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Plan 9 from Outer Space

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Title: Plan 9 from Outer Space  
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Subject: Ed Wood, Bela Lugosi, List of film director and actor collaborations, Duke Moore, The Bazura Project
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Plan 9 from Outer Space

Plan 9 from Outer Space
Theatrical release poster
designed by Tom Jung showing "A DCA Film"
Directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Produced by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Hugh Thomas, Jr.
Charles Burg
J. Edward Reynolds
Written by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Starring Bela Lugosi
Lyle Talbot
Narrated by Criswell
Music by see Music
Cinematography William C. Thompson
Edited by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Distributed by Valiant Pictures
Release dates
  • July 22, 1959 (1959-07-22)
Running time 80 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60,000
(adjusted by inflation: $485,411)

Plan 9 from Outer Space (originally titled Grave Robbers from Outer Space, or simply known as Plan 9) is a 1959 American science fiction thriller film written, produced, directed, and edited by Edward D. Wood, Jr. and released by Distributors Corporation of America (as Valiant Pictures). The film stars Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Tor Johnson, and Vampira. The film bills Bela Lugosi posthumously as a star, although silent footage of the actor had been shot by Wood for another, unfinished project just before Lugosi's death in 1956.

The plot of the film involves extraterrestrial beings who are seeking to stop humanity from creating a doomsday weapon that would destroy the universe. In the course of doing so, the aliens implement "Plan 9". It's a scheme to resurrect the Earth's dead as what modern audiences would call zombies (but referred to as "ghouls" in the film itself) causing chaos in order to get the planet's attention.

For years, the film played on television in relative obscurity until 1980, when authors Michael and Harry Medved dubbed Plan 9 from Outer Space the "worst movie ever made". Wood was posthumously awarded the Medveds' Golden Turkey Award as the worst director ever.

Background and genre

The film combines elements of science fiction films and Gothic fiction.[2] Science fiction remained popular throughout the 1950s, though the genre had experienced significant changes in the post-war period. The Atomic Age, heralded by the development of nuclear weapons and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, had inspired science fiction films which were dealing with the dangers of unrestricted science while spaceflight and the existence of extraterrestrial life and civilizations, more "traditional" elements of the genre, seemed to hold new fascination for audiences experiencing the start of the Space Race.[2] On the other hand, Gothic fiction had enjoyed the height of its popularity in film during the 1930s and 1940s. It was experiencing a decline in the 1950s and was seen as old-fashioned. The combination of dated and modern elements, by 1950s standards, gives the film a rather anachronistic quality.[2]

The script of the film seems to aim at making this an epic film, a "genre" which typically requires a big budget provided by a major film studio. That Ed Wood filmed the story with minimal financial resources underlines one of the qualities of his work, his ideas tended be too expensive to actually put to film and yet the director would constantly go ahead and try. An overreach which, as Rob Craig argues, results in the peculiar charm of the film to audiences.[2] Craig finds that the film has much in common with both epic theatre ("grand melodrama on a minuscule budget") and the Theatre of the Absurd (characters acting as buffoons, nonsense and verbosity in dialogue, dream-like and fantasy imagery, hints of allegory, and a narrative structure where continuity is consistently undermined).[2]

The introduction and its origins

The film opens with an introduction by Criswell: "Greetings my friends! We are all interested in the future, For that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives! ...". Criswell was the star of Criswell Predicts on KLAC Channel 13 (now KCOP-13), and the introduction could be an allusion to the opening lines of his show. Since no episodes of the television show are known to survive, a full comparison between them seems impossible.[2] Craig suggests that Criswell' public persona was based on the style of a charismatic preacher, perhaps influenced by early televangelists.[2] Criswell addresses the viewers repeatedly as "my friends", as if attempting to establish a bond between the speaker and the audience. The line is likely to derive from his show, and would not be out of place in a segment where a televangelist addresses his congregation.[2] Another phrase of the introduction "Future events such as these will affect you in the future", served as a signature line for Criswell. He used it repeatedly in his newspaper and magazine columns, and probably his show as well.[2]

