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Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) Poster

Trivia

Bela Lugosi appears in footage shot just before his death, but with no script in mind. Edward D. Wood Jr. wrote the script to accommodate all the footage shot in a cemetery and outside Tor Johnson's house in the new production. Lugosi was doubled by Tom Mason, Wood's wife's chiropractor, who was significantly taller than Lugosi, and played the part with a cape covering his face.
Named 'Worst Film of All Time' in the book "The Golden Turkey Awards".
Contrary to popular belief, the detective who points his gun at himself several times did so deliberately. The actor was actually testing director Edward D. Wood Jr. to see if he would notice. Needless to say, Ed Wood didn't notice.
The company was able to get police cars and uniforms through Tor Johnson's son, Karl Johnson, an officer in the San Fernando Police Department, who also makes an uncredited appearance in the film.
Footage from the same shoot that produced Bela Lugosi's performance in this movie was meant to be used to make another film, "The Ghoul on the Moon". When Edward D. Wood Jr. went to retrieve the film he found it had been ruined, so the new movie was scrapped.
Bela Lugosi's last film appearance. He died before the film was finished.
After an argument with Edward D. Wood Jr., veteran makeup man Harry Thomas insisted that his name not be used in the film's credits. His assistant, Tom Bartholomew, received sole credit.
According to Maila Nurmi, she would put on her Vampira makeup and costume at home and then take a bus to the Quality Studios soundstage where her scenes were filmed.
Bela Lugosi's role in the film is listed in the credits as "The Ghoul Man". In Edward D. Wood Jr.'s screenplay it is called "the Dracula character".
One of the legends about the production of this film was that Edward D. Wood Jr. used everything from automobile hubcaps to pizza pans to pie tins and even paper plates as flying saucers. The truth is that he bought a number of the Lindberg 1/48 scale "Flying Saucer" plastic model kits for use as props. One was modified with a wooden block, to represent the squared walled flying saucer set (the UFO seen landing in the graveyard).
Previewed as "Grave Robbers from Outer Space" at the Carlton Theater in Los Angeles on March 15, 1957, the film went into general release as "Plan 9 from Outer Space" in July of 1959, on a double bill with the British suspense thriller Time Lock (1957), which featured a pre-James Bond Sean Connery.The actual copyright for the film is 1957.
Funded by a Baptist church. Several members of the cast let themselves be baptized.
To save money the same shower curtain is used throughout the movie as a door to the alien cockpit, to unveil the bomb, once as a shower curtain, and several other times.
Bela Lugosi supplied his own costume. He wore one of the capes he used when portraying Dracula on stage.
Copies of the original 35mm release prints are extremely rare. There were reportedly fewer than 20 release prints struck for the original release. As part of the distribution deal with the Distributors Corporation of America (DCA), producer J. Edward Reynolds had to pay for the release prints and advertising material.
When Gregory Walcott read the script, he told Edward D. Wood Jr. that it was the worst script he had ever read. He reluctantly signed on.
Although trade publications announced the movie's general release in July 1959, distributor DCA had already made prints available to cinemas from June 1958 onwards, with the film playing on regular movie theatre bills in states as far afield as Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas during the 13 months prior to its supposed "general release".
The cemetery used for filming is the Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in Sylmar, CA. It still stands, although many of the grave stones were stolen or vandalized.
The scar worn by actor Tor Johnson had to be moved every day, as it caused severe skin irritation.
The DVD release of the colorized version of the film features an audio commentary track by comedian Michael J. Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988) fame. The producers of the series at one point actually screened the film for airing on the show, but found it to have too much dialog to fit the show's format.
When the saucers are flying above Hollywood, nightclub marquees can be seen heralding Frances Faye and Eartha Kitt as headliner acts.
Much of the filming took place at an independent soundstage called Quality Studios. Though it hasn't been used as a soundstage for many years, the building still exists. It is located on Santa Monica Blvd. near Western Ave. The entranceway is located next to the Harvey Hotel.
One of the locations used for the silent footage shot with Bela Lugosi was the home of co-star Tor Johnson.
Leading actor Gregory Walcott was at the time a busy Hollywood contract player who attended the same Baptist church as executive producer J. Edward Reynolds.
Paul Marco got the surname for his character "Kelton the cop" from the street on which his agent lived.
The aliens obligingly fly by the ABC, CBS and NBC buildings in Los Angeles.
The film's original title was "Grave Robbers from Outer Space", but, supposedly, the Baptist ministers who financed the picture objected to it, so Edward D. Wood Jr. changed it to "Plan 9".
A video release, making note of the actor's death before production began, lists on the cassette box, "Almost Starring Bela Lugosi". This same box also touted the film as being "science fiction gold".
This film was shot in late 1956 and copyrighted in 1957. It took almost three years to find a distributor who would handle it.

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