When the First Eight Plans Fail, You've Always Got:
"Unspeakable Horrors From Outer Space Paralyse the Living and Resurrect the Dead!"
Starring Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, and Dudley Manlove
Written and Directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.
This is my favourite good-bad movie. I don't know why, but I like it a lot. I almost didn't want to review this movie because it's been examined and dissected and disemboweled ten million times already, but then I said "hey, what the hell?" So, here I go.
We open with the psychic Criswell, a psychic in real life who chanced at guessing that John F. Kennedy wouldn't run for election in 1964 because "something" would happen to him in November 1963. Not a bad guess, I'd say. Anyway, Criswell delivers an introduction of sorts sitting at a desk:
"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future."See? And that's just a taste of things to come.
He talks about the unknown and the mysterious, and how he's going to present to us a story based on sworn (but secret) testimonies. It's a story about "grave robbers from outer space", supposedly the original title of the movie. You see, Mr. Wood conned a church into financing this movie, and they made him change the name from Grave Robbers From Outer Space to a less sacrilegious name, like Plan 9 From Outer Space.
Next, we see the credits, and learn that Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, and Vampira are in the movie, along with a whole list of nobodies. Of course, Tor Johnson and Vampira are technically nobodies, but they're in this movie, which in my book makes them famous :)
The credits end, and we open in a cemetery, where a funeral is taking place. All of six people are in attendance, including the reverend. There's some token narration from Criswell. Bela Lugosi is one of the people there, and he looks pretty sad. Two gravediggers watch the funeral from the side, but they're sitting in some weed-choked patch of wilderness that doesn't look like a cemetery. According to Criswell, Bela's wife has died, and that it's the "Sundown of the day, yet also the sundown of the old man's heart." The funeral ends, and everyone shuffles off. The gravediggers approach (we don't ever see them and the grave at the same time) and start digging in their unkempt area. I wouldn't have any of my loved ones buried there, with all the weeds and dead trees around, but never mind.
Now we cut to an old plane in flight. Inside the cockpit, which is a very sparse set, there's a pilot named Jeff Trent (Gregory Walcott) and an inconsequential co-pilot sitting at what appear to be controls made out of cardboard It's supposed to be before sunrise, but it's clearly not. When watching this movie, it's advisable to pretend it all takes place at night, no matter what any of the actors say. It clears up inevitable confusion. So they're flying along, when a bright light and a gust of wind rush by outside, startling the pilots. Then we get a 2.3 second-long shot of a flying saucer, hanging on a visible string. The pilots stare at this thing when a call comes in over the radio. A stewardess enters, and we get another brief shot of this "saucer". The co-pilot radios a mayday, and the stewardess checks to see if any of the passengers saw it.
The saucer, meanwhile, flies off to the graveyard.
The gravediggers dig. What gravedigger works before sunrise? Wasn't the sun just going down when the funeral ended? Anyway, now it is clearly daytime, so WHICH IS IT??!! See what I mean about confusion? Anyway, the diggers hear the saucer buzz by, and in a badly acted scene, they ask what it could have been. They decide to leave without finishing their hole.
Suddenly, it's nighttime, and a woman emerges from the trees. It's Vampira, starring as one of the space ghouls. She looks creepy, and we hear the gravediggers scream off-camera.
We cut to Bela's house, in the daytime. He leaves and slowly walks about. Criswell narrates, and tells us that Bela is depressed. He picks a flower from a garden in front of the house:
"The ever beautiful flowers she had planted with her own hands became nothing more than the lost roses of her cheeks."Did Ed really write this? Was Vampira his wife? If so, I think she's a little young for him.
Bela drops the flower, crying, and walks deliberately into traffic that we are to believe exists off-camera. We hear a scream, indicating that Bela was run over and killed. During this, we see Bela's shadow on the ground by the garden, showing that he's still walking away from the camera. Thus ends the film career of Bela Lugosi, having died before production of Plan 9 was complete. He will appear sparsely through the remainder of the movie, using a body double and clips from an unrelated project Ed Wood never finished.
