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Plan 9 from Outer Space - Blu-ray Review

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Plan 9 From Outer Space - Blu-ray Review

4 beers

It. Has. Arrived.

Plan 9 from Outer Space is believed to be the worst movie of all time.  It was originally made in 1959, long before the days of M. Night’s The Happening or The Last Airbender which are examples of the worst movies ever made.  Plan 9 is awful, but it is also something cherished and held in high esteem for its ceremonious humor and dialogue.  While it’s true that director Ed Wood couldn’t make a good film if his collection of wigs and angora sweaters depended on it, it is also true that he is one of the most earnest and honest filmmakers to ever break in to a Hollywood set and steal a prop octopus for Bela Lugosi to roll around on top of.

No, Plan 9 from Outer Space is not the worst movie ever made, but it is a pretty bad and awful film that has become an icon in spite of itself.  Plan 9 is a birthright into Nerd-head Geekdom; a certifiable accolade of coolness if watched with the right attitude.  It’s an experience and, thanks to the treasure raiders over at Legend Film (also busy this week releasing Corman’s The Little Shop of Horrors), it’s an experience to be relived in glorious High-Definition.

Plan 9 from Outer Space (originally titled Grave Robbers from Outer Space) is Ed Wood’s self-admitted bundle of pride and shameless joy.  It’s remarkable in that the type of joy Wood expressed when talking about the film can still be felt in front of the camera from the actors, the props, and everything else that goes supremely wrong with this picture.  The joy is witnessed in the stumbling movements of Tor Johnson’s stiff movements; heard in the opening future talk lecture from The Amazing Criswell, an wildly inaccurate psychic who was killed by an unpredicted cardiac arrest and the list goes on (did anyone mention Vampira?).

No, no, Plan 9 from Outer Space is not the worst film every made.  It is a joyful song in the pre-youtube, pre-bloggersphere world we live in today.  In fact, it just might be one of the last independently financed joy-soaked movies that makes you take note of a director who is proud enough to embrace his mistakes in the spirit of movie-making because he loves making movies.

Plan 9 from Outer Space is a salty sweet affair of strange and fantastic B-movie mojo without the Hollywood excess and yet somehow full of all Hollywood’s extraordinaire.  Day becomes night.  Verb tenses are split.  Lugosi dies and is later replaced with a man who looks nothing like him.  Prop gravestones fall like the cardboard they are.  Sets are bumped and rattle.  Strings dangle the flying saucers over model towns.  Stock footage is used, reused, and used again.

Plan 9 from Outer Space is so awful that is incredibly awesome.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out.  Only then will we be able to see if you truly are a fan of film and filmmaking and directors who never give up on their vision…even if it does involve grave robbers from outer space.

Plan 9 From Outer Space - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: This film has not been rated by the MPAA.
Director
: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Writer: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Cast: Bela Lugosi; Gregory Walcott; Mona McKinnon; Duke Moore; Tom Keene
Genre: Sci-Fi | Classic | Adventure
Tagline:
Aliens Resurrecting The Dead! Flying Saucers Over Hollywood!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Now, don't you worry. The saucers are up there. The graveyard is out there. But I'll be locked up safely in there."
Theatrical Distributor:
Distributors Corporation of America (DCA)
Home Video Distributor: Legend Films
Release Date: July 22, 1959
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 6. 2012

Synopsis: Aliens resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop human kind from creating the Solaranite (a sort of sun-driven bomb).

Plan 9 From Outer Space - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - March 6, 2012
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A, B

Courtesy of Legend Films, Plan 9 from Outer Space is presented in an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.33:1 that has both the original black-and-white version (preferred) and the colorized version. The original negative used has been polished or so the materials indicate as such and the images certainly look like they are well preserved. Noise reduction has been used and there are flints and flecks of debris from time to time. The black levels are consistently deep and the white levels never outshine the viewing area with reflection or shiny surfaces.  The colorized version, while tastefully done, is still not how I would choose to watch this film. The colors are matted a bit and flesh tones look too similar to be natural. The sound is presented in an appealing lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, but – due to its original recording – there really is nothing of note to add to the sound field…except that boom mics can be seen from time to time which only adds to the fun!

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Mike Nelson, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame, provides the laugh-along commentary track here.  He’s a bit all over the place, but when he’s on…damn…he does make a man howl with laughter.

Special Features:

Along with the original black-and-white version of the film, there are some fantastic Home Movie snippets of Ed Wood getting a birthday cake and a camera which is then spliced with an adult Ed Wood trying on a Christmas outfit…a cashmere sweater, hosiery, and a dress.  Awesome.   Following that are four black-and-white commercials Wood did for various sponsers.  They are all hysterically awful, but worth it for the laughs.

  • Ed Wood Home Movies (2 min)
  • Ed Wood Commercials (4 min)
  • Trivia Subtitles

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