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Poor poor Plan 9: So bad people just watch it to laugh about how bad it
is, yet this fundamental flaw pushes it above bad movies, and so it's
stuck in between the bottom 100, and well, no where near the top 250...
Anyway, back to the movie. It is as bad as you've no doubt heard. The scene changes from night to day to night, the spaceship is a hubcap (you can see the string it hangs from catch on fire at one point), I could do a better job acting, etc. ad nauseum. But it takes a hell of a lot to be almost universally considered the worst movie of all time, and here is Plan 9's true strength. There are many horrible of movies, but most of them are so bad because they are too bad to be truly bad, and therefore sink into mediocrity. Plan 9, however, has no redeeming quality's, and so it stands out. Few will recognise a movie such as "The Medallion," but every movie-goer knows Plan 9.
As I said before, it takes a hell of a lot to be the worst. Because of this, Plan 9 is some of the most fun you'll EVER have watching a movie. Almost every scene is so bad I broke out laughing. Few other movies achieve that kind of humor, whether intentional or not. For that I give it a very intentional 10/10.
This is one of the best of the worst films of all time. When viewed
with the right mindset it never fails to entertain. Poor production
values, terrible acting, worse directing, and dialog that has to be
heard to be believed, combine to create a cinematic gem.
When speaking of bad movies, it is important to understand what is meant by "bad". There is good bad, and there is bad bad. Bad bad is a movie that combines all the elements listed above--bad acting, bad directing, etc.--to produce something that bores. Good bad combines the same elements in such a way that a highly entertaining movie is made, although not in the way the movie makers hope.
"Plan 9" is not just good bad, it is brilliant bad. It is unintentionally hilarious, and that's as funny as it gets. This is a movie that has absolutely no redeeming qualities. Everything about it is bad. When George Romero made "Night of the Living Dead" he did it on the cheap, but still produced a film that was intense, scary, and had a point. "Plan 9" is nothing but bad, albeit in a wonderful way.
As an example of bad production values, there is a scene where a police car is speeding away from headquarters. As the action begins it is broad daylight. The next scene is the car racing across the city. Now, however, it is night! Next is the car arriving at its destination, a cemetery, and again it is daylight. That is either one huge city, or somebody on the Plan 9 crew was asleep at the switch.
"Plan 9" is so full of great badness that to detail all the goofs, flubs, and cheesiness would require remaking the entire movie. The cemetery is a weed-infested lot; an airline cockpit set is a shower curtain, some plywood and a couple chairs; a cop scratches his head with the business end of a gun barrel; the outside of the space ship has a ladder that goes nowhere; the plan itself, that is, plan number 9, makes no sense at all. And on and on and on...
If you love movies, and want to consider yourself conversant in all genres of film, seeing at least one bad sci-fi movie is a must. "Plan 9" is the Hamlet of that genre. See it with a couple people who get it, and have a great time.
For anyone that wants to make movies, Plan 9 is a must see. Not for it's
lush style, great dialogue, fabulous production design, nor for the
compelling performances given by the players. It doesn't have any of that.
What it does have though, is poor production design, continuity gaps you
drive a space shuttle through, and writing that's so bad, it's amazing
anyone had the nerve to show it. That is what makes it a must
Ed Wood, Jr. was not talented, but he was determined. He did something that many extremely talented people have not done. He got it released. He wrote it, produced it and directed it. When his star, Bela Lugosi, died during filming, he still finished it. Not just this one either, he put out several films, and not one of them is any good.
So for all of you aspiring Scorseses or Spielbergs, when the world gets you down, and you just don't know how you can get it done, when you feel like you've lost it, pop in "Plan 9". I bet you'll feel better.
While it thoroughly deserves its reputation as a film only worth seeing so
that you can enjoy its remarkably amateurish production, on the other hand
it seems a bit unfair to label "Plan 9 From Outer Space" as the worst film
ever made. Most of it is quite watchable, it's not at all offensive, and
the story - utterly ridiculous as it is - moves fairly quickly, and gives
you some reasons to stick around to the end. Those qualities put it well
ahead of a great many movies that cost a lot more to make and that involved
many more recognizable names than you'll find in this cast.
To be sure, almost everything about it is of amazingly poor quality, from the incompetent directing and acting to the slipshod special effects to the dialogue that produces countless unintentional laughs. The story is goofy, and uses ideas and devices that lack credibility even by sci-fi standards. Everyone who watches it has their own list of favorite examples of this film's complete ineptitude.
If you have any interest in old movies, you should see this if you have the chance, as long as you can do so without paying for the privilege. It says something that so many viewers are still talking about it over 40 years after it was made, which is a lot more than will ever be said about most of the movies you could see in a theater today. Whether you will ever want to watch it again is an entirely different question, although there are those who have managed to enjoy watching this several times. Take a look for yourself and see what you think about this classic example of inept film-making.
First of all, how could a film that has brought so much enjoyment to so many people be called "the worst film ever made"? I have seen major Hollywood products with major Hollywood stars and some of these films are impossible to sit through even once. "Dick Tracy" comes to mind, as does "Caligula." The very first time I saw "Plan 9" in a NYC revival house, just hearing Tor Johnson's struggle with English pronunciation and watching him wriggle out of the ground was worth the price of admission! It was probably the hardest I'd laughed in a movie theatre in many years. I don't know what kind of movie the actor who plays Eros thinks he's in, but he seems to be having a lot of fun. We all know that the comedy of the film was unintentional, then why do we laugh? We laugh because Mr. Wood does everything conceivable to mask his non-budget to give the illusion of a grand sci-fi-horror epic. And he does it with such unabashed gracelessness with so little concern for time continuity or any other kind of logic, that we laugh at just how absurd the medium of film can become, if used in incompetent hands. Ed Wood gives new meaning to the word "schlock." The cinematic legacy he has left to enjoy should be called "pop-schlock." If the point of the film is to ultimately entertain, this is one of the best films of all time, not the worst.
