Updated: Oct 9, 2019
The past few days I've been fighting off a head cold from Hell, so today I decided to curl up on the couch with my puppy and a cup of honey chamomile tea for something a little more lighthearted. Today's movie is Ed Wood's prototypical "bad movie" Plan 9 From Outer Space!
Plan 9 opens with a "prediction" by the "psychic" Criswell before transitioning into stock footage of late horror icon Bela Lugosi shot by Wood before the star's death. Lugosi plays an old man attending his wife's funeral only to be killed in an automotive accident soon after. Both the old man (played alternately by Lugosi and Tom Mason) and his wife (played by late night horror host Vampira) rise from their shoddily constructed graves to kill gravediggers and a police detective played by pro wrestler Tor Johnson. Like the old man and his wife, the detective is resurrected by extraterrestrials as part of "Plan 9," a means of conquering the earth through the resurrection of the dead, in order to stop humanity from destroying the universe in their never-ending quest for destructive power.
Let me start off by saying that if you go into this movie taking it seriously, you're not going to enjoy it, because your "stupid, stupid minds" won't comprehend Ed Wood's screwball genius. Is the movie bad? Oh, Christ... it's fucking abysmal! But that's why it's so damn much fun! Nearly every frame holds some hilarious tidbit for eagle-eyed viewers to cackle over, be it the policemen scratching their heads and wildly gesticulating with their service revolvers, or wobbling gravestones, or wooden workbenches aboard the alien's UFO.
Despite the slapdash construction of the sets and the actors' blatant inexperience, you can tell that both the cast and crew gave it their all. They set out to make a damn movie, and that's exactly what they did! You have to admire Wood for his tenacity and ingenuity in how he stitched this film together. And of course, he gave us one last "performance" from the amazing Bela Lugosi, and for that we owe him our thanks.
If you're in the mood for some spooky silliness, give this one a shot, and then watch the Ed Wood biopic directed by Tim Burton for a look at the creation of this film.