Now it's nighttime. Four people leave a very small crypt that has the dimensions of a small garden shed. Vampira watches. One couple who step out of the crypt talk to each other, utilizing acting abilities that can be found in a garden-variety porn film. Basically, they tell us that Bela was placed in a crypt while his wife was buried because of some family tradition. I have a feeling that this was done to fill in a plot hole or editing flub, but that's just a theory.
As this couple leaves the crypt, the woman spots the two gravediggers from before. They're dead. She screams.
Then we see some footage of cops leaving a police station, entering their cars, and then driving off.
Now it's daytime, though we're supposed to think it's night still. However, it's daylight when they arrive at the cemetery. The cops assemble, with Tor Johnson playing Inspector Dan Clay. He tries hard to cover up his accent, and he and the other cops with him talk about things. Clay is going to look around with his flashlight.
So, he looks around the foggy cemetery, hunting for clues. The headstones seem awfully close together. He looks and looks, going rather slowly, and we see every painful moment.
The other cops find the gravediggers, noting how it looks like a powerful animal ripped them open. Funny, they didn't look wounded before. The morgue people arrive to take the bodies.
We cut to Jeff Trent's backyard. Apparently, he lives next to this cemetery, and so hears all of the police cars driving by. He and his wife Paula (Mona McKinnon) are sitting out there enjoying the night air, and he notes that something weird is happening at the cemetery. She says that he looks preoccupied. He says he saw a "flying saucer" during his flight. She asks if it's "the kind from up there". No, it's the kind from the sea. He says it was shaped like a cigar (?!) and describes the encounter. Upon landing, he says some military people swore him to secrecy. Then he jumps up in frustration, saying the public should be made aware of what's happening, but he can't do anything because he swore not to. Well, you've already told your wife...
There's another flyby of a saucer, made plain with a bright light and a force that knocks Jeff and Paula over.
We see a saucer flying.
Back at the cemetery, the cops see and are knocked over by the flyby as well, dropping the body of the gravedigger as they're loading it into the truck. During the fall, one guy accidentally kicks a headstone and it flops over as if it's made of cardboard.
Inspector Clay also sees the saucer.
The cops get up.
A brief saucer shot.
The cops stand around. Clay sees the saucer land, and walks in that general direction. He passes the crypt, and lo and behold, a man emerges, holding a cape to his face. We are to believe that this is the man played by Bela Lugosi, despite obviously being slimmer, taller and looking different. That explains the cape over his face. This man, whom I will refer to as Fake Bela, quietly follows Clay. Fake Bela is making a buzzing sound.
Clay walks with his pistol drawn. Vampira appears, and Clay fires at her, but nothing happens. Fake Bela and Vampira trap him, and they kill him.
The other cops hear the gunfire, and head off to find Clay. They find him, dead. They stand around for a while. One of the cops adjusts the brim of his hat with the ebarrel of his pistol! They ask if he's really dead, and wonder if the saucer had anything to do with it. The lead cop, Lt. Harper (Duke Moore), makes this observation:
"Well one thing's for sure. Inspector Clay is dead-- murdered, and somebody's responsible."Now do you see why I love this movie so? Anyway, Harper starts issuing orders to the patrolmen with him, using his gun as a pointer with his finger clearly on the trigger.
We cut to another funeral, this time for Inspector Clay. Some cops, and a few others are present while the reverend (the guy is a reverend in real life) reads some final words. Vampira watches the ceremony. I've heard that Mr. Wood was obligated to include this scene because of the religious nature of the financial backing.
We cut to the daytime. Three saucers fly in formation over a shot of a city taken from a moving car.
Fig. 1 - Saucers over Hollywood
Fig. 2 - Idiots
We cut to space, where the saucers fly quite loudly and erratically through the vacuum.