Another line ascertains that the audience is interested in "the unknown, the mysterious, the unexplainable", probably assuming that the film's audience will have a fascination with the paranormal.[2] The narrator at some point starts claiming that "we" (the filmmakers) are bringing to light the full story and evidence of fateful events, based on the "secret testimony" of the survivors. The lines seem to emulate the style of sensational headlines in newspapers, and promise the audiences access to "lurid secrets" as if following the example of True Confessions and other similar magazines. The notion that a film or show could be based on true incidents and testimony would be familiar to a 1950s audience, because it was used in contemporary police procedurals such as Dragnet.[2]

Changing the tone, the narrator delivers the sermon-like lines: "Let us punish the guilty! Let us reward the innocent!". Which again sound as if a preacher addresses his audience.[2] The introduction concludes with the dramatic question: "Can your heart stand the shocking facts about graverobbers from outer space". The latter phrase was simply the original title of the film, but the rest of the line seems again to emulate the sensationalist press.[2]

Government conspiracy

Through Trent's initial conversation with his wife, the film introduces the notion of a government and military conspiracy to cover up information on documented UFO sightings. This notion was clearly influenced by the emergence and increased popularity of a UFO conspiracy theory. The implications concerning the public's distrust of the government were atypical for a 1950s American film. Anti-statist ideas would become more popular in the 1960s, which is when the subject became "safe" for mainstream cinema.[2]

Message from the Aliens

The film contains a cautionary message from the aliens. The earliest use of this concept in film was probably in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and it had since seen frequent use in science fiction films. The idea was that the self-destructive behavior of humanity was the real threat, not any external source of danger.[2]


A flying saucer is seen flying over the cemetery. Plan 9 has been often criticized for the poor quality of its special effects.

Following the infamous introduction, the narrative begins with a funeral in San Fernando Valley. A small group of mourners are gathered by an open grave, chief among them being an unnamed old man (Bela Lugosi). The narrator explains that this is the funeral of the old man's wife. Two gravediggers stand nearby, waiting for the funeral to end and for their work in closing the grave to begin.[2] The scene shifts from the graveyard to a Douglas DC-7 which is flying over the Valley, heading towards Burbank, California. The narrative introduces a pilot named Jeff Trent and his co-pilot Danny. Their seemingly routine flight takes a strange turn, when they are affected by a blinding light and accompanying loud sound. They look outside their plane and encounter a flying saucer. The stewardess Edie joins them in the cockpit and also sees the saucer.[2] The camera leaves the plane and follows the saucer in its flight, until it lands at the graveyard. The gravediggers hear a strange noise and are spooked. They decide to leave the graveyard, but are attacked and killed by the resurrected corpse of the young woman.[2] The scene fades out with the Vampire Girl, as she is called in the credits, moving towards them and the men screaming. The deaths are implied but remain unseen.[2]

The following scene opens at the modest home of the old man. The old man steps outside and is seen lost in his thoughts of grief. He absentmindedly steps into the path of an oncoming automobile and dies. At his funeral, mourners discover the corpses of the gravediggers. Inspector Daniel Clay and other police officers come to the cemetery to investigate. Clay distances himself from the others to conduct his own search.[2] The narrative shifts briefly to Jeff Trent and his wife Paula, who live near the graveyard. He listens to the sirens and then tells Paula about his flying saucer encounter, stating that the Army has sworn him to secrecy. At this point, a powerful wind knocks everyone at the Trent residence and the graveyard to the ground, and a spaceship lands nearby. At the graveyard, the old man rises from his grave. The isolated Clay encounters the Vampire Girl and the reanimated corpse of the old man. His bullets apparently have no effect on either of the two undead and he is killed. The police crew soon discovers his body and one of them delivers one of the best-remembered lines of the film "Inspector Clay's dead, murdered, and somebody's responsible!" [2]

In the weeks that follow, newspaper headlines report other flying saucer sightings. Including reports of them flying over Hollywood Boulevard. The camera depicts a trio of saucers flying over Los Angeles, including over the local headquarters of CBS, NBC, and ABC, the Mocambo (where a neon sign informs viewers that Eartha Kitt is performing), and over a restaurant owned by Larry Finley.[2] The scene shifts from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. and its vicinity, where the military fires missiles against the flying saucers. The narrative introduces the Chief of Saucer Operations, Col. Thomas Edwards. The saucers seem untouched by any of the weapons used against them, but still retreat. Edwards reveals that the government has been covering up the flying saucers, and wonders if the aliens are connected to other disasters on Earth.[2] He mentions that one small town has already been annihilated, hinting at a secret history of previous encounters.[2]