What can I say! This is not a "1" or a "10" movie... and neither it deserves
any grade in between. It's simply a guilty pleasure for me... watching the
absurd sights... listening to the amazingly inept dialogue, worthy of George
Lucas' "Episode II" (maybe it's a bit better ;), watching Bela Lugosi freeze
for a couple of frames, then being replaced by someone
No, it's not the worst film ever made. No, it's not the best one, either. It is the testament of someone who wanted to leave his mark, made an honest effort to deliver the goods (Ed Wood, of course), and instead delivered a strange mix that works because it makes us perfectly identified with him. As in "if I made a movie, I'd surely make one as bad / good / unintentionally funny as this one".
Yep. Ed Wood is one of us. Long live "Plan 9" and his misunderstood director.
Plan 9 was made during the hysteria of Macarthyism. For this reason,
there was a myriad of "invisible invaders" movies that permeated the
landscape at the time Wood created this movie. While the script is
flawed, the storyline one-dimensional, the special effects
non-existent, stock footage galore, and the acting as cardboard as they
come, this movie blends these aspects together in spectacular fashion.
Had this movie had Tim Burton or the Zucker brothers names attached,
and been released 20 or more years later, this movie might be
considered one of the greatest spoofs ever made. There is so much to
get caught up in, and so many different things to hit the rewind button
for, that it may take upwards of 2 hours to get through this short
film. This film is bad, but it could be argued that this film was
created to be bad! From cut shots that move from midnight to midday and
back again, to mattresses readily apparent as fall-aways, to the
ever-popularly sighted man in the cape covering his face from the
camera, this film has more Easter Eggs in it to search for than Oliver
Stone has conspiracies.
We sometimes forget that films are created to be enjoyable. We don't always need to have to ponder the meaning of existence after every feature. This is a film from within the era is seeks to mock. Every cliché is used. It's not quite a horror film, and yet holds some of the well-worn clichés of the genre. Same for the Sci-Fi genre. This is a film that rises above it's own limitations to entrench itself upon the cinematic landscape it seeks to make fun of. Remember, this is Ed Wood's idea of the greatest film he could create.
This film has to be listed among mandatory viewing for anyone aspiring to work with the industry, as it is a mockery of both the big budget as well as the independent spirit.
This is one film you will not soon forget, and for all the right reasons. Is it right to be so wrong? Or is it wrong to be so right? Is this film a great parody? A masterpiece of a spoof? Or was it genuinely trying to be as good as it possibly could? This is all up to debate. The fact remains, your time viewing this film will seldom be thought of as a supreme waste.
A masterpiece? Maybe. The worst film of all time? Absolutely not.
Often considered the worst movie of all time, Plan 9 From Outer Space does boast tombstones that are made of cardboard and tip over during the movie, it does feature one shot of Bella Legosi that is reused over and over and over, it does show a cop scratching an itch on his head with his gun, and stars a Swedish wrestler as a California cop, but it is not the worst movie of all time because the story is not that awful. The first 8 plans by aliens from some planet that doesn't really matter fail, so they employ their ninth plan for taking over Earth. At least I think they are taking over Earth, they say they are taking over Earth to save the Earthlings. All I know about the aliens is that they are dedicated to their cause, you would have thought they would have given up taking over Earth after 6 tries. You will have a good chuckle during the movie with the cheesy special effects and the silly acting and cheap props, but the entertainment value does make it better than some movies out there. Maybe 2 or 3 movies, at least. For more on the background to this movie and why it turned out the way it did, check out the 1994 film Ed Wood, and you will appreciate this film, at least a little more.
When I need an amusing diversion, nothing helps quite like watching one
of those dreadful 50's sci-fi flicks: "Teenagers From Outer Space",
"The Brain From Planet Arous", or my personal favorite: "The Giant
Claw". Ed Wood's infamous "Plan 9 ..." is a good choice too. Criswell,
in his sing-song voice, cracks me up every time I hear him intone:
"Future events such as these will affect you in the future."
I can forgive "Plan 9..." for some of its, let us say ... "imperfections": anthropomorphic aliens who speak English; women aliens who wear lipstick; the hammy, sophomoric acting; the dime store special effects ... But there's really no excuse for a mickey mouse script. You get the feeling that the film was put together by a quarrelsome committee of third graders, and aimed at an audience of chimpanzees.
Criswell drones on: " ... the secret testimony of the miserable souls who survived ...". And later, a VO intones: "The ever beautiful flower she had planted with her own hands became nothing more than the lost roses of her cheeks." Evidently, Wood saw no need to hire a script editor.
And yet, specifically because of its technical crudeness, "Plan 9 ..." is fun to watch. We may not want to admit it, but the film gives us viewers a chance to feel superior to Ed Wood; we get to conjecture that even we could make a film that has more credibility than ... that.
I really love this movie, I have seen it so many times, spotting all the mistakes. But I love it, it entertains, it's funny. Ed Wood was a good film maker, because he made movies because he loves doing it, not because he wanted to make money. The way he made his movies was amazing, the things he went through, he was a legend. I love this movie so much it's in my DVD collection. 10/10 from me!!!! Ed Wood rules!!
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