Now we're at the Pentagon and elsewhere, with stock footage of jeeps carrying troops and missiles to some battlefield. The saucers hang around, watching, I guess. We see a shot of Colonel Tom Edwards looking through binoculars, standing in front of a blank wall that we are to believe is the sky. According to Criswell, who has been talking all this time, Edwards gives the order to fire at the saucers. We see stock footage of firing missiles and such. Small explosions burst in the air around the saucers, and the music gets really hectic. Of course, nothing happens. We get to watch this for 61 long seconds. Then the saucers finally fly away. Are they taunting us by hanging around like that, or are they just stupid? Even the Air Force fighter jets lose the saucers, and some stock footage proves this.
A soldier joins Edwards. They talk about the saucers. Edwards explains that they once tried communicating with us, but then they attacked:
"Then they attacked a town. A small town, I'll admit, but nevertheless a town of people."Well, this certainly came out of left field. I guess it wouldn't be a disaster unless it was a city that was attacked. Anyway, why would the aliens attack a town? The soldier didn't know this, and Edwards says the "higher echelons" covered it up, and that many natural disasters reported by the media could actually be saucer attacks. Oooh, Ed Wood is trying to make deep points here. The soldier understands, and goes along with the cover-up story for this operation. However, that's not before the soldier says another immortal line, referring to the aliens:
"Visits? That would indicate visitors?"Ahhh, refreshing Ed Wood-brand redundancy.
The saucers, meanwhile, fly to their home base, a matte painting of a Saturn-like saucer floating in space. It sure sounds windy in space.
Fig. 3 - The mothership
Anyway, Eros and Tanna meet their leader, who sits at a desk. The desk has leftover electrical equipment that looks like it belongs on the set of Robot Monster. Radios and oscilloscopes and things like that. The walls are curtained, which immediately makes me wonder about set re-use in this movie.
Fig. 4 - The glorious crew and the leader
Fig. 5 - The Pituitary Gland (from Gray's Anatomy)
Saucers fly back down to Earth.
Now it's nighttime again. Jeff is ready for work, decked out in his spiffy pilot's uniform. He wants Paula to leave the house and stay with a relative for safety, but she wants to stay and they share some romantic talk. She tells him to go, but he's worried about her. She'll use his pillow for company at night, a statement that sort of weirded me out.
Not far away, one of the saucers lands outside the cemetery.
Jeff and Paula part, and he heads to his car carrying what looks like a purse. He climbs into his convertible, but we don't see him drive off with it. I guess the car was Ed's to borrow, not to drive.
In the plane, Jeff looks bored. The co-pilot tries to make some small talk, and wonders what's wrong with Jeff. He brings up the saucers, and the cemetery. Then the stewardess enters, and there's some chitchat that's absolutely meaningless to the audience. She asks if they want coffee, and Jeff makes a call over the radio to check on Paula. This mindnumbing scene lasted 2 minutes and 5 seconds.
Now it's daylight. Real Bela walks through the cemetery, spreading his cape for the camera. Then he heads back into the forest from whence he came.
Nighttime. Real Bela approaches Paula's house.
Paula is in the bedroom when she gets a phone call.
Real Bela enters the house.
The phone call ends. Fake Bela slowly enters the bedroom. Paula doesn't seem too alarmed, but gets up and keeps her distance from the intruder. She screams and runs out, and Fake Bela follows her out.
We see Real Bela leave the house and run off into the graveyard. Vampira watches everything.
Daytime. Real Bela walks through the graveyard.
Nighttime. We see a strange shot of a burial plot, but it's clear it's a small model. The headstone has the same proportions as a bar of soap. Something in the grave is moving.
We see a shot of Vampira walking.
Fake Bela too is walking, following Paula.
Paula runs past the pulsing grave, which promptly collapses as something digs its way out.
Vampira walks. Paula screams. Inspector Clay rises out of the grave, looking all monster-like. I have to admit, Tor looks like a good movie zombie. At least, that's what I thought. If I saw him, I'd be frightened. He stands in his own grave. Paula runs. Fake Bela walks. Clay joins the party and starts wandering around. Vampira walks. Paula runs. The music is ridiculous. See the tense excitement of the scene? It's thrilling in the worst way.
