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Plan 9 from Outer Space
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Plan 9 from Outer Space

Plan 9 from Outer Space is a 1959 Ed Wood science fiction horror movie. Originally titled Grave Robbers from Outer Space, it was renamed because of its previous "sacrilegious" title, which did little to save it from being widely regarded as the worst movie ever made. The movie earned Wood a post-humous Golden Turkey Award.

Warning: Plot details follow.

The plot involves aliens who come to Earth to stop humans who have developed the ultimate weapon—one that can explode the "particles" of sunlight—and the aliens try to conquer Earth by resurrecting corpses from a cemetery.

Actors screw up their lines, night turns to day and back in a single scene, and the movie's top billing goes to an actor who died early in the filming (Bela Lugosi) and appears only in a couple of scenes at the beginning. Later in the film, Lugosi's character is doubled by a taller, younger, blonde-haired man (reportedly Wood's chiropractor, who helped finance the film) holding a cape over his face. The special effects consist of pie tins substituting for UFOss and multitudinous stock footage.

The movie has a "campish" or cult film popularity among those who appreciate hilariously bad motion pictures. Such appeal is heightened by quotable lines such as, "Inspector Clay is dead. Murdered. And somebody's responsible!"

In 1994, Tim Burton directed a fictional biopic, Ed Wood, based on the making of this film, starring Johnny Depp in the title role and Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi.

Because of the film's strong reputation, and a Bell Labs Research Division penchant for choosing names 'outside the usual range,' a successor to the Unix operating system was named Plan 9 in honor of this film.

Horror punk icons The Misfits continued to honor the film, first by naming one of their record labels "PLAN 9", then releasing a song, "Vampira", that honored the female lead, Vampira (Maila Nurmi).

Chiller Theatre in New Jersey hosts an annual horror convention, and the two movie characters they use are the two ghouls from "PLAN 9" (Maila Nurmi and Tor Johnson).

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