish" or cult film popularity among those who appreciate bad movies. Such appeal is heightened by quotable lines such as, "Inspector Clay is dead — murdered — and somebody's responsible!", and "Visits... that would indicate visitors!".
"Sometimes a movie achieves such legendary status that it can't quite live up to its reputation. Plan 9 from Outer Space is not one of these movies. It is just as magnificently terrible as you've heard. Plan 9 is the story of space aliens who try to conquer the Earth through resurrection of the dead. Psychic Criswell narrates ('Future events such as these will affect you in the future!') as police rush through the cemetery, occasionally clipping the cardboard tombstones in their zeal to find the source of the mysterious goings-on.
More than just a bad film, Plan 9 is something of a one- stop clearinghouse for poor cinematic techniques: The time shifts whimsically from midnight to afternoon sun, Tor Johnson flails desperately in an attempt to rise from his coffin, and flying saucers zoom past on clearly visible strings.
Fading star Bela Lugosi tragically died during filming, but such a small hurdle could not stop writer-producer-director Ed Wood. Lugosi is ingeniously replaced with a man who holds a cape across his face and might as well have 'NOT BELA LUGOSI' stamped on his forehead.
Plan 9 is so sweetly well- intentioned in both its message and its execution that it's impossible not to love it. And if you don't, well, as Eros says, 'You people of Earth are idiots!'" --Ali Davis Amazon.com.