Now, hold on because this movie becomes a bucking bull in the time department.
It's the daytime. A car drives down the road running past the cemetery, and slows down when the driver sees Paula running along the road in her nightgown.
Nighttime. Fake Bela is walking around.
Daytime. Paula faints, and the driver bends down (and thus sticks his fat ass into the camera) and picks her up, putting her in the car and driving off.
Nighttime. Fake Bela approaches the camera.
Daytime. Fake Bela gets close to the car, but it drives off and he misses them. He heads back into the forest.
Nighttime. Vampira and Clay turn to go as well.
Daytime. The cops drive to the cemetery.
Nighttime. The cops arrive at the cemetery.
Daytime. Bela walks away from the camera.
Nighttime. The cops start investigating
Eros and Tanna lead the ghouls into the spaceship, which is landed. All we see of the saucer on the ground is a corner of a building, with a door, a window, and a ladder stuck on the wall. It sure doesn't look like the saucer. The interior is even worse, a very sparse set with some electrical equipment resting on office furniture. There's even an electrical arc generator on a table. The walls are blank, spare some token objects like a clock of some kind that I saw earlier in the airplane.
Eros says the ghouls can't tell them from the humans, so Tanna must be careful to switch off the electrodes in their presence. Wouldn't this kill them? No, this only pacifies the zombies, and they just stand there with vacant stares.
Fake Bela is the last to arrive, and is let in the spaceship.
The policemen look around, argue, and hold their guns haphazardly. Most of the time, Lt. Harper has his finger on the trigger, and he still uses his gun as a pointer. The saucer takes off, and the cops hear it but see nothing. They mention it and how similar it is to the sound they heard during the landing they witnessed, only the takeoff didn't involve a bright light. Two more officers arrive, and Harper knowingly points out that many saucers don't have lights. Ugh, is this a UFO propaganda movie? Some old sci-fi movies go out of their way to convince you that flying saucers are real. 1953's Invaders From Mars is a good example of that kind of really bad movie. Anyway, one of the cops says that he found a grave that looked vandalized. Harper tries to get it out of him:
Harper: "What?! Where?"You have to hear this little passage to believe it, it's quite fake sounding, like the movie is trying to make the cop look stupid. High school drama calibre. Why did Ed write this?
They head off for this grave. They find it, and it looks collapsed. The headstone has fallen in as well. We don't see it too well (we only saw the model collapse before), and they won't go in without the family's permission. Unfortunately, they have to go in and read the headstone to find out whose grave it is, so one cop reluctantly climbs in. The casket is empty, and he's surprised to find it's Inspector Clay's grave.
Daytime. A plane flies over the Pentagon. Criswell tells us that it's in Washington D.C., but this is actually wrong. The Pentagon is in Arlington, Virginia. It's near Washington D.C., but not in it. It's not a huge deal though.
General Edwards enters the office of General Roberts and takes a seat. Roberts starts talking about flying saucers, noting that just talking about them is a violation of orders. Edwards says that he knows this, but he's seen them. He shot at them, after all. Roberts talks about them for a little while, how they've tried to contact us in the past. Now, however, we have a language computer that translates their words into English. We're even indulged with a recording of one of the messages. It's Eros on the tape, sounding a little echoy
"This is Eros, a soldier from a planet in your galaxy. I fully realize our language differences, however, I also know you've finally perfected the dicto-robitary, or as you on Earth call it, the language computer. So you can now understand that which I speak."He then talks about how their race is "eons" ahead of ours.
"Do you still believe it impossible that we exist? You didn't actually think you were the only inhabited planet in the universe? How could any race be so stupid? Permit me to set your mind at ease. We do not want to conquer your planet."These are some of the most pompous aliens I've ever seen in the movies, up there with the Psychlos from Battlefield Earth *shudder*.
