This is one that’s sure to get some hackles up. The fact that Mike Nelson’s involved is a pretty solid sign that this will be a bad movie.
So what we’ve got here is the thoroughly preposterous story of alien attention w****s so desperate to become celebrities that they’re willing to go to baffling lengths to get noticed. In fact, they’re planning to reanimate our dead to get us to notice them.
But apparently, it’s not just a quest for celebrity. Humanity, apparently, is only one or two branches on the old tech tree away from blowing up the entire universe based on some atomic element no one’s ever heard of.
This by itself is farfetched enough to earn it lots of confused looks, but this isn’t enough for Wood, who seems determined to make his movie just as godawful as he possibly can. Featuring dialogue like “You are interested in the future because that is where you will spend much of your time,” (and here I thought I’d be camping out in the past….) and “When Death, the proud brother, comes suddenly, without warning…” (as opposed to when death comes suddenly with a whole lot of warning, screaming “Hey! I’m Death! Here I come! Watch out now! Death a-coming!” like a bad Family Guy episode.), it’s plain to see that Ed Wood isn’t likely to see a Pulitzer any time soon.
And I would comment on the shoddy effects work, but frankly, it really doesn’t help to point out that you can see the strings on the UFOs, because even Mike Nelson’s mocking that particular gaffe, so why should I bother reporting timestamps?
Mike Nelson’s commentary goes on to describe “Plan 9 From Outer Space” as “…the Citizen Kane of Bad Movies.” Which worried me. Frankly, if this guy thinks that THIS movie is King S**t of Turd Hill, then he’s spent entirely too damn much time with the bots on the Satellite of Love and not near enough time in the trenches.
I’m sure “Plan 9” was horrible in its day. I have no doubt of this based on what I’ve seen watching it. But frankly, it can’t even begin to compare to the lousy stuff that circulates today. It can’t compare to Roger Corman’s “Slaughter Studios,” a truly lousy piece for an abundance of reasons. It can’t compare to Charles Band’s body of work, including “Gingerdead Man”, where Gary Busey played a three foot tall homicidal pastry.
And forget about it even stacking up against the true King of Awful, Joe Castro. Two words: “Terror. Toons.”
But then, thankfully, Nelson continues on to say that “some people think of it (Plan 9) as only the Caddyshack 2 of Bad Movies. Or maybe just the Howard the Duck of Bad Movies.” And that made things all right again.
The ending involves lousy effects, acting and plot, and is only distinguishable from the rest of the movie by offering up plot holes along with the rest.
The special features include deleted scenes, Mike Nelson’s commentary, Ed Wood commercials and home movies, trailers for the original “House On Haunted Hill” and “Carnival of Souls”, plus “Night of the Living Dead”, “Reefer Madness”, and “The Three Stooges”.
Plus, we get to see Mike Nelson’s interpretation on Plans One through Eight From Outer Space. Plan Three, “Sit tight and do nothing”, features a clever shot of the classic 9 / 11 Bush pose, sitting and reading “My Pet Goat”.
So all in all, yes, “Plan 9 From Outer Space” is indeed a lousy movie. Whether or not it is THE lousiest is up for some debate. But regardless, I really don’t recommend you blow an hour and twenty minutes on this garbage.