The aliens return to Space Station 7 for regeneration. Their commander, Eros, informs their ruler that he has attempted, unsuccessfully, to contact the governments of Earth. He says that to force the people of Earth to acknowledge his people's existence, he is implementing Plan 9, which involves resurrecting the recently dead by stimulating their pituitary and pineal glands. The three alien ships return to Earth.[2] Trent is about to leave home for another flight. Concerned for Paula's safety, he urges her to stay with her mother while he's gone, but she insists on staying home. While the film barely examines the married life of the Trents, there is one line of Paula which Craig finds suggestive and worthy of examination. In their parting scene, Paula explains that at nights she finds comfort in her absent husband's pillow:"Sometimes at night, when it does get a little lonely, I reach over and touch it. "Which underlines the absence of a living sexual partner for her, and her frequent loneliness while married.[2] That night, the corpse of the old man rises from his crypt and sneaks into their house. Joined by the corpse of his wife and the newly resurrected Daniel Clay, he chases Paula through the cemetery. Paula collapses and is found by a passing motorist. All three zombies return to Eros' ship, which lifts off.[2]

Eros is nearly strangled to death by the corpse of Inspector Clay.

At the Pentagon, Gen. Roberts informs Edwards that the government has been receiving messages from the aliens. Roberts plays the last message, which has been translated into English by a recently invented "language computer". In Eros' voice, it explains that the aliens are trying to prevent humanity from destroying the universe. The general sends Edwards to San Fernando, California, where most of the aliens' activities have occurred.[2] The next scene covers the introduction of the Ruler to one of the undead under alien command. The undead Clay attacks Eros and nearly kills him. The Ruler closer examines Clay and decides to sacrifice one of the undead, the old man, to further scare humanity. He has further plans of raising undead armies and marching them against the capitals of Earth.[2]

In California, the police and Edwards interview the Trents about their experiences with the aliens. Unbeknownst to them, the alien saucer has returned to the graveyard. While waiting by the police car, Officer Kelton encounters the old man. The old man chases the officer to the Trents' yard, where they shoot him, with no effect. The nearby aliens strike the old man with a ray, causing his body to decompose, leaving only his skeleton. Not knowing what to make of this, the Trents, Edwards, and the police decide to drive to the cemetery.[2]

Pilot Jeff Trent confronts the aliens.
John Harper, nominally in charge, insists on leaving Paula behind in the car. There is a brief confrontation between the men and with Paula, as the woman refuses to stay alone. As a concession, Kelton is left behind to guard her. Paula still is unhappy with the decision of the group. This leaves Harper, Edwards and Jeff Trent to walk in the graveyard. Trent reveals himself capable of handling a gun, due to his four-years service at the United States Marine Corps.[2] Eros and fellow alien Tanna send Clay to kidnap Paula in order to lure the other three to their spaceship. Meanwhile, seeing a glow in the distance, Trent and the police head toward the ship. Kelton is easily incapacitated by Clay. Upon awakening, he calls for help, and Officer Larry comes to aid him.[2]

Eros allows Trent and the police to enter, and they board with guns drawn. Eros tells them that human weapons development will inevitably lead to the discovery of solarbonite, a substance that has the effect of exploding "sunlight molecules". A solarbonite explosion would set off a chain reaction that would destroy the entire universe. Eros believes humans are too immature to use this power, and intends to destroy mankind to prevent this.[2] Outside the ship, Clay arrives with Paula. Eros threatens to have her killed if they try to force him to go with them. Officers Kelton and Larry arrive and spot Clay with Paula. Realizing their guns are useless, they approach Clay from behind with a stick. Eros sees this and shuts off the ray controlling Clay, allowing Paula to go free. A fight ensues between Eros and Jeff, during which the ship's delicate equipment is damaged, setting off a fire. The humans flee the ship, and Tanna flies it into the atmosphere. The flaming ship explodes, killing both aliens. As a consequence of the explosion, Clay and the female zombie are decomposed in the same manner as the old man.[2]


  • Donald A. Davis as Drunk
  • Johnny Duncan
  • Karl Johnson as Farmer Calder
  • Tom Mason as Ghoul Man with Cape Over Face
  • Hugh Thomas Jr. as Gravedigger (also associate producer)[2]
  • J. Edward Reynolds as Gravedigger (also executive producer)[2]
  • Edward D. Wood, Jr. as Man holding newspaper
  • Marcus Hutton as Organ player

"Bela Lugosi's Last Movie"

Bela Lugosi, in silent footage for the abandoned Tomb of the Vampire, which was later recycled for Plan 9.

