“The Earth people who can think are so frightened by those who cannot.”
Every crappy horror and science fiction movie ever made has been compared to “Plan 9 from Outer space”. It is the yardstick we use to define the worst of the worst. OK, let’s look at “Plan 9”. “Plan 9” is both a Science Fiction movie, and a classic Horror movie. You have flying saucers and zombies.
In a cemetery a man (Bela Lugosi) mourns the loss of his wife (Maila Nurmi). He is distracted and gets hit by a car and dies. He is the next to be buried. The grave diggers that worked on the wife’s grave are found dead. The police arrive to check out the situation. Led by inspector Clay (Tor Johnson). While checking out the grave yard he is confronted by the dead man and his dead wife. The inspector is found dead.
A pilot and co-pilot see a UFO fly by them. The pilot is Jeff Trent (Gregory Walcott). Jeff is not suppose to discuss what he saw with anyone, however, it disturbs him so much that he does talk about it with his wife Paula (Mona McKinnon). They live near the cemetery. He is concerned with all the activity going on there. The UFOs start flying all over Hollywood and Washington DC. The army is called in. They start bombing the UFOs but they have no affect on the saucers. The army maintains that there is no such thing as a flying saucer or aliens from outer space.
Meanwhile two of the aliens, Eros (Dudley Manlove) and Tanna (Joanna Lee) stop at the mother ship to regenerate their spaceship. They check in with their Ruler (John Breckinridge). He wants to know what plan they are going to employ next on the Earth people. They respond Plan 9. What is Plan 9? The aliens plan to resurrect the recently dead by stimulating the pituitary and pineal glands. Then controlling the dead they plan on using them to attack the living. This is what makes them grave robbers from outer space. I’m not sure how well Plan 9 worked since only three people were raised from the dead.
The narrator is “The Amazing Criswell” a well known psychic known for his amazingly inaccurate predictions. Of course the “Old Man” is part Bela Lugosi and part Tom Mason (chiropractor) depending on if his cape is pulled over his face or not. The part of the old man’s wife is Maila Nurmi or Vampira. The part of the space ship is played by a model kit produced by the Lindberg Model Kit Company. The company is now out of business. The budget for “Plan 9” was approximately $60,000. The movie was written, produced and directed by Ed Wood. He wrote over 80 pulp, crime, horror and sex novels in addition to hundreds of short stories and non fiction pieces for magazines and newspapers.
Is the movie bad? Of course it is. But the message is not. It is a cautionary statement. The idea that the destructive behavior of man could threaten not just the Earth but any other life that may be in the universe. What we do affects more than just ourselves. Our hubris could be the end of us. The movie was made during the cold war but it is still applicable now. Our disregard for how we take care of the Earth now could result in our destruction if we do not stop climate change. There are countries that are still stockpiling atomic weapons. How many bombs does it take to blow up a world? Whatever it is, I’m sure we have enough. It is “The Day the Earth Stood Still” on a Roger Corman budget. Message aside the plot of the movie is interesting. Raising the dead. Zombies! And it is aliens that are doing it. That is actually kinda cool.
The acting, dialogue and special effects may be crappy. But that’s no different from any other low budget “B” movie. Watch it. Love it. Hate it. Laugh at it. Whatever you like but as you are doing that you might want to listen to it. It may be bad, but I’m not going to go out on a limb and call it the worst movie ever.