I Will Be Away From Whatever Today, So Here’s Plan 9 From Outer Space to Amuse You

“We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.” Whoa, man. My mind? It is blown.

And yes. It is as bad as you’ve heard. But you can still love it anyway.

31 Comments on “I Will Be Away From Whatever Today, So Here’s Plan 9 From Outer Space to Amuse You”

  1. Bad? Julia Roberts movies are bad. This is the charmingly inept work of an crackpot auteur. Fascinating and entertaining, unlike whatever latest 100 million dollar pile o’ poop is stinking up the multiplex this weekend.

  2. @eviljwinter: Maybe, but at least Ed Wood thought what he was making was good. Bay openly admitted to the awfulness of Revenge of the Fallen, which makes it worse, somehow.

  3. My friends and I used to have a night once a month of beer, pizza and bad B films (Track of the Moon Beast, anyone?), and this one got trotted out a few times! Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane :)

  4. On the one hand I want to step up and defend this movie by saying “it isn’t as bad as all of that.” But then I remember that I never actually finished watching it, and never seem to want to try…

  5. Open one tab with “Plan 9”, and one tab of Youtube Repeat with one of the catchy songs below. Activate the Plan 9 tab, turn the volume for it down to zero, and… ahhhh. Yeah, that’s the stuff.

  6. When MoviePix (a classic premium movie channel in Canada) was launched, the first movie aired was Plan 9. I really don’t know what that says about the channel or society, but I thought it was a pretty awesome fact.

  7. My husband and I love the flaming pie plate on a wire effect for the spacecraft… and the cheap lawn chairs…and the wooden acting…

  8. It makes a great double feature with Robot Monster. “Are you a human or a Ro-man?” Awesome.

  9. While we can all laugh about the incredible awfullness of Plan 9, what’s amazing is the horrible Big Budget movies that the studios retch at us each summer.(Insert the name of your least favorite movie here.) At least no major studio looked at Plan 9 and said, “Merchandising &product placement, Ted, and this thing will open on the Fourth of July!”
    Oh, and for the record,while I threw out a copy of Plan 9 after Trying to watch it, no amount of money could convince me to watch The Smurfs.

  10. Loved every minute of it, a classic film, thanks for the link. It stopped two minutes before the end but I found another online with the last minutes.

    Just one question. Do you have tiny gravestones in the US?

  11. “The inspector’s dead. Murdered! And someone’s responsible!”

    But I agree that “Robot Monster” belongs in a double feature with “Plan 9.” Oh, my god, that is a hilariously awful film.

  12. Yup, it’s that bad, all right. They just don’t make ’em like that any more… Now I wanna see “Night of the Leapus” and “Attack of the Mushroom People”. Ah, the good old days.

  13. For easier Googling, may I point out that it’s “Night of the Lepus”, as in Lepus americanus, although the monsters in question appear to be members of the genus Sylvilagus.

  14. we had a ‘bad movie marathon’ one time at my university. you could come in for free, but the earlier you left, the more you had to pay. survive all three bad movies and you got out for free.

    Plan 9 was one of the movies.

    I couldnt go because I was out of town, but a friend of mine said people started making comments like MST2K. I havent seen the movie but apparently there is a scene where a guy (policeman?) with a gun was saying ‘you go over ther. and you go that way.’ except he would point the gun at the person when he would say ‘you’ and then point the gun where he wanted them to go when he said ‘there’. apparently a bunch of folks in the audience started saying ‘bang!’ every time he would use the gun as a pointer.

  15. The basic premise of the film is that bad communication and misunderstanding are dangerous and sometimes deadly, driving even those with the best intentions to actions that can spiral out of control with widespread destruction. The choice to use bad acting and wooden performers reflects this, our own daily bewilderment with change and attempts at communication shown as flawed even when we try our hardest, whether in mundane situations or times of the direst emergency. Of course, to people used to the polished performances of modern Hollywood this looks laughable but would your conversations make good telly? Even with the advanced technological help of a Dictorobotary we fail to get our most basic concepts across to those with a different culture. If we don’t default to tolerance then we will blunder to apocalypse.

    The use of the revivified dead to work for those who have environmental concerns illustrates the need for new ideas and processes to counter new threats rather than relying on the methods that the reactionary section of society has always used. The difficulty of controlling the ghouls shows the need to act for oneself and not rely on others to do what you need done. Likewise the carelessness of the soldier and policemen with pointing their loaded guns at each other highlights our species apparent disregard for risking the death of others.

