FREAKSHOW Plan 9 From Outer Space

Join us every Monday as we look at a cult movie. Our film of the week this time is Ed Wood’s finest hour

1958
Director: Edward D Wood Jr
Cast: Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Tom Keene, Tor Johnson, Dudley Manlove, Joanna Lee, John Breckinridge, Vampira, Bela Lugosi
Available on region one and region two DVD
Watch the trailer here – and while you’re about it, watch Criswell’s introduction too

Some things are best watched at 3am, wrapped in the warm glow of drunkenness. Plan 9 From Outer Space is one of them.

Chances are, you know about this film already. Worst film ever made blah blah UFOs made from hub-caps and paper plates blah blah a chiropractor holding a cloak over his face doubling for Bela Lugosi. Forget the blah blah blah. You know about this film – but do you really understand?

Sometimes, sitting in an expensive French restaurant, staring down at the perfectly present cordon bleu cuisine on your plate, you realise you’d kill for a kebab and chips. Sometimes, at a nightclub, the most attractive woman in the place isn’t the most perfect beauty, but the awkward girl with dodgy teeth and two left feet. Sometimes, “Spock’s Brain” is the finest piece of science fiction television ever made, and nothing else will do.

It’s not about irony. Fuck irony. It’s about how a complex set of variables can come together to create a need that will only be satisfied by imperfection. Usually these variables include six pints of beer, but so what? Sometimes we need to cast aside our critical faculties and wallow in base pleasures.

For something like this, the rules are simple: if it’s entertaining, it’s good. If it’s not entertaining, it’s bad. Simple as that. The worst crime is sober mediocrity. You could never accuse Plan 9 of being mediocre (Or Ian of being sober – Ed). Scenes switch from day to night and back again. The sets are diabolical. The acting is on a par with that of your average school nativity play. Every component is shoddy, yet the whole still possesses an irresistable naive charm.

Get pissed. Watch this at 3am. It’ll make you very happy, because then – can your hearts stand the shocking truth? – Plan 9 From Outer Space is a great film.

Ian Berriman, reviews editor of SFX and cult movie nut, has watched Rat Pfink A Boo Boo four or five times, but never seen On The Waterfront. The nutter.

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