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Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • In California, an old man (Bela Lugosi) grieves the loss of his wife (Vampira) and on the next day he also dies. However, the space soldier Eros and her mate Tanna use an electric device to resurrect them both and the strong Inspector Clay (Tor Johnson) that was murdered by the couple. Their intention is not to conquer Earth but to stop mankind from developing the powerful bomb "Solobonite" that would threaten the universe. When the population of Hollywood and Washington DC sees flying saucers on the sky, a colonel, a police lieutenant, a commercial pilot, his wife and a policeman try to stop the aliens.

  • Over Southern California's clear blue skies, a shiny flying saucer emits a blinding ray of light, and moments later, lands on a mournful cemetery where an inconsolable husband has just buried his wife. As the very sight of extraterrestrial activity alone brings terror and panic to the once peaceful area, the technologically-advanced spacecraft's commander, Eros, and his statuesque lieutenant, Tanna, start deploying their strategic plan to take over Earth. Little by little, through sophisticated methods unknown to humans, the pitiless aliens proceed with the creation of a devastating Zombie Apocalypse, code-named "Plan 9". But what on earth could have triggered this unrelenting all-out attack? Do we, earthlings, deserve total annihilation?

  • "Can your heart stand the shocking facts about Graverobbers from Outer Space?" That's the question on the lips of the narrator of this tale about flying saucers, zombies and cardboard tombstones. A pair of aliens, angered by the "stupid minds" of planet Earth, set up shop in a California cemetery. Their plan: to animate an army of the dead to march on the capitals of the world. (The fact that they have only managed to resurrect three zombies to date has not discouraged them.) An intrepid airline pilot living near the cemetery must rescue his wife from this low-budget terror. "Can you prove it *didn't* happen?"

  • Evil aliens attack Earth and set their terrible "Plan 9" in action. As the aliens resurrect the dead of the Earth to destroy the living, our lives are in danger.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE synopsis

    Criswell (the Narrator) (Criswell) introduces this story about GRAVE ROBBERS FROM OUTER SPACE and warns the viewer about whether you can stand the shocking truth.

    As narration continues we see several people gathered around a grave with a small ceremony. An old man (Bela Lugosi) grieves for his recently deceased wife. When the ceremony is over a man reading from the Bible (Clay Stone) leads the old man away and the others follow. As two grave diggers begin their job, an airplane is shown piloted by Jeff Trent (Gregory Walcott) and co-pilot Danny (David De Mering), shown talking in the cockpit. Danny speaks to the Burbank tower about landing. Suddenly a flying saucer is seen. Flight attendant Edith (Norma McCarty) comes in to see whats going on. The UFO lands in a graveyard and a strange noise is heard by the grave diggers, who decide to leave. As they do, they see a vampire woman (Maila Nurmi)(the old man's deceased wife) coming toward them. A scream is heard (off-camera).

    The old man leaves his home that he shared with his late wife. Stopping to pluck a flower of hers, he is overcome with emotion again. Narration tells us he left the house, never to return again. The sound of squealing brakes is heard. An ambulance rushes him to the hospital where he dies.

    Some of his mourners visit his above-ground crypt, remarking how he was buried above ground but his wife below ground. A man (Ben Frommer) explains that he believes it is some kind of family tradition. They are unaware that his now-resurrected wife is nearby, watching. One girl (Gloria Dea) screams as she notices the bodies of the two gravediggers. The police arrive, led by Inspector Clay (Tor Johnson). He asks Larry (Carl Anthony) who found the bodies and is told the man and girl. He turns the investigation over to Lt. Harper (Duke Moore), telling him he will look around with a flashlight. Larry asks Harper if he notices an awful smell. Harper says he cant miss it. Clay is seen looking around the foggy graveyard with a flashlight. At this point another siren is heard. Harper says it will be the morgue wagon.

    At a nearby house Jeff and his wife Paula (Mona McKinnon) are relaxing on their patio and hear the siren. She remarks it is the fifth one today. He tells her something is going on down at the cemetery. Asking Jeff why is so moody, he explains about the flying saucer he saw on his flight. As he tells her the army swore him to secrecy, they are both buzzed by a saucer flying by, which knocks them over. At the same time, policemen and morgue workers carrying out a body are also blown down by a saucer. Clay looks up to see one go by and land in the cemetery. As he passes by the old mans crypt, it opens up and he (Tom Mason) comes out, face covered by his cape. Clay is surrounded by the old man and his wife who close in on him. He begins shooting at both, having no effect. Hearing shots fired, the police head that way and find Clays body, dead. Harper tells Kelton (Paul Marco) to call the coroner, telling him they have another body.

