Plan 9 from Outer Space

From Awful Movies Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
NOTE: This is the very first page on this wiki! Official-PSASD (then known as Cpend7) added this article back in February 2015.
Plan 9 from Outer Space
Plan 9 Alternative poster.jpg
The first movie to be "so bad, it's good".
Genre: Sci-Fi
Directed By: Ed Wood
Produced By: Ed Wood
Written By: Ed Wood
Starring: Gregory Walcott
Bela Lugosi
Maila Nurmi (a.k.a. Vampira)
Lyle Talbot
Cinematography: William C. Thompson
Distributed By: Valiant Pictures
Release Date: July 22, 1959
Runtime: 80 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $60,000

Plan 9 from Outer Space (often referenced as Plan 9 or Grave Robbers from Outer Space) is a 1959 sci-fi horror movie filmed in 1956 and directed by Ed Wood.


In California, an old man (Bela Lugosi) grieves the loss of his wife (Maila Nurmi; credited as Vampira) and on the next day, he dies as well. However, the space soldier Eros and her mate Tanna use an electric device to resurrect them both and the strong Inspector Clay (Tor Johnson) who 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 actor Bela Lugosi who was to play the Old Man/Ghoul Man in the film, died in August 1956. Then, director Ed Wood used his wife's chiropractor Tom Mason as Lugosi's stand-in. Mason was much taller than Lugosi and didn't look anything like him aside from having larger ears like Lugosi did, which the movie attempted to hide by having him hold a cloak over the lower half of his face in all his scenes, which still didn’t work.
  2. Awful acting.
  3. Poor special effects even for late 50s standards, most infamously the flying saucers which were just off-the-shelf toys repainted slightly, with one having a block added onto it to match the square walls of the spaceship set.
  4. Laughable dialogue.
  5. All the scenes in the movie have many, many errors. The most infamous is the scene where in one shot, it's daytime, but in the very next cut, it's nighttime.
  6. Overused stock footage, which is all in 4:3 when the movie was intended to be cropped to widescreen in theatrical releases.
  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. One set is reused several times.
  10. 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. This appears to have been included only because Ed Wood was a frequent director on Criswell's TV show, and thus had access to the show's set.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The film is endlessly entertainingly bad and perfect for people who love bad movies.
  2. It also has a genuinely intimidating soundtrack.


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 a famously bad movie.

So far, it holds a 67% (46% among users) on Rotten Tomatoes while IMDB holds a 4/10 rating.


  • Inspector Daniel Clay's face became a popular Halloween mask in 1977.
  • On 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 patrolmen and himself, was actually the actor seeing if director Ed Wood would realize what he was doing and tell him to knock it off. Needless to say, he didn't.




External links


Loading comments...