Shortly before Lugosi's death in August 1956, he had been working with Wood on numerous half-realized projects, variously titled Tomb of the Vampire or The Ghoul Goes West.[3] Scenes unconnected to Plan 9, featuring Lugosi weeping at a funeral, walking in front of Tor Johnson's house at daytime, walking in and out of the side door of the Johnson home at nighttime, and a daylight scene on a patch of scrubland near a highway showing Lugosi stalking towards the camera and dramatically spreading his Dracula cape before furling it around himself and walking back the way he came, had been shot. Only the first two sequences had reached any level of completion. When Lugosi died, Wood shelved these projects.[3] It is not certain for which projects the Lugosi footage was intended, and Wood's own account of the affair in his written memoirs seems to suggest that the director had something like Plan 9 in mind when the material was filmed. This claim stands in apparent contradiction to the Vampires' Tomb/Ghoul Goes West theory, backed up by a comment Lugosi made about Ghoul being his next project in a filmed interview upon his release from drug rehabilitation.

Shortly after Lugosi's death the story and screenplay for Grave Robbers from Outer Space were written and finalized, with Wood planning to use the unconnected, unrelated footage of Lugosi as a means of putting a credit for him on the picture. Though Wood's actions were driven in part by the desire to give his film a 'star name' and attract horror fans, the Lugosi cameo was also meant as a loving tribute and farewell to the actor, who had become fast friends with Wood in the last three years of Lugosi's life. Wood hired his wife's chiropractor, Tom Mason, as a stand-in for Lugosi, even though Mason was taller than Lugosi and bore no resemblance to him,[3] making him one of the earliest "fake Shemps". Narration from Criswell was also employed in an attempt to better link Lugosi's footage with the rest of Plan 9.

Coincidentally, further Lugosi footage Wood had shot at an unspecified pre-1956 date was to have been the basis of a second posthumous movie for the horror legend, titled Ghouls of the Moon. The footage had, however, been shot on volatile nitrate stock, and had dissolved into toxic-smelling sludge by the time Wood's thoughts turned to the new venture in the summer of 1959. Ghouls of the Moon was abandoned entirely as a result. Mystery surrounds the content and nature of the lost material, described only as 'wild' by a friend of Wood's who had seen the raw footage shortly after it was shot.

Production and casting

The "iconic" flying saucer of the film has been variously identified as a paper plate or a hubcap. According to the documentary Flying Saucers Over Hollywood- The Plan 9 Companion (1991) it was actually a recognizable model kit produced in 1956 by toy manufacturer Paul Lindberg. Lindberg Line model kits had introduced a flying saucer kit, roughly matching the popular image of UFOs of the time: "a silver disc-shaped craft with a clear dome on top." Inside the plastic dome was a little green man. Both a regular version of the assembled model and a modified version appear in the film.[2]

The footage of Los Angeles is used to ground the otherworldly events to a realistic setting. As a resident, Wood was probably familiar with the locations.[2] The scene where the military fires at the flying saucers is real military stock footage.[2]

The Reverend Lynn Lemon, who plays an unnamed minister, was one of the Baptists variously involved in the production of the film. J. Edward Reynolds was a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention in Beverly Hills, California, and Hugh Thomas was one of his associates from the church; both play gravediggers, while Reynolds was also the producer of the film.[2] At the time of the film's creation, David De Mering was the personal secretary and alleged lover of fellow cast member Bunny Breckinridge; his inclusion in the cast was probably a result of this association.[2]

According to Maila Nurmi, she was recruited by Paul Marco to act as a vampire in the film. She was offered $200 for her part. She recalled insisting for her part to be silent, as she did not like the dialogue that Wood had scripted for her. This recollection might be inaccurate since the undead of this film are generally mute.[2] What she contributed to the film was a "regal presence" and theatrical mannerisms. Her performance is reminiscent of a silent film actress; she credited Theda Bara as her main influence for the part.[2]