    The use of flimsy sets and props is clearly symbolic of the excessive human concern with the material, the actors treat them as if they are real and solid despite their obvious unreality and lack of value. The same could be said of the arguments and logic used by the actors. We see the flaws clearly but they are too embedded in their everyday concerns to notice the glaring errors and strange assumptions.

    To top it all, Criswell is the most fascinating use of the “unreliable narrator” I have ever seen in film.

  16. Fans of crap cinema should also see “The Creeping Terror.” Watch it without the MST3K smartassery. It is horrible enough on its own merits. And it actually has a hootenany.

  17. Another good double-feature film for Plan 9 is Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. A group of friends in Westchester County had regular piazza, beer and bad movie Friday nights. Plan 9 and Killer Tomatoes was scheduled for the night that turned out to be Hurricane Gloria. I caught the last MetroNorth train to Peekskill that afternoon to still be there.

  18. “Plan 9 From Outer Space” is simply one of my all-time favorite movies. Whenever I want an antidote to slick, mass-produced, focus-grouped-up-the-ying-yang big-budget bullshit out there, I pop a movie like “Plan 9” (or “Glen or Glenda?” or “Bride of the Monster” into the DVD player. Makes me glad to be alive, it does.

    The first time I saw “Plan 9”, in the early seventies, on late-night TV, it was love at first sight. I scanned the weekly TV listings avidly, waiting for it to show up again. Ah, time well-spent in my otherwise misspent youth!

  19. I come from the future (Sept. 5) to leave this comment. You fools with your Sept. 3 and 4 comments are doomed — doomed, I tell you! Mwahahaha! (Except for COOP at #4, whose wisdom will make him President of our futuristic and bad prop-laden Universe!)

  20. This might be a long story, but I feel it needs telling, given the thread story. In the late 80’s I was working with some friends in Kansas City who were trying to start a theatre troupe. They had a script and some songs from an original musical they had done in college in Utah (Gateway to Nevada!) and were willing to let us use it. It was a retelling of Plan 9, in musical form We took the project on, found a theatre that was willing to host us for a couple of weekends and put it up with no money, no permission and no thought other than “Lets put on a show!” We put together a cast of at least 12 people, a band, costumes, sets and special effects. Which, I have to say, were both fun and easy as we were recreating Ed Wood’s sfx. We laughed and sang and it came to opening night (sold out). We rocked the show and were in the full flush of triumph when a man approached us and said “HI, I’m Wade Williams, and I own the rights to Plan 9.” Well, you could have pronounced me dead right there as I kinda knew what that might mean… Luckily he followed up with “And I loved it!!!” So many things and memories sprang from that moment. Like when he had us to his house (the one with the mechanical atrium over his courtyard and the private 35mm screening room) where the entire cast ate popcorn and watched an original print of the movie, to where he hosted the show in his old school art movie theater in Johnson County, KS for an extended run of the show. From what I’ve heard, the production made it to London, San Francisco and beyond (sadly, I didn’t get to participate in those). I’m just tossing this out there, both as a cherished memory and a call to action to fellow readers who have a project but no permission. In closing I leave you with the word of W. Burroughs:

    Les Voleurs

    Out of the closet and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, ,bookstores, recording sudios and film studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief. All the artists of history, from cave painters to Picasso, all the poets and writers, the musicians and architects, offer their wares, importuning him like street vendors. They supplicate him from the bored minds of school children, from the prisons of uncritical veneration, from dead museums and dusty archives. Sculptors stretch forth their limestone arms to receive the life-giving transfusion of flesh as their severed limbs are grafted onto Mister America. Mais le voleur n’est pas presse’ — the thief is in no hurry. He must assure himself of the quality of the merchandise and its suitability for his purpose before he conveys the supreme honor and benediction of his theft.
    Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! a bas l’originalite’, the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons as it creates. Vive le vol– pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight.

    Except, of course, Scalzi’s stuff…

  21. It may be bad, John, but it’s still good. Try watching Manos: The Hands of Fate. Now there is a truly awful movie.

  22. Eric George–I saw that musical version at some theater on Johnson Drive a few times. Had a live guitar band riffing on 50’s motifs. Took several friends to see it over time–never knew the Wade Williams part until now! Any idea where I could hear the soundtrack for this again? Betting it wasn’t filmed, sadly. Mike

  23. I wrote the Plan Nine Eric speaks of. Let it be known that Wade Williams ,though he sounds great in Eric’s story, has blocked our Plan 9 at every venture since an l.a. run…I cannot tell you how many productions we could’ve done.(Oh, and Hi,Eric)))

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