This Plan 9 has a very different plot to the point where if it weren't for the name I wouldn't connect them at all. The small town of Nilbog (GET IT!!) gets hit by a meteor and all of a sudden, the dead start rising from the grave. Because of this, the quirky citizens of this town have to band together in order to survive as well as find out what is causing this epidemic.
While many of the same characters are here, they have added tons more and the story resembles Night of the Living Dead or most other zombies movies than the original Plan 9. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it is an odd choice. In fact remaking Plan 9 from Outer Space is an odd idea altogether. The point of a remake is to take a film that has promise but was held back by it's problems or the technology of the time and make it better. But everybody loves Plan 9 BECAUSE of it's problems and mistakes so why remake it?
The characters are just boring stock characters like the original. The editing and cinematography is good say for a few spots here and there. The acting and direction though is pretty lackluster. Most everyone seems to have a straight face during the whole ordeal and taking this whole zombie thing really well-too well! Others though act pretty realistic. Its a mixed bag for sure. The writing feels about the same. It has some good moments and good pieces of dialogue in there-both funny and dramatic-but for the most part, it just feels flat and boring. The worst part is also when something really tragic and dark has just happened so of course moments later, they make a stupid joke or a sarcastic statement. They spend most of the film just running around but because we don't really know all that much about these people, I couldn't care less what happens to them.
The thing that annoys me the most is all of the references. Seriously, they mention Predator, Monster Squad, The Fog, Psycho, Troll 2, The Shining, etc. The fourth wall jokes are pretty annoying too. Normally I like that kind of stuff but it's all about context. The movie isn't a comedy, you are supposed to take it seriously or at least semi-seriously, so those type of jokes feel out of place. It seems like a desperate plea for you to like their movie. The only really new thing it brings to the table is the zombie lore. Apparently the alien menace is sending out these waves of energy that keep bringing the dead back to life. If you get bitten by a zombie, you don't become one but the next wave of energy will turn you into one. The other interesting idea is that each new batch of zombies gets smarter than the last one. It's pretty cool but everything else is pretty standard.
And that's exactly the problem with remaking Plan 9. They actually do make major improvements to the film but because of that, it's no longer that likable. The original Plan 9 from Outer Space could have been much better if put into more skilled hands but in the end, it would have been standard 1950's sci-fi fare. But because a man with little talent, experience or money handled the project, it turned into a gloriously fun mess of a movie. This Plan 9 suffers from not being handled by a modern Ed Wood and instead winds up being on about the same level as those awful Syfy channel movies. Not the worst I have ever seen (heck the original Plan 9 is a thousand times worse) but it doesn't do anything really that fun or interesting with itself. If you want to see a modern version of a 50's sci-fi flick go see The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera. That one is actually funny and isn't afraid to embrace it's roots.