Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to In The Balcony. We hope you enjoy your visit.

You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free. Plus, you'll be eligible for the monthly $1 million prize. (Not really.)

Join our community!

If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
Topic Started: Mar 10 2018, 06:08 PM (356 Views)
Laughing Gravy
Member Avatar
Look for In The Balcony on Facebook!
[ *  *  * ]
Posted Image

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) Produced, Written, Edited by, and Directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Distributed by Valiant Pictures
80 min. / B&W / 1.85:1
DVD: Image Entertainment

ITB Strange Science Cinema #160

A trio of flying saucers descend from outer space with plan 9: resurrection of earth's dead to prevent our planet from discovering solaronite, an element that could destroy the universe, and look above for who wrote this thing, and bear with me, please. They only manage to revive three corpses, but what a stellar group they've selected: Bela Lugosi, his wife(!) Vampira, and Police Detective Tor Johnson(!!!). While the three of them stalk around the cemetery to no good aim, the rest of our cast - including shows-up-outta-nowhere Army guy Lyle Talbot - muse about the futility of it all. Eventually, two of the aliens - a man and woman in matching lovely silk gowns - come face to face with our cast and reveal the ugly truth: aliens neither love us nor hate is, but boy, do they think we have shit for brains.

There are a lot of really famous movies out there, but is there another one that's legendary for simply being awful? I wonder, my friends. Ishtar, maybe, but that one doesn't have Criswell in it; he opens the film by assuring us the events we're about to see really, truly happened: in the future. Uh, what, now?

Truth is, back in 1956 Mr. Wood had filmed a few feet of silent footage with Bela Lugosi in front of his house and skulking through a graveyard in his Dracula outfit, but Lugosi's death in August of '56 prevented completion of whatever Wood had in mind. Lugosi's part is taken up by Wood's wife's chiropractor, who keeps his cape up over his face (good idea, there, buddy). Maila Nurmi was hired (for $200) to resurrect her Vampira TV character; one assumes Tor Johnson worked for donuts. There's also the usual Wood cast of buddies and miscreants, including Paul Marco and Bunny Breckinridge. Dudley Manlove plays Eros (well, he DOES), one of the aliens. Several of the minor roles, including gravediggers, are played by members of a local Baptist Church who helped finance the thing.

Million-dollar Dialog, and hoo-boy, where do we start?:
Criswell: "Remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future"

Airline Pilot's Wife: "Sometimes in the night, when it does get a little lonely, I reach over and touch it. Then it doesn't seem so lonely anymore." (She may or may not be referring to her pillow.)

Army Guy, on the flying saucers: "They attacked a town! A small town, I'll admit, but nevertheless a town of people. People who died."

Eros: "It's an interesting thing when you consider the Earth people, who can think, are so frightened by those who cannot: the dead."

I could go on and on; this film, like Casablanca before it, is one gem of a line after another. The movie's also notorious for awful special effects, badly-integrated stock footage, bottom-of-the-barrel sets, and inconsistencies in continuity, particularly in day-for-night shooting, to which I can only say: picky, picky, picky. I will say this: I read that at 1.85:1 much of the visible microphones and things like that you see at 1.37:1 vanish, and I blew it up and watched it that way, and the film LOOKS much better than I remembered, so there is that.

"The merits of this incredible film have not been exaggerated. It's not actually the worst film ever made, but it's the most entertaining bad one you'll find." - Michael J. Weldon, Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film. Agreed; none of Wood's movies are any good, but neither are any of them to be missed.


For the kiddies, a trio of cartoons, including the excellent Hotsy Footsy (1952), with Mr. Magoo in a dance contest (to the music of Shorty Rogers) but accidentally wandering next door to the wrestling ring; Operation Cold Feet (1957), with Chilly Willy (including a terrible theme song sung by Wee Bonnie Baker) once again battling the big dog with the Huckleberry Hound voice; and The Wreck of the Hesperus (1944), the first time that li'l flying rodent is referred to as Mighty instead of Super Mouse (although the blue & red costume remains in place).

"Drums of Doom" was the 12th episode of Blackhawk (Blackhawk is buried by barrels) and we saw the trailer for next week's million-dollar thriller-chiller: The Tingler! Wow!
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
Bert Greene
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
I ran into that Paul Marco guy one time. Or rather, he approached me, gave me his card, and started babbling about Ed Wood, Kelton the Cop, and telling me how in-demand he (Marco) was for interviews. He seemed to have a few loose screws. I tried to diplomatically duck away from him as quickly as I could.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
Member Avatar
Movie Watcha Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
I agree with Weldon's summation-- it's not the worst movie ever made but rather a very entertaining bad movie.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
« Previous Topic · The Cinematic Sewer · Next Topic »
Add Reply