The male alien Eros is apparently named after Eros, Greek god of love. Craig suggests that the name of the female alien, Tanna, might invoke the name of another Greek deity: Thanatos, god of death.[2]

The Pentagon office depicted includes a map of the United States with the sign of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The same map appears in Baghdad After Midnight (1954), which was also filmed at Quality Studios; it was probably a standard prop used by the studio.[2]

Release and title changes

Grave Robbers from Outer Space was shot in 1956, and finished the following year, when it had its preview in March at the Carlton Theatre in Los Angeles. Another year elapsed before Distributors Corporation of America (DCA) picked it up and copyrighted it, intending to distribute it during the spring of 1958, but the company folded and it was not released until July 1959 through Valiant Pictures, the receiver of DCA. By then the film had been re-titled Plan 9 from Outer Space. The original title gives the film the feel of a story from a pulp magazine. One story concerning the renaming is that that the film's financiers, two local Baptist ministers, objected to the "Grave Robbers" part of the title. They reportedly considered the direct reference to grave robbery to be sacrilegious in nature, so Wood changed the title to "Plan 9". The original title is mentioned at the end of Criswell's opening narration when he asks the audience, "Can your heart stand the shocking facts about grave robbers from outer space?" [2] The new title is less indicative of the content and might have itself contributed to distribution problems for the film.[2] Like many independent films of the period, Plan 9 was distributed under a states' rights basis .

Plan 9 was screened as part of a double feature at various times. In Chicago, it was first seen in January 1959, alongside the British thriller Time Lock (1957). A film which is mostly remembered as an early film credit for Sean Connery. Later that year, it was used as a "co-feature" (B movie) for double-feature screenings of The Trap (1959), a film noir with Richard Widmark as its star. In Texas, it was seen alongside Devil Girl From Mars (1954), a British science fiction film.[2][4] Not long after, the picture was distributed through a television package.

Criswell's opening narration

Plan 9 from Outer Space gained notoriety through the Medveds' book because of its multiple continuity problems.[5]

Critics say the absurdity of the film is found in the dialogue rather than on-screen action. Criswell's opening narration redundantly informs the viewer that "future events such as these will affect you in the future", while referring to viewers as "my friends" four times in the same minute.[5] Criswell also begins the narration by referring to future events, only to later describe them in the past tense ("... the full story of what happened on that fateful day"), and inexplicably calling for "the guilty" to be punished.

Several exterior sets on sound-stages are interspersed with second-unit footage shot outdoors (for example, the old man's reanimated corpse chasing Paula Trent through the cemetery). In a number of these scenes the outdoor footage was intended to be shot day-for-night, but this is not apparent in video transfers of the film, making these scenes contrast harshly against the on-set footage.

A visible shadow of the boom microphone (center of photo's upper edge) in a cockpit scene.

During the first airplane cockpit scene, the first officer is visibly reading from the script in his lap, and a flash of light from a flying saucer reveals the shadow of the boom microphone.[5] The microphone and first officer's script are not visible in the film's original theatrical release, as they do not fit in the frame in its intended projection aspect ratio of 1.85:1.[6] These mistakes are noticeable only in the film's open matte transfer on video.


The music for Plan 9 from Outer Space was compiled by Gordon Zahler. Zahler used stock recordings of works by about a dozen composers, which was a fairly common procedure in the 1950s for scoring low-budget films and television programs. However, Zahler apparently never provided a reliable accounting for the score.[7] In 1996, Paul Mandell produced a CD that recreated the film's score by tracking down the stock recordings and the composers;[8] Mandell subsequently wrote an article about the film's music for Film Score Monthly.[9] Some websites give proper credit to these composers.[10]


In 1992, the film was the subject of a documentary called Flying Saucers Over Hollywood: The Plan 9 Companion, which is included on Image Entertainment's DVD edition of Plan 9. The documentary visits several locations related to the film, including the building with Ed Wood's former office (at 4477 Hollywood Blvd), and what was left of the small sound stage used for the film's interiors, which is down a small alley next to the Harvey Apartments at 5640 Santa Monica Boulevard. That same year, Rudolph Grey's book, Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr., was published, and contained anecdotes regarding the making of this film. Grey notes that participants in the original events sometimes contradict one another, but he relates each person's information for posterity regardless.

