‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’: Ed Wood’s golden turkey

What do you get when you combine a severe lack of talent, a shoestring budget and a penchant for hubcaps? Why, you get one of the cinema’s most infamous and terrible (but delightful) creations, of course.

“Plan 9 from Outer Space” (1959), or, as the narrator erroneously calls it, “Grave Robbers from Outer Space,” is an old-school sci-fi train-wreck directed by Ed Wood, one of Hollywood’s favorite punching bags. It tells the story of aliens from an unknown world resurrecting the dead in an attempt to stop humanity from developing the “Solobonite,” a weapon capable of destroying the universe and the intrepid humans who stop them.

Yeah, it’s as terrible as it sounds.

Hammy acting, a god-awful script, unforgivably bad special effects and the worst props we’ve ever seen all conspire to deliver unto the viewer an occasionally hilarious experience.

The movie starts off with the most off-key narrator we’ve ever heard, who doesn’t really seem fit to be narrating anything really, and ends with the same narrator whose hair is equally off-key. But sandwiched in between is where the real movie magic happens, the plurality of which seems to occur in the least convincing graveyard imaginable.  

Maila Nurmi (better known as Vampira) and Tor Johnson wreak havoc on people as zombies who the aliens control with “electrode-guns,” which makes sense given the plot. What doesn’t make sense, however, is Bela Lugosi’s character, who is undead as well but seems to think he’s a vampire instead of a zombie.

Then again, you don’t hire Bela Lugosi to play a zombie.

Meanwhile, in nearby Hollywood, sightings of hubcaps on strings are reported, which are passed off in the film as UFOs. What could these flying hubcaps want from the innocent people of Hollywood? Perhaps they merely seek to adorn their cars? Perhaps some fly new rims?

Don’t get us started on the aliens themselves. We’re willing to let the fact that they speak English slide, but the fact that they look and behave EXACTLY like humans wearing mismatched glittery silver frocks with costumes oddly reminiscent of a Renaissance fair is a little beyond ridiculous. And, given their supposed massive intelligence, they are outmatched by a couple of morons (yes, given their dialogue we think it’s safe to say that).

This movie is so laughably bad that it seems fair to award it a ranking of 4 cages. It’s a good time from start to finish, and roasting everything about this movie with a beer in hand makes for a good time. This movie has rightfully earned its place among the genre’s most beloved bad movies.

Featured Writer: Jared Kirk

Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon, Google Play

Cage O’Meter: img_0014-8img_0014-8img_0014-8img_0014-8

 

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