    Reverend Lemon (Lynn Lemon) is seen saying a few words over the grave of Inspector Clay. Next we see three saucers flying over Hollywood. Newspaper headlines say SAUCERS SEEN OVER HOLLYWOOD. When saucers are seen over Washington D.C., the army is called in, led by Colonel Edwards (Tom Keene) who gives the order to fire missiles. The missiles have no effect. Edwards tells the Captain (Bill Ash) that there were previous visits, always covered up by the government. He tells about a small town that was destroyed by a saucer, explaining that previous radio attempts at contact failed.

    Meanwhile in space at a mother ship, two aliens, Eros (Dudley Manlove) and Tanna (Joanna Lee) give their report to their Ruler (John Breckinridge) who asks what plan will be used next. He is told Plan Nine, which deals with the resurrection of the dead, activated by their rays to become zombies. They converse and return to their ship.

    Jeff is ready to go back to work. He discusses his concerns of safety with his wife, who promises to lock the door when he leaves.

    Flying the plane, Jeff seems preoccupied, which draws the attention of co-pilot Danny and the stewardess Edith. She suggests he radio in a call to find out if his wife is all right. Danny tries to make a date with Edith.

    The old man is seen walking in the graveyard. He enters Jeffs house. The phone rings and Paula picks it up. Someone is calling to see how she is to tell Jeff. After she hangs up, she sees the old man come in her bedroom and approach. Sliding off the other side of the bed, she runs around and screams. Leaving the house, she runs through the cemetery with the old man following. We also see Clay rise from his grave and begin walking around. The vampire woman is seen wandering. When Paula is seen near the road, passed out, Farmer Calder (Karl Johnson) stops to help her. He puts her in his car and drives off. The old man comes up and watches them go.

    The police, alerted of Paula's ordeal, come back to the cemetery to search. Meanwhile on the ship, Eros and Tanna open the door and admit the vampire woman and Clay. The old man also comes to the door and is let in. Inside, the electrodes are turned off before they can attack the aliens. The ship takes off, which is noticed and discussed by the officers and Harper. When one of them remembers seeing a disturbed grave, they go over and it is identified as Inspector Clays but his coffin is empty.

    Gen. Roberts (Lyle Talbot), meets with Col. Edwards about dealing with the saucers. A tape is played of a radio broadcast from the aliens, which has been translated by a new computer. Eros is heard telling about their mission, which is friendly in nature, but has become more violent in defensive moves. Edwards is sent out to San Fernando, where the saucers have been causing commotion.

    On the mother ship, Eros and Tanna bring Clay to show the Ruler. When Clay is about to attack Eros, Tannas gun fails and she is told to drop it to the floor. This breaks the jam and releases what is making him attack. Tanna is told to take him back. The Ruler tells Eros that two of his ships have been taken away for other purposes and that Eros needs to prove himself. The old man will have to be sacrificed, the Ruler tells him.

    The police return to San Fernando with Col. Edwards to interview Jeff and Paula about their experiences. As Kelton waits by the patrol car, the old man approaches to attack. Kelton backs away to the patio and begins firing at the old man. Harper also fires all his bullets to no effect. A ray is shown coming from the cemetery which neutralizes the old man. When Edwards pulls off the cape from the collapsed body, it is shown to be only a skeleton. They go back to the cemetery.

    Inside the ship Eros and Tanna prepare for the reception of living earth men. Harper, Jeff and Edwards locate the ship and when the door opens, they go in. Meeting with the aliens, they hold their guns on them. Eros tells them that the others from the car will be joining them shortly. Jeff threatens Eros, who says he will show them on a video screen. When he reaches to control it, Jeff fires a warning shot. Explaining he is only going to show them, Harper tells him to do so slowly. On the screen Clay is shown carrying Paula, who has only fainted, they are told. Eros explains about the development of bombs throughout history, including the atomic and hydrogen bombs. The next discovery will be the solorbonite, which harnesses the rays of the sun. When Eros responds to their closed minds as stupid, stupid , Jeff strikes him.

    As another patrol car drives up, Kelton confesses that Clay got Mrs. Trent and knocked him out. They go through the graveyard and see Clay holding the woman. They are able to knock Clay down and Kelton revives Paula. Meanwhile on the ship a struggle ensues with Jeff fighting Eros. The others try to open the doors while Tanna tries to launch the ship. As the ship catches on fire, Edward gets the doors open and he and Harper exit, telling Jeff to come. He is the last to escape before the saucer lifts off in a flame of fire and explodes over Hollywood. Edwards speculates that there may be others in the future.

    Criswell concludes his narration saying God help us in the future.

See also

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