Retrospektive 2018

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Edward D. Wood
USA 1959
80 min

It may be impossible to extricate Edward D. Wood Jr.’s too famous film from the noxious mixture of mock awe, real awe, familiarity, and condescension in which it has lain floating since it was rediscovered (as, supposedly, one of the worst movies ever made) not long after its author’s miserable death in 1978. If anything still remains to be said about PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, perhaps it’s that the film manages to pull itself together and make an almost coherent (if insane) statement, even though its various parts always seem to be trying to separate from one another: the nonexistent sets; the assortment of professional, quasi-professional, and nonprofessional actors; Wood’s fervent, crackpot dialogue. Tribute should also be paid to Bela Lugosi’s performance in the minute-and-a-half or so of footage (shot by Wood for another project that was abandoned after the actor’s death in 1956) that the filmmaker salvaged for PLAN 9. In what looks like an absolute vacuum of plot context, Lugosi uses all the resources at his command to impose a last double image of himself: grieving, hapless widower and Satanic overlord, proud in ignoble defeat. Though not more than the sketch of a performance, Lugosi’s footage is a triumph of acting craft and personal mythology over the inane self-imitation to which a once illustrious career had found itself reduced. (Chris Fujiwara)

  • Gregory Walcott - Weenie
  • Bela Lugosi
  • Mona McKinnon
  • Duke Moore
  • Tom Keene
  • Tor Johnson
  • Carl Anthony
  • Edward D. Wood Jr.
  • William C. Thompson
Valiant Pictures
35 mm
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