60/60 Review #1: Plan 9 From Outer Space.

It was a movie so bad it took me two times to watch it! It's the first movie of my 60/60 Project, and I'm already screwing up. I fell asleep about 30 minutes into this bad boy the first time I tried to watch it... though not for the reason you think. It wasn't so bad or boring that it put me to sleep. Actually, the time had just changed, and it felt like it was an hour later than it was. That being said, I did sludge through it the next day (yesterday), so that I can now write about it.

This is probably Ed Wood's most famous failure. It's about some dimwitted cops, a couple airplane pilots, and a couple others who fight zombies, a vampire, and aliens. The aliens have tries to reason with Earthlings in the past, but everybody ignores them. All their plans have failed. So now, they're left with Plan 9, which is to bring the dead back to life and destroy all humans. Why? Because they're going to create, eventually, a bomb so powerful that it could destroy the entire universe. Among the ghoulies roaming the local cemetery are Bela Lugosi (sorta), Vampira, and Tor Johnson.

I actually really like the idea behind the story. At it's core, it's about aliens who summon zombies to destroy the Earth in order to ultimately save the universe. That's a pretty epic idea, if I do say so myself (and actually, there already is an alien-originated zombie movie entitled Undead, which is also pretty good). But where the movie fails, of course, is... everything else.

There are really only no more than maybe 5 sets in the whole movie, and they're all terrible and obviously fake. The dialogue is laughable, the characters are boring, and the acting is atrocious. Even worse acting than those having to speak lines are those that don't--primarily Vampira and Tor Johnson. Vampira is just in this really awkward stance through the majority of the film. This was also Bela Lugosi's (famous for Dracula) last film, and he died during production. He filmed all the stuff for when his character was alive, but they got a different actor for his scenes after he had died. As such, his ghoulish character had a cape held up over his face the whole time so you couldn't tell it wasn't him.

It's really pointless for me to go into how bad the movie is. I mean, it's Ed Wood. He's considered the worst director who has ever lived. He, Uwe Boll, and Tommy Wiseau practically make the Unholy Trinity. When your UFOs consist of toys hung from strings... and you can still see the string... not to mention have people wonder if you just glued two plates together... you know it's bad.

Overall, I'd actually say I was disappointed with the movie. I was actually expecting it to be like OMG THIS IS RIDICULOUS LOLZ. And it was, at times. This would be a fun one to watch with friends. But watching it alone, it's just kinda boring. I really need to check out the Rifftrax with it. And I know they actually sell the DVD with the Rifftrax, which is awesome. So I'll check that out some time. But as for now... Plan 9 remains a good idea with a really bad execution. On the bright side? It really put me in the mood to re-watch Tim Burton's Ed Wood.

The Zed Word

(P.S. This rating is based more on entertainment than quality. As I was expecting more and was bored, it got a low rating. If I had been rating this based on quality, it would have got a "Suck to Blow," obviously.)


  1. Hell of a start to the series. You might get a case of the bends next week with CLOSE ENCOUNTERS...kinda like that feeling you get when you come off the freeway and wonder why it feels like you're just crawling along.

    Great post!

  2. "It was a movie so bad it took me two times to watch it!"

    Welcome to the party, pal!

    "This would be a fun one to watch with friends. But watching it alone, it's just kinda boring."

    I think that's generally true of any delightfully bad movie. I know I rated MEGA SHARK VS. GIANT OCTOPUS quite highly, and I don't know that I would have if I didn't have a bunch of people over to see it with me.

    Personally, I love this movie. I think the dialogue alone is worth the price of admission -- I almost fell out of my chair during the opening narration. The pacing is sluggish, sure, but I'd argue that the pacing in most movies during that era (good and bad) are sluggish compared to modern films.

    If I have a point of contention with this review, it's with putting Uwe Boll in the same field as Wood and Wiseau. Wood and Wiseau are terrible, but there's almost an art to their terribleness -- their terribleness has a definite shape and feel and sound. There's no such vision in Boll's films. He's like a hyperactive monkey compared to the two.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.