In 2006, another documentary by Kevin Sean Michaels, titled Vampira: The Movie, chronicled Maila Nurmi's work with Wood and her role as television's first horror host.[11]


As an ode to Plan 9 being famously known as "the worst film of all time," pre-release copies of the colorized DVD included this limited edition air freshener.

Plan 9 is considered by some critics, including Michael Medved, to be the worst film in the history of cinema. However, other reviews have rated the film more positively. A report from the review site Rotten Tomatoes found that 66% of critics gave the film positive reviews; the consensus states: "The epitome of so-bad-it's-good cinema, Plan 9 From Outer Space is an unintentionally hilarious sci-fi "thriller" from anti-genius Ed Wood that is justly celebrated for its staggering ineptitude."[12] Many of them stated that the film is simply too amusing to be considered the worst film ever made, claiming that its ineptitude added to its charm. There were also claims that the director managed to convey some interesting ideas. As of 2011, Plan 9 has failed to place in the IMDb Bottom 100, a list compiled using average scores given by Internet Movie Database users,[13] though some of Wood's other movies have. In 1996, the film received a salute by author of the Cult Flicks and Trash Pics edition of VideoHound, in which it is stated that "The film has become so famous for its own badness that it's now beyond criticism."[14]

The film's title was the inspiration for the name of Bell Labs' successor to the Unix operating system. Plan 9 from Bell Labs was developed over several years starting in the mid-1980s and released to the general public in 1995.[15]

In 1996, Paul Mandell produced a Compact Disc (CD) that recreated the musical score from the film; the CD was released by the now-defunct Retrosonic Corp.[8] In 1997, David G. Smith wrote and composed the music for Plan 9 from Outer Space: The Musical.[16]

In 2006, a stage adaptation of the film, Plan LIVE from Outer Space!, was staged in the Toronto Fringe Festival. The play was written by James Gordon Taylor (based entirely on Wood's script). The play won a Canadian Comedy Award the following year.

In the Seinfeld episode titled "The Chinese Restaurant", the whole story line of the episode involves eating at a Chinese restaurant before going to the movies to see Plan 9 from Outer Space.

In 1991, Eternity Comics released a three-issue series titled Plan 9 from Outer Space: Thirty Years Later!, which served as an unofficial sequel to the film.[17]

An adventure game of the same name was made in which the player must recover the film from Lugosi's double, who has stolen it.[18]

The film was included in live performances at the SF Sketchfest by The Film Crew, composed of former Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast members Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett. A commentary based on these performances was released by RiffTrax, advertised as a "Three Riffer Edition", due to the fact that Nelson's solo commentary for the film's colorized DVD release had already been sold as an audio file on the Rifftrax website. On August 20, 2009, the RiffTrax trio performed the commentary at a live event in Nashville, Tennessee, and the performance was broadcast to theaters across the United States.

A film was made in 1994 entitled "Ed Wood"; an American comedy-drama biopic directed and produced by Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp which depects Ed Wood's creation of "Plan 9 from Outer Space"


In 2006, Legend Films released a colorized version of Plan 9 from Outer Space on DVD.[19] Though the colorization process was largely done straight, unlike the campy bright colors used in the studio's release of Reefer Madness, there were a few alterations. Legend had auctioned off the opportunity to insert new material into the film through two auctions on eBay. The first allowed the auction winner to provide a photograph that is digitally inserted into part of the scene between the Ghoul Man and Paula Trent. The second allowed the winner to have his or her name placed on a gravestone during a scene with Wood regular Tor Johnson. The third alteration is at a point where Eros gets punched and his skin briefly turns green.[19]

The Legend Films colorized release was screened in Plaza Theatre on September 9, 2006, and was hosted live by Elvira impersonator Patterson Lundquist with a live running commentary. As a part of the promotion sets of the autographed Michael J. Nelson DVD were given away as prizes. The event was featured in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and served as the grand re-opening of the theatre, which had fallen on hard times under previous ownership.

