“Plan 9 From Outer Space” (Edward D. Wood Jr., 1959) ¿La peor película de la historia del cine?


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Plan 9 del espacio exterior (Plan 9 from outer space) es una película de ciencia ficción y horror considerada una de las peores películas jamás filmadas. Dio fama a su director, Ed Wood, como el peor director de cine. Actualmente se considera una película de culto por sus innumerables errores en los efectos especiales, guión y personajes. Entre los actores resalta la participación de Béla Lugosi. Ed Wood tras la muerte de su amigo Béla Lugosi escribió el guión de esta película en menos de 2 semanas ajustándolo para poder incluir las últimas escenas rodadas por Lugosi (5 minutos de metraje). La película es un burdo intento de justificar las escenas de Lugosi en una trama sin sentido. Los extraterrestres hacen revivir a los muertos, pero Lugosi revive como algo parecido a un vampiro ya que lleva capa, se tapa la cara con la capa, etc.
Argumento: Unos extraterrestres llegan al planeta Tierra. Con sus armas eléctricas son capaces de devolver a la vida a los muertos para de esta forma generar caos y miedo, de esta forma pasar desapercibidos ya que los humanos centran su atención en los muertos vivientes.

Pese a su ínfima calidad cinematográfica, y al margen del enorme desconocimiento que de la puesta en escena tenía su artífice, son reseñables algunos errores:En algunas escenas de ovnis queda claro que los ovnis se mueven con hilos, llegándose a ver a veces los hilos negros que sujetan las naves. La iluminación se nota totalmente artificial, con sombras muy marcadas y poco naturales. Los decorados son totalmente amateurs, las puertas de las naves espaciales y aviones no son puertas, son cortinas.

Cuando la azafata de vuelo entra a la cabina del piloto y le dice que llame por radio para preguntar por su mujer, la cortina se le queda enganchada en el hombro quedando semiabierta, en el siguiente cambio de cámara, la cortina ya está cerrada.

En la misma escena cuando el copiloto está intentando quedar con la azafata y ésta le rechaza, se pone a escribir en una libreta mirando abajo, la cámara cambia y ya no está mirando abajo, está mirando a la azafata. Muchas de las escenas el personaje que hace Lugosi no es interpretado por él sino por un doble. Como el director no tenía suficientes escenas de Lugosi para completar la película hacía que el doble se tapara la cara con la capa. De esta forma el personaje podia interactuar con otros personajes aunque Lugosi ya estuviese muerto en la realidad. Por ejemplo, en la escena en que la Sra Trent está en la cama y entra el muerto que se supone es Lugosi, realmente no es él. (Wikipedia)

 

This film is one of the greatest bad movies ever made. I have viewed “Plan 9 from Outer Space” on numerous occasions. In fact, at times I have grown weary of the movie and avoided it for a year or two. I eventually feel the need to watch it again and pull the DVD off the shelf. Though I can remember many parts of it scene for scene, the experience is one I will never outgrow – especially when my repeat viewing is done with someone else who has never seen it before.

What makes this a legend and an icon among the multitudes of bad movies? That it is entertaining, despite (or because of) all its faults, must be a significant reason. People watch films to be entertained. Ed Wood’s masterpiece is definitely entertaining.

Open with Criswell, staring intently at the camera. He immediately delivers an imperative monologue that is pure genius. There is no way I could say those same lines without collapsing in laughter, but Criswell powers through the hilarious dialog like a man experiencing rapture. This is serious! Grave robbers from outer space are waiting for us in the future! Do you have the fortitude to believe me or is mankind doomed by your narrow mindedness? Listen!

Good grief, but that opening is the exact preface needed for a movie like “Plan 9 from Outer Space.”

Large portions of the story take place in a graveyard near the Trent’s home. The Ghoul Man’s wife is buried there during the first few minutes of the story. The poor old man (at this point he is still alive) stumbles home. He is so distracted by thoughts of his departed love that he walks into traffic and is quickly turned into roadkill. Funny thing, I once went to the arcade shortly after losing a dog who was hit by a car. What did I play? Frogger. After about the fourth quarter, the macabre connection clicked in my pre-teen brain and I stop sacrificing green amphibians to the byte highway.

In any case, a flying saucer lands in the graveyard after the mourners depart the first service. The deceased wife is raised from the dead to become Vampire Girl. Her first victims are the gravediggers. Later, the old man is also resurrected as Ghoul Man. Both of the undead trap Inspector Clay between them and he becomes the third victim. Following his funeral, the massive police officer is also turned into a shambling ghoul. Why are the aliens raising the dead and causing them to kill the living?

Maybe somebody should have asked the aliens. A couple of questions are definitely in order after flying saucers appear in the sky over Hollywood. One of them also scares the underpants off of Jeff while he is at the controls of a commercial airliner. The saucers buzz around for a while before congregating in one patch of sky so the army can shoot sparklers at the ships. Eventually, the aliens get bored with the pyrotechnics and zip away.

When you finally see the aliens, they also become a source of entertainment. Eros and Tanna are dressed like characters from a high school production of “Peter Pan” (if both of them were playing Peter). Needless to say, a pair of adults wearing such attire is an oddity, even in California. We then find out that using the dead as mindless killers is “Plan 9” in the standard operational handbook. I would presume that the previous eight options were even less effective than using three zombies to depopulate a planet of three billion.

That works out pretty good, doesn’t it? Each zombie need only dispatch a billion humans. Friends, I am being sarcastic. We can breed faster than the ghouls could kill us. In fact, if people learned to quickly walk away from the undead, deaths due to alien zombies would drop to nearly zero. Why not zero? I have read enough Yahoo News to know that people always manage to get killed in ways that defy belief. As many morons exist on planet Earth, one is going to fall asleep at the wrong time or try to run from Tor in high heels (the latter might be Ed Wood himself).

The sets are an important part of any movie; this is no exception. Lots of action takes place in the graveyard, which is populated with barely believable trees, tiny crypts, and wobbly gravestones. The inside of Eros’ flying saucer is even better: a couple of dials on the wall and cheap wooden tables with miscellaneous equipment on them is used to depict the control room of a highly advanced spacecraft. Do not get me wrong, a sufficiently advanced technological race could easily create a ship with a control room completely devoid of gadgets. However, they would not then fill it with furniture from Value City and spare electronics. Unless…it was a race made up entirely of Ed Wood clones and in that case, God help us all.

Nearly forgot to mention that the cockpit of Jeff’s airline is separated from the rest of the “plane” by a shower curtain. It should have made the stewardess popping out from behind it more interesting, but did not. Ed Wood started making films like that later on.

While Jeff is away on a flight, the Ghoul Man enters the house and traumatizes Paula. Probably because she was told that she would be performing opposite Bela Lugosi, but discovers the other actor is actually a chiropractor. Yes, poor Bela passed away two years before this film was released, but Ed Wood had shot some footage of the man wearing a black cape. We sometimes see Bela, flourishing his cape, but most of the time the Ghoul man is a chiropractor. The stand-in also has a cape that he cleverly uses to obstruct his face. All you can see are his eyes, peering over the upheld cape (like the one neighbor from “Home Improvement,” but dead).

Plan 9 has proven to be less effective than was hoped, so Eros opts for Plan 9B. That means sending the Ghoul Man into the Trents’ backyard. A regular convention is going on, with Edwards, the Trents, and some police officers discussing recent events. Once there, the zombie is hit with a powerful decomposure ray (no, it does not make him giggle) that turns the body into a skeleton. Surely, now mankind will tremble before the might of…whatever planet Eros and Tanna come from.

Actually, it causes the perplexed humans to search the graveyard. They finally discover the flying saucer and are allowed inside by Eros. The smug alien realizes too late that letting a group of armed humans into the ship may have been a mistake. Sure, he sent the largest ghoul (that would be Tor) to capture Mrs. Trent, but now Jeff is in the control room. Every time Eros annoys Jeff, the indignant pilot either punches the alien or shoots something.

To head off any punching or shooting, Eros finally explains why he has been pestering Earth with ghouls and rotting chiropractors. Humanity is on the brink of an amazing discovery: solarmanite (or solaranite – it is hard to discern exactly what they are saying). Solarmanite is a bomb that will cause sunlight itself to explode. So powerful is this weapon that the entire universe will be destroyed in a massive chain reaction. That is why mankind must be stopped, at all costs. I presume the following conversation is why Eros does not trust humans.

Copyright 1958 Reynold’s Pictures Inc.

2 pensamientos en ““Plan 9 From Outer Space” (Edward D. Wood Jr., 1959) ¿La peor película de la historia del cine?

  1. A mi me gusta mucho, volví a verla este verano y no dejó de divertirme. Deja la puerta abierta a la imaginacción, y sin olvidar que lo que estamos viendo costó en el año 59 sólo 6.000 dólares. Tim Burton en Ed Wood nos cuenta muy bien las peripecias que tuvo que pasar para conseguir el dinero para rodar sus infames pelícuas. Todo un logro.
    Salud,

    Me gusta

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