Plan 9 From Outer Space
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Runtime: 1 hr 19 min
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Starring: Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Duke Moore, Tom Keene, Carl Anthony, Paul Marco, Tor Johnson
Sure, it’s horrible, but it’s also fun.
Review by: MiamiMovieCritic
Added: 8 years ago
Why give Plan 9 From Outer Space a two-star rating? I dunno, I can’t really justify it. All I’ll say is that few movies bring as much sweet, sweet joy as Ed Wood’s 1959 sci-fi opus. This film’s appalling anti-artistry is as funny as anything the Coen Brothers have come up with in the last two decades.
To be fair, I haven’t seen it the way Wood intended. I’ve only the version where the Mystery Science Theater guys are mocking it the whole way through. Still, you get the idea: flying saucers that look like hubcaps (when one of them caught on fire, I was reminded of the scene in Back to the Future where Doc Brown’s model Delorian burst into flames); aliens who are actually just B-movie actors wearing the galaxy’s loudest purple tee-shirts; establishing shots that don’t connect; out-of-left-field stock footage; unintentionally hilarious dialogue; etc.
Most of this was par for the course in the genre that Wood was working in: 1950s exploitation movies. But what makes Plan 9 an unsurpassed triumph-of-sorts is its campy entertainment value. There’s just something crazily bad going on in every scene, if not every shot. My favorite bit involves a detective who keeps absentmindedly pointing his gun at everything, including himself and other people. Then there’s the alien who delivers the single greatest line in movie history: “You see? You see? Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!”
Sure, it’s horrible, but it’s also fun, and harmless fun in any form is something to be celebrated.