Autographed pre-release copies of the DVD were made available in 2005, and the colorized version was also given special theatrical screenings at various theaters throughout the United States, including the Castro Theatre.[20][21] The DVD featured an audio commentary track by comedian Michael J. Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame, in which he heckles, or "riffs" the film in a style similar to an episode of the series, a restored black-and-white version of Plan 9, a home video of Wood in drag performing a striptease (Wood, in real life, was a transvestite), a subtitled information track and a comedic feature narrated by Nelson detailing the "lost" Plans 1–8. The autographed edition also came with a limited edition air freshener.[21] Nelson's commentary is also available through his company RiffTrax, where it can be downloaded as either an MP3 audio file or a DivX video file with the commentary embedded into the colorized version of the film.[22][23]

The San Diego-based 3-D production/conversion studio PassmoreLab is currently working on a 3-D version of the original film.[24]


Filmmaker Ernie Fosselius (of Hardware Wars fame) created the 2009 short film, Plan 9.1 from Outer Space, which featured hand-carved wooden puppets of the characters from the film. The puppets acted out the scenes along with the edited soundtrack of the original film.

As of September 2009, there are two additional proposed remakes:

  • Grave Robbers from Outer Space was written and directed by Christopher Kahler for Drunkenflesh Films.[25]
  • The remake being produced by Darkstone Entertainment is being written and directed by John Johnson. The teaser trailer was released on the movie's official website on September 9, 2009.[26] Horror host Mr. Lobo, Brian Krause and Internet celebrities Matt Sloan, Aaron Yonda, James Rolfe, Monique Dupree and Ryan Higa have been slated to perform in the movie. The film is currently in post-production.[27]

See also


  1. ^ (X)"PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE".  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av Craig (2009), p. 138-177
  3. ^ a b c Peary, Danny (1981).  
  4. ^ Michael Adams (September 8, 2009). "Plan 9 From Outer Space: The Original Bad Movie We Love Turns 50".  
  5. ^ a b c (1959)"Plan 9 from Outer Space"Goofs for .  
  6. ^ BoxOffice Barometer. "Plan 9 from Outer Space" February 29, 1960. Pages 117, 130.
  7. ^ Jacobs, Chip (October 25, 2011). "The shocking musical truth of 1950's sci-fi". 
  8. ^ a b "Plan 9 from Outer Space Soundtrack (Retrosonic)". 
  9. ^ Mandell, Paul (May 1996). "Plan 9 From Outer Space"Forty Year Mystery Solved: The Music Behind .  
  10. ^ "Plan 9 from Outer Space (1956) – Cast and Crew". AllMovie. 
  11. ^ "Vampira: The Movie". 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2013-12-24. 
  12. ^ "Plan 9 on RT".  
  13. ^ IMDb. "Bottom 100". IMDb. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Schwartz, Carol (1995). Videohound's Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics. Visible Ink Press.  
  15. ^  
  16. ^ "Plan 9 from Outer Space: The Musical". Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  17. ^ "Plan 9 From Outer Space: Thirty Years Later". Atomic Avenue. Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  18. ^ "Plan 9 From Outer Space"Amiga Reviews: . Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  19. ^ a b (1959)"Plan 9 from Outer Space"Alternate versions for .  
  20. ^ Hartlaub, Peter (March 10, 2006). "Plan 9 From Outer Space"What makes a bad movie? For starters, take a look at . San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  21. ^ a b McMillan, Dennis (March 16, 2006). "Ed Wood Festival Comes To The Castro". San Francisco Bay Times. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  22. ^ "Plan 9 from Outer Space".  
  23. ^ VOD"Plan 9 from Outer Space".  
  24. ^ "BD Horror News – Ha! Ed Wood's Disasterpiece 'Plan 9' Gets 3-D Treatment!". 
  25. ^ New Stills From Grave Robbers From Outer Space"". July 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  26. ^ "Plan 9's teaser trailer". Darkstone Entertainment. September 9, 2009. Retrieved 2014-10-04. 
  27. ^ "PLAN 9 – News". Darkstone Entertainment. Retrieved 2014-10-04. 
Further reading
  • Will Sloan, "Can Your Heart Stand the Shocking Facts About Kelton the Cop A/K/A Paul Marco?" Filmfax (April 2005), pp. 88–89

External links

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