Friday, July 29, 2011

Now playing...

... on the Philco Predicta TV above the bar.

A back to basics bit of B-movie beauty.

Edward D. Wood Jr.'s 1959 masterpiece:

Oh, now, don't worry. I won't make all of you sit through it.
I mean, you can find it freely viewable all over the 'net -- it's in the public domain -- but I imagine, or rather hope, that anyone visiting the S&P already has at least one copy on DVD (and probably VHS!) in their library.

This film brings me back to summer midnights with a black & white, 9" television and the feeling that I would have understood this filmmaker. That he would have 'gotten' me. And that holy the heck, even *I* could make something spooky and cool. 

I mean, Plan Nine's lack of technical prowess was (still is) funny, but it also offered a kind of glimpse into how the movie was made, and that anyone could do it. I could see the bad sets and the props made of things I recognized and it all felt like one could go into the garage and whip up something no worse, and maybe better!

Talk about a film that practically begs you to pick up a camera and make anything you wish, with no money but with reckless, enthusiastic abandon.

It inspires creation -- the creation of spooky things.
'Cause it's got Bela, Tor, Criswell and Vampira... come on!

And the dialogue... oh my God.

Eros: First, you had your firecracker, a harmless explosive...

Lt. Harper: One thing's sure: Inspector Clay is dead — murdered — and somebody's responsible!

Eros: Those whom we're using cannot think. They are the dead, brought to a simulated life by our electrode guns. You know, it's an interesting thing when you consider: the Earth people, who can think, are so frightened by those who cannot — the dead.

Larry: Strange. If someone had broken in, the dirt should be piled up here somewhere. It looks like it's fallen in, into the grave. 
Lt. Harper: Larry, you'll be out of that uniform before you know it.

Criswell: My friend, you have seen this incident based on sworn testimony. Can you prove that it didn't happen? Perhaps on your way home you will pass someone in the dark, and you will never know it, for they will be from outer space. Many scientists believe that another world is watching us this moment. We once laughed at the horseless carriage, the aeroplane, the telephone, the electric light, vitamins, radio, and even television! And now some of us laugh at outer space. God help us... in the future.

And is it solaranite? Solarbanite? Solanite? 

OH, we all know how terrible it all is. It's supposed to be the worst film ever made, right? Well... I disagree. The cardinal sin of a film is to be boring, unentertaining, uninteresting. As bad as Plan Nine can be, it is certainly never any of those things.

So yeah. We're watching it all night.

It makes me want to make Hallowe'en.

And yes, Criswell...

God help us... in the future!



  1. I watched this years ago (back when you had to go out to an actual video store and rent VHS), but I dozed off part way through. I'll have to give it another chance! :)

  2. We have had this at the Davis Graveyard drive in a few times.....always a crowd pleaser, especially with a bottle or two of wine :)


  3. I watched Ed Wood (the movie with Johnny Depp) last summer with a friend and afterwards we watched all of Plan 9 online. Yeah, some of those lines are too much! I love Criswell's hair! :) I never thought about this movie inspiring people to make movies of their own, but I can see how that would happen. I mean, the bar was set pretty low here! So did you make a movie with props from your garage after seeing this?