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Plan 9 from Outer Space
Plan 9 Alternative poster.jpg
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror
Photography: Color
Running Time: 80 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: July 22, 1959
Directed by: Ed Wood
Written by: Ed Wood
Distributed by: Valiant Pictures
Starring: Gregory Walcott
Bela Lugosi
Maila Nurmi
Lyle Talbot

Plan 9 from Outer Space (referenced often as Plan 9 or Grave Robbers from Outer Space) is a 1959 sci-fi horror movie made throughout the 1950's and directed by Ed Wood.



In California, an old man (Bela Lugosi) grieves the loss of his wife (Vampira) and on the next day he also dies. However, the space soldier Eros and her mate Tanna use an electric device to resurrect them both and the strong Inspector Clay (Tor Johnson) that was murdered by the couple. Their intention is not to conquer Earth but to stop mankind from developing the powerful bomb "Solobonite" that would threaten the universe. When the population of Hollywood and Washington DC sees flying saucers on the sky, a colonel, a police lieutenant, a commercial pilot, his wife and a policeman try to stop the aliens.

Why It Sucks

  1. After Bela Lugosi died in August of 1956, Ed Wood used his wife's chiropractor Tom Mason as Lugosi's stand-in. Mason was much taller than Lugosi and neither looked or sounded anything like him, which the movie attempted to hide by giving him no lines and having him hold a cloak over the lower half of his face in all his scenes.
  2. Awful acting.
  3. Poor special effects, most infamously the flying saucers which were just off-the-shelf toys repainted slightly.
  4. Laughable dialogue.
  5. All the scenes in the movie have many, many errors. (The most famous is the scene where in one shot, it's day but in the very next cut, it's night.)
  6. Overused stock-footage.
  7. Awkward backgrounds.
  8. When the actors accidentally hit the fake tombstone, it falls right down. They didn't even bother to re-shoot.
  9. Bizarrely out-of-place intro scene with Criswell, a then-famous psychic, introducing the film as something which is going to take place in the future, and then suddenly claiming that it's actually something which took place in the past.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The film is endlessly entertainingly bad and perfect for people who love bad movies.


After it was released, it was met with extremely negative reviews. It even won a Golden Turkey award for that very title and has gained a cult following among movie fans due to its status of famous bad movie. It holds a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes while IMDB holds a 4/10 rating.


  • Inspector Daniel Clay's face is become a popular Halloween mask in 1977.
  • In an interesting note, the film was actually completed in 1956 but it wasn't released for another 3 years due to difficulty in finding a distributor.
  • The scene of the detective messing around with his gun and variously pointing it at the two partrolmen and himself was actually the actor seeing if director Ed Wood would realise what he was doing and tell him to knock it off. Needless to say, he didn't.


Chris Stuckmann’s Review
Plan 9 from Outer Space is at #1

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