Flying Saucers Over Hollywood: The 'Plan 9' Companion (Video 1992) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
11 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
chriswgallagher30 December 2001
This film alone was worth the price of the DVD it shares with "Plan 9 from outer space." See the locations used,hear members of Wood's "stock company" talk of him! See Ed Wood actually directing scenes from a Grade Z western!!And,it answers once and for all just what did Ed Wood use for the flying saucers??Who could ask for more?
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Well-Done Tribute/Documentary
BaronBl00d26 September 2000
Plan Nine From Outer Space has been hailed by many as the worst picture ever made. Despite this critical disfavor, it has a huge cult following that led to a revival of interest in the work of Ed Wood, Bela Lugosi, Vampira, Criswell, etc... and perhaps even to the production of Tim Burton's Ed Wood...a homage to the film and its makers. This video chronicles the film's history by looking at the script, the lives of Wood and company in detail, the place the film was made, make-up, and other sundry aspects of its pre-production, production, and post-production. Many of the people in the film are interviewed, and we get first-hand accounts on what is was like to work for Edward D. Wood Jr. I found the video to be very thorough in its purpose, highly entertaining, and most informative. In many ways it is a tribute to Wood himself and his unflinching desire and drive to make movies despite his obvious lack of talent and other shortcomings. If you like movie history and lots of information of the behind-the scenes variety then I strongly recommend The Plan Nine Companion for you.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
selfparody17 March 2005
Watching this movie made me seriously rethink my obsession with Ed Wood. Sure, I think his movies are hilarious(except when he tried to be in the 70's,) but his end was too tragic for me too really enjoy the flicks at face value anymore. Many of the people in this movie have very unhealthy obsessions, so the freak factor practically matches GATES OF HEAVEN (Both in California) when it comes to Ed Wood (I still find it hard to believe that such a fanatically nerdy performance could come from the seemingly at least semi-competent Sam Raimi) To summarize, the movie makes me think "What if actual Trekkies had made TREKKIES?" Note: the movie looks like it was made for public access television.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
See it!!
DeborahPainter85511 August 2004
This documentary is the perfect companion for PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. The producers tracked down everyone they could find who had worked on the film, such as Harry Thomas, the makeup genius who tells the story of how he made up Tor Johnson; the lovely Maila Nurmi, still lovely, very well spoken and extremely intelligent; and Conrad Brooks, who played a cop in the original Wood film.

The documentary looks at the impact PLAN 9 has had on our culture, and the events that led to its "re-discovery" years after its rather uneventful debut at movie theaters and drive-ins. It even interviews Sam Raimi and shows him doing a superb Groucho Marx imitation recreating the day Tor Johnson showed up on his quiz show, YOU BET YOUR LIFE.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A wonderful, revealing, and amusing documentary...
mentalcritic17 December 2001
Ask a hundred people what the greatest film of all time is, and you may just get a hundred different answers (personally, my vote is with RoboCop). Ask a hundred people what the worst film of all time is, however, and there's a good chance that most of them will say the one title: Plan 9 From Outer Space. It's all too easy to bash the film and describe how patently awful it is, but Flying Saucers Over Hollywood does something that sets it apart from documentaries about "classic" films: it takes a truly awful subject and treats it with great respect.

When film critics, filmmakers, film school teachers, actors, and anyone else with insight to offer, in this documentary are interviewed, it is clear from the outset that while they appreciate just how many errors and flaws are in Plan 9, they respect Ed Wood for having got the damned thing made. As one interviewee says, the difference between Ed Wood and the people who seriously put him down is that in spite of his total lack of any resources one would consider conducive to filmmaking, he made these films. Not only do we get to see Ed Wood as a filmmaker and the struggles he endured in the process of his work, we also get some insights into the truly bizarre characters who made up his stock company. Getting to see who Vampira, Criswell, and Tor Johnson were outside of Ed's films makes this documentary worth the price of admission by itself.

By far the most amazing part of the documentary, however, is seeing how Plan 9 rose from being a discarded, forgotten piece of B-movie trash to the king of all cult films. Seeing a few samples of the dedicated cadre of followers it has, and hearing what they have to say, is garanteed to put a smile on the face of anyone who loves film. This is how a documentary should be done: with a love of the subject matter, and just a dash of self-deprecating humour. Hats off to the people who got it made.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Cheap production values, just like Ed would have wanted
This is an interesting and thorough documentary. My only real complaint is it's almost total disregard for quality in it's production. It's like watching a student video. However, this is true to the aesthetic of Plan 9 itself, so I suppose they truly are companions.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good but probably is better if you don't know the story of Ed Wood and Plan Nine
dbborroughs11 September 2007
This 1992 documentary is included on one of Image Entertainments releases of Plan 9. Covering not only the making of the film it also deals with the life and times of Ed Wood. Containing a good number of interviews with the surviving cast we get a good idea what it was like to know and work with Ed. There are also interviews with critics and directors (Sam Raimi and Joe Dante) who talk about Ed and his film in the usual contexts of their lives and influence of others. Running close to two hours this film is 35 to 40 minutes longer than the movie it documents. While for the most part this is a breezy and informative documentary its simply too long a film for the subject it covers (hell its ten minutes shorter than Tim Burton's Ed Wood and that covered more material). Almost an hour in an I found my attention started to drift. While I did make to the end I found I ended up using it more as radio on the TV rather than as a documentary to watch. To be fair I'm not sure if the disinterest was do to the film itself or simply knowing a good deal about Ed Wood and the movie already. Worth a look if you run across it (actually one of the Starz movie channels does run it from time to time), but not worth searching out unless you've never seen anything on the film or Ed Wood.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The best Ed Wood Documentary ever
Powers-9837 September 2004
I own all of the Ed Wood Documentaries.

1-Look Back In Angora 2-On The Trail Of Ed Wood 3-The Haunted World Of Ed Wood 4-Flying Saucers Over Hollywood/Plan 9 Companion

This is by far the best Ed Wood documentary of them all. No other documentary takes you on a tour of places like Quality studios (Where plan 9 was filmed) Or Yucca flats (The apartments where Ed spent his last days) It even visits Tor Johnson's old house where Bela Lugosi filmed his last scenes for Plan 9. Seeing the places that Ed Wood lived and worked was fascinating for me. I've been reading about these places and hearing about them in stories for many years now, it's very cool to actually see what they look like.

Unlike the other films that take a short peek at each of Ed's movies, this one spends less time on Glen or Glenda, Bride of the monster etc...And focus's on Ed Woods opus "Plan 9 from outer space" It takes a close look at the film with behind the scenes stories from the stars of Plan 9. Plus plays clips of the movie, pointing out the mistakes as they happen on screen. Of course they couldn't show all of them...They would need another 2 hours to do that.

I have been a fan of Ed Wood, ever since I first saw Tim Burtons film "Ed Wood" with Johnny Depp and Martin Landau (Oscar winner for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi) Although Tim Burtons vision of Ed Wood was a bit candy coated, I've learned that after further study of Ed from Reading about his life, and watching his movies. The cool thing about "The Ed Wood Story/Plan 9 Companion" is it seems to tie everything I've read or watched about Ed, together. I don't mind the poor production quality, MY GOD, I'm an Ed Wood fan, it's sort of sacrilegious to pay attention to silly details like that. It's a great tribute to Ed Wood and his horrible Masterpiece "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Oh and the soundtrack...The two original songs for the documentary are truly awful, and totally hilarious!!! I highly recommend this movie to everyone. If you love Ed Wood you'll love him more...If you've never heard of Ed Wood, You'll want to learn more.

I also would like to recommend "Nightmare Of Ecstacy, The Life And Art Of Edward D. Wood Jr." A Book By Rudolph Grey. The Tim Burton "Ed Wood" movie was based on this book. It's a must for every Ed Wood aficionado.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Badly made and disjointed but has its moments
preppy-38 September 2008
Low budget documentary. It's all about Ed Wood Jr. and his "masterpiece" "Plan 9 from Outer Space". It briefly covers his childhood and his other movies but goes into great detail about "Plan 9". It goes into how it was developed, how he got the cast, how it was shot, its distribution, reception and how it gained cult status. There are interviews with surviving cast members (Vampria is the most amusing) and very long sections about Wood's relationships with Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson and Criswell.

This has a lot of fun, valuable information about the movie but it's far too long. "Plan 9" is a silly movie and spending two solid hours paying homage to it is overkill. Also the budget for this was obviously criminally low. It's flatly directed and scenes wander all over the place. Still, fans of the movie will love this and it IS sometimes interesting. I give it a 7.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good, but not brilliant
bazmitch2331 October 2013
The biggest problem with this doc is that it's supposed to be focused on Plan 9. But instead we get things about the lives of Ed Wood, Bela Lugosi, Vampira and Tor Johnson. There's a little too much focus on those people rather than Plan 9.

If actual documentaries were made about Wood, Johnson, Lugosi and Vampira on their own, that would be great. But we want to see the making of Plan 9 and we don't care about these overlong mini docs on the said people.

Because this is a doc made in 92 and shot on video, it feels kind of cheap and out of date. It feels like a doc made from a BETA video camera with bad sound. If the people who made this doc shot it on film, it would be as good as "The Making Of The Wizard Of Oz" doc made back in 1990.

Did we really need to see an overlong opening title sequence where a man in the background is playing with the ships on strings. The music we hear is a bad remix of the theme tune.

I thought Sam Raimi and Scott Speigel's appearance on this doc was pointless. All they did was a reenactment of Groucho Marx and Tor Johnson's banter on Groucho's radio show. I don't care!

And I couldn't make out a word Joe Dante was saying. Also the guy at the wrestling ring, who's idea was to have him interviewed in front of a wrestling ring with the noise of the wrestlers' activity. We can't hear what he is saying. All we hear is: "Well, I loved Plan 9 (BANG! BOOM! SMACK! BANG!).... I loved the movie because (BANG! CRASH! BANG!)"

And I hated the song in the credits.

But I did like hearing about the production values, people talking about Ed Wood, and the screenwriter reading off his list of things wrong with this movie.

Weather another doc will be made about this movie is pretty unlikely, but this one is worth watching if you like Plan 9. Just don't expect anything insightful or memorable from this doc.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Pretty good for what it is.
Boba_Fett11383 August 2012
This is obviously being a low-budget and almost fan-made documentary about Edward D. Wood Jr.'s notorious 'opus magnum' "Plan 9 from Outer Space". It's not an impressive looking or put together documentary by any means but it's being a pretty insightful one, that shares and elaborates on some fun facts.

It's not necessarily a documentary about the making of "Plan 9 from Outer Space" but more one about Wood's entire career, in which "Plan 9 from Outer Space" plays the central role, holding and bringing everything in this documentary together. It's something that works out well but can be deceiving for those who are expecting a documentary purely focused on the making of "Plan 9 from Outer Space".

They managed to get a whole bunch of people in front of the camera, who in one way or the other were involved with "Plan 9 from Outer Space". They share their thoughts and memory of the movie but more so of Ed Wood and those who had passed away already, such as Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson and Criswell. Most of the information is pretty insightful and helps you to learn more about the movie as well as those involved who had passed away already, which also includes Wood himself of course.

This is a fan project, so there are nothing but kind words about him (well, almost entirely) but otherwise this would had most likely been a very depressing documentary, without any fun to it, since Wood's life was far from a happy tale, so I actually don't mind this. It's actually great to see how all these people, after all these years, can speak still so passionately about him and praise him for what he all did and achieved, which might not seem like much but is still quite a big accomplishment all when you look at it objectively. He at least often succeeded to get some big names in his movies and he (almost) always managed to get the movies made in the first place, with basically no money.

His passion and love and devotion to his projects made up for his talent, which just wasn't quite there. It's actually great to see Wood himself directing some scenes for a movie in this documentary. It was just like I always had imagined, he was extremely passionate and committed about it and seemed to be just happy to do it as well. He truly was in his element. There is some more unique footage of Wood himself in this documentary, which was always something I was interested in.

This is being a pretty good and insightful documentary to watch, if you can forgive it for its somewhat amateur like look and feeling at times. But you shouldn't have any problems with that if your interested in "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and Edward D. Wood Jr.!

0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews