Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Credentials: 3.7 out of 10 ( / 65% Certified Fresh ( / Named Worst Film of All Time in the book “The Golden Turkey Awards” / Directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr., widely regarded to be the Worst Director of All Time
Plot: Apparently plans 1-8 didn’t go over too well for a group of suspiciously human looking aliens. Good thing they had this little ditty in their pocket: take over the planet by reanimating Earth’s recently dead--- one at a time, mind you. Their technology is good, but let’s not get carried away. While their plan gradually gets put into effect, the aliens pass the time by squabbling amongst themselves and dive-bombing the home of the World’s Most Annoying Couple.
Thoughts: I’ve said it before: it’s impossible to really hate an Ed Wood movie. The man dreamed big and by God, that's worthy of our respect. It’s just unfortunate his dream far exceeded his talent or budget.
                “Plan 9” might as well have been called: “Everything you ever wanted to know about Ed Wood, but were afraid to ask.”
                It’s his opus. His crowning achievement.

                His notorious lack of attention to detail. His trademarked clunky writing. The equally clunky effects. His fondness for stock footage. It’s all, I guess perfected is the word, in “Plan 9.”
                There’s a lot to love about the movie and most of it comes from Wood’s maniacal passion for what he was doing. The man just loved making movies.
                Heck, the story in “Plan 9” isn’t even all that bad. Sure it borrows liberally from other, better Sci-Fi films of the time, most notably “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”
                Wood’s problem really wasn’t story. The man had no ear for dialogue. Somehow, he never quite grasped how human beings--- or aliens in this case--- communicate. Also, he had a passionate love for narration, which is all a very dangerous combination.
                The less words the better, is what I’m trying to say.
                There’s a ton of fascinating, to me at least, pop culture stories behind the making of the movie.
                Like the fact that all of Bela Lugosi’s scenes were shot with NO script in mind. Wood just had his friend Bela walk around in a cape for a little while. Then, after Bela’s death, Wood wrote a movie around the “scenes” he already had.
                On that note: the acting includes some of the most wooden and emotionless performances known to man. 
                The biggest losers of the whole mess were Gregory Walcott and Mona McKinnon as the aforementioned annoying couple. Walcott plays a head strong pain in the butt, who shows no concern when faced with the possible destruction of the universe. His wife is a shrill and unnecessary wet blanket. With humans like that, how could you not root for the aliens?
                Former professional wrestler and constant Wood companion, Tor Johnson actually gets lines in this movie. Although his thick accent renders them all unintelligible.
                As for the effects? Wood allegedly purchased a series of children’s model kits ( to portray the film’s flying saucers.                    
                My favorite special effect gaffe/ proof of Wood’s inattention to detail: when the UFO is on the ground, it’s a square. All perfect right angles. In the air? Traditional saucer shape. No one noticed this!?
                Also, keep an eye out during the cemetery scenes for the flimsy tombstones which are in constant danger of tipping over.  

Sweet, I love predictions...
Man: Shhh... honey don't move... there's a vampire standing next to you.
Wife: Don't be stupid. He's not a vampire. If he was, he'd be all sparkle-ly. Duh.
Eat your heart out, James Cameron
Notice the corner... so much for flying "saucer."
Alright, we'll settle this by having the dumbest person from our planet fight the dumbest person from your planet. Readysetgo!
What!? Where was the stinkin' prediction? Riiiip... Why hire a psychic and just have him read a bunch of copy? I want cold hard prognostications! Give me some numbers to play. At least tell me if I'm going to run into a bear anytime soon...

Places You Shouldn't Point Your Gun

                There it goes. Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space!”
                Bumblebee tuna.

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