Edward D. Wood Jr. – what an interesting man! Self-made man without film school became a real cinematic legend! I guess people asked about legendary directors come up with names such as Orson Welles, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, Krzysztof Kieślowski or Ingmar Bergman. But Ed Wood is a different kind of legend. He didn’t direct „The Godfather” or „Clockwork Orange”. He wasn’t innovative or revolutionary director. While directors listed above are called one of the best directors ever, Wood was called… the worst.
„Glen & Glenda”, „Bride Monster” or „Plan 9 from Outer Space” are just a few titles he made. I’m going to write a little about the last one, Wood’s „opus magnum”.
„Plan 9 from Outer Space” was written, directed and produced by Ed Wood in 1959 and was originally titled „Grave Robbers from Outer Space”. The plot revolves around ‚aliens who resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop humanity from creating the Solaranite (a sort of sun-driven bomb)’ [taken from IMDB]
So what makes „Plan 9” special? Is it a good movie directed by awful director? No, it is definitely not. It’s an awfully bad movie. It has everything that make Ed Wood „the worst”. Terribly written dialogues, shoddy scenography (my favourite part of scenography are little cute flying saucers, which Ed Wood bought in a toy store and hung with strings), uncommonly bad acting, erratic montage (in chasing scene there are night and day time shots at the same time), laughable special effects and ridiculous plot. It has everything that movie shouldn’t have. And that’s what makes it so unique. Its awkwardness and ‚crappiness’ makes it somehow… beautiful.
For me, as a B-class movie and cheap sci-fi/horror fan it was an amazing experience. Watching a movie that became a truly legendary picture and cult classic was someting special to me – somebody, who loves this kind of ‚pulp stuff’ and all this trashy pop culture. I find all this things so bad that they become worth watching, because they are unusual. They have something that makes you remember it even if they are trash. And I found that ‚something’ in „Plan 9 from Outer Space”. I found that kind of beauty that may be hidden really deep which makes many people not even notice it. I could sense the heart that Edward D. Wood Jr. put into flick. His love to ‚pulp’ magazines, cheap movies, etc. Love which he gave into every single frame of this movie. Probably I enjoyed it that much because me and Wood love the same stuff. Maybe… it’s a sign for me?