Plan 9 From Outer Space is not the worst picture ever made. It’s probably not even the worst film to premier on July 22, 1959. The film has been featured in countless retrospectives, Turner Classic Movies, and documentaries. It’s been adapted for the stage, in comic books and computer games. It’s music has been featured on a CD. It’s been colorized!
And, of course, it was obviously the model for NASA’s grand hoax ten years later, the so-called moon landing and moonwalk. Rumor has it that NASA even gave its charade the code name Plan 10 from Outer Space. Yet even with all those scientists working on it, they couldn’t get the string holding up the Apollo spacecraft just right. Nor did they include a single Bela Lugosi walk-on – his emerging dramatically from a crater would have been the perfect touch.
And there you have the main argument – can any film featuring Bela Lugosi be the worst film ever made. No way. Lugosi has several scenes in Plan 9, even though he was dead and buried with a stake through his heart when the film was produced. And narration by the Amazing Criswell. Had Criswell narrated the moon landing many more people would have believed in it.
Some naysayers fault the film’s dialogue. “Can your heart stand the shocking facts about grave robbers from outer space?” Is that anywhere near as bad as “Doe, a deer, a female deer?” Plan 9 from Outer Space is not the worst film ever made. The Sound of Music is.
Or the Mound of Susic as the Reverend William Archibald Spooner, born July 22, 1844, might have called it. The Reverend gave his name to that bit of word play known as