The aliens seem friendly, but are nervous about something. They are willing to destroy us before we destroy them, which we are on the verge of doing somehow. Then the tape ends. Roberts notes that "atmospheric conditions in outer space" interfered with transmission after that. Yeah, whatever. All in all there are twelve recordings, and Roberts says we will fight them. Edwards is being sent to Hollywood to investigate saucer activity out there. Please, arrest Mr. Wood while you're there! Edwards must find them and find out what they want. He's given secret reports, and sent on his merry way.
Up in Space Station 7, Eros and Tanna arrive to show the leader the zombies. The leader is irritated with them, as they are days late, but Eros says they couldn't help it. The leader arranges to take two of their three ships and reassign them to different projects. Eros objects, but the leader says that this weird project doesn't warrant three ships. They resurrected three people to enslave Earth. I think they could manage that with one ship. The leader gets up from his desk, seeming to be mad.
Enter Clay, being attracted by Tanna's electrode gun, a futuristic looking pistol thingy. It advances on Eros, but Tanna can't turn the gun off because it's "jammed." A tense (I use the term loosely) scene follows where Clay starts strangling Eros and the leader quickly orders Tanna to drop the gun, allowing the metal floor to "break contact." She does so, and Clay stops strangling Eros, and he gets out from under him.
The leader is relieved, and sits down at his desk. As he does so, the actor very visibly rolls his eyes. I guess he's realized what kind of movie he's got himself into. He studies Clay, and is impressed by his physical size. Unfortunately, as Eros admits, he's not representative of everyone on Earth. Nevertheless, the leader has a plan. He intends to have the old man zombie march into an area with people, and then decompose him with the saucer's "decomposure ray" right in front of the said people, thus astounding and startling them. This stunt will, according to the leader, stall for time and allow Eros and Tanna to resurrect more people from the cemetery, and then march the zombie army into the cities of Earth and send a message - there are aliens out there. Couldn't such superior aliens think of a better way to introduce themselves and guide us? I mean, zombies? They should take a page from Carl Sagan's Contact or something. Of course, then we wouldn't have a funny movie, but one that could actually be respected.
Down on Earth, we see the cops drive down the road by the cemetery for what must be the umpteenth time. Then we see saucers flying.
Some cops pull up to Jeff's house with Col. Edwards, and they talk to each other briefly.
The saucer lands in the cemetery.
Paula, Jeff, Edwards, Harper, and some cops sit on the porch while Paula retells the story of when the saucers flew over their house earlier in the film. She claims a strong "force" knocked them over, and there was a bright light.
Meanwhile, Fake Bela is dispatched from the saucer.
We see Bela walking through a graveyard.
Edwards, after hearing the story, is compelled to speak:
Col. Edwards: "This is the most fantastic story I've ever heard."I got remarkably similar reactions when I told people who haven't seen Plan 9 about the movie.
Harper chips in when he hears a strange buzzing sound. He calls out, and Patrolman Kelton, who's at the car, answers that he smells a zombie around. Finally Kelton sees Fake Bela approaching. Kelton backs away from the car, and Paula is scared. We get a shot of every individual's face, and the looks of fake terror are just classic, as is the way Fake Bela hides his face with his cape. Kelton fires his gun, but nothing happens. Fake Bela then knocks Kelton to the ground.
Harper also tries firing his gun, and, like all of the gunplay in the movie, it's so fake looking because these pistols they're using have absolutely no recoil or anything.
The saucer cheaply fires some kind of beam from the landing site.
Fake Bela collapses. They look under his cloak, and find just a skeleton, lying neatly on the ground.
Now, they're all ignoring Kelton, who lies on the ground beside the skeleton unconscious. Then Harper remembers.
"In the excitement, I forgot all about Kelton."Babies forget about objects they don't see. Detectives in really bad movies forget about things they do see. Oh well, now I know for the future. They wake Kelton up, and tell him that the zombie is dead... if you can use that word.
After this, the gang drives out to the cemetery with Paula and Jeff. They all get out on arrival, except for Kelton and Paula, who will stay at the car. She's frightened, and doesn't want to stay there by herself. For some bizarre reason, Harper says this:
Harper: "Modern women."So, only modern women get frightened of aliens and zombies? Or were women always afraid of aliens and zombies? Or do women get scared of these things only in conjunction with a cemetery? Good gravy, man, put some thought into what you're writing!
Vampira is nearby, and we see her briefly walking away from the camera.
Jeff is given a gun, and he already knows how to use one. He, Edwards, and Harper set off for some reason to Clay's grave. Paula and Kelton stay behind.
Vampira walks around.
After looking at the grave, Edwards notes how it looked like something got out of the grave.
In the saucer, Eros and Tanna plan to let the men find the ship. After that, the men will be abducted to maintain the security of the mission. In the meantime, they dispatch Clay to fetch Paula and the cop.
Clay approaches the car.
At the grave, the men see the weird glow from the saucer. They cautiously head over.
Clay sneaks up on Kelton. He yells, but Clay knocks him out. Paula screams inside the car, and very slowly, Clay gets the door open.
Eros spies on the three men approaching from outside.
They find the exterior of the ship, that un-saucer-like set we saw earlier. They tap it, and a weird metallic sound was dubbed into the soundtrack. One guy tries to see through the window, but can only see his reflection.
Tanna enters the bridge, that really unimpressive interior we saw earlier, and opens the outer hatch.
The men are startled when the door opens, but they enter this alien spacecraft anyway. Their guns are drawn.
Tanna seems reluctant to kill them, but Eros says it's necessary.
Tanna: "You're always right, Eros."The three men enter the bridge, and the door closes behind them. They point their guns, and Eros seems to cooperate with them. He says their guns aren't needed, and he flicks a switch, but is ordered away from the control panel. If I met real aliens, I don't think I'd behave this way. Then again, hearing them refer to the human race as "stupid" and finding that they look just like us, I think I might. Eros says that Paula and the cop will soon join them here. He tries to switch on a "televisor", which is a TV in a wall, but he gets a warning shot. They let him switch it on, and we see Paula being carried by Clay. She's apparently fainted or is unconscious. Jeff is angry, but Eros explains everything. They want to contact us because
"All you of Earth are idiots!"His words, not mine. Eros explains that we are on the verge of discovering the "solaranite bomb", which explodes photons of sunlight as an atomic bomb explodes uranium atoms (or similar atoms.) Need I go into the science that disproves this ridiculous notion? Jeff doesn't see why the aliens should worry about whether we discover this technology or not, but Eros loses it:
"You see? You see?! Your stupid minds! Stupid, stupid!!"Oh yeah, well your mom is a poopoohead! Take that, stupid! Jeff punches Eros, but Eros is okay. He blames stupid humans, humans like Jeff, for the chaos that will result once we develop this solaranite stuff:
Eros: "No use of the mind God gave you."Again, I think these lines were included to somehow appease the financial backers of this movie. It's still corny, so I like it. Eros uses a gasoline analogy to explain what solaranite does. You see, once detonated, a solaranite bomb will destroy the Earth and set off a chain reaction that runs from Earth to the Sun, and then to everywhere the Sun's light reaches, including their planet and everything in the universe. Hold it, is their planet in our solar system or something? Eros said he was from our galaxy, not our solar system. Eros also says that our sun is their sun. Besides, I'm sure there is a sufficient distance from the Sun where it is too faint to see and where its light cannot go. I don't know, I'm not an astronomer. Anyway, Eros says it will destroy every planet in the universe. The three men don't really believe this, but Tanna defends Eros. He asserts his dominance and shoves her aside, noting how their women are for "advancing the race, not fighting man's battles." Huh?
More cops drive up to the first police car. Vampira listens to the cop who was watching Paula explain what happened to the new cops. They don't believe him, and head off to where Jeff and the others went.
Clay still carries Paula in his arms.
Eros pontificates a bit, looking out the window, about how solaranite will destroy everything. Harper uses his gun and tries to arrest the aliens (?), but looks out the window and sees Clay just outside with Paula.
The cops approach the saucer, and see the glow in the distance, as well as Clay and Paula. They draw their guns, but they'll do no good, so they don't fire. They try to get Paula by hitting Clay over the head and knocking him out. They grab Paula.
Eros isn't surprised, explaining that Clay fell because the electrodes were switched off.
The cops find the saucer and try to get in.
Harper tries leading Eros and Tanna out of the saucer, and a fight breaks out. Tannasits down with some radio equipment left over from World War Two, and says she'll have the saucer in the air in a few minutes. Jeff and Eros fight, knocking tables over and lightly smashing some of the electrical crap they have. Edwards tries to get the doors open, but can't figure out the controls. Well, let's see, there's "OPEN" and "CLOSE", right?
A small fire breaks out inside some of the electrical gear while Jeff and Eros continue to fight. I guess the aliens didn't expect any minor resistance from the men. No concealed guns or anything. Tanna was open, she could have retrieved some kind of raygun or something.
Edwards gets the door open, and Harper darts out. Edwards warns Jeff that the "ship is on fire" and advises him to leave before he himself leaves. Jeff finally bests Eros and knocks him out cold, then leaves. Tanna runs over to Eros, and small fires are bursting out and filling the room with smoke. Eros won't be getting up.
Just outside, everyone watches the saucer take off (we don't see this), and fly off. The model they use has been set on fire, and boy is it a small-looking fire. We see the flaming saucer fly over the city. It's a wonder the string didn't catch fire.
Tanna struggles to wake Eros.
The gang spots Clay on the ground, but he's a skeleton. They remember Vampira (out of sight, out of mind), and figure she too is now a skeleton. They suspect this isn't the last they'll see of the aliens - making room for a sequel, are we, Ed?
The saucer is on fire, but flying. Perhaps flying up into the vacuum of space is the best thing to extinguish a fire, ever consider that, Tanna? Nope, we hear her try to revive Eros (we can't see because of thick smoke). She then screams.
The saucer explodes.
We see Criswell again at his little desk.
"Perhaps on your way home, someone will pass you 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 very moment."Yeah? Name these scientists. Anyway, he goes on about how we laughed at seemingly implausible inventions, like the airplane and the television, and how we shouldn't laugh at "outer space." He stands, says "God help us... in the future," and then the movie ends. We see credits.
Ed Wood Jr. had to have been a troubled man. I guess being a drunken cross-dresser means you write bad movies. The idiotic dialogue, the low budget, and the unbelievable script really put the mark of Ed Wood all over this movie. He was trying to go for The Day the Earth Stood Still but really, really missed. Add in Bela Lugosi's unfortunate death before the movie was finished and the inevitable use of a body double, as well as wooden acting and a whole host of camp actors, and you've got one outstanding movie. I won't make fun of the movie itself, as this movie has been beaten to a pulp before. I think it's a really good-bad movie, a miserable effort that is charming in its failure. This movie doesn't make me mad like other bad movies. It's fun. Come on Ed, casting a Bela Lugosi body double who doesn't look a thing like Mr. Lugosi? Did you think we wouldn't see that? A few times during the film, I spotted things like cables for lights and mattresses for actors to fall on. I won't go into all of that, this movie's flaws have been adequately covered elsewhere. Instead, I'll just point out some trivia.
-I was fascinated with the financial backers for this movie. The Baptist Church of Beverly Hills was somehow convinced into paying for this movie, perhaps with dreams of making religion pictures with the "profits" from this movie. In exchange, the cast all agreed to be baptized (except Vampira) and I guess Ed had to put some God references in the movie, made evident during Bela's funeral scene. He also had to change the title to something less blasphemous.I wouldn't say this isn't the worst movie ever because it's fun to watch, but it's still a really bad movie.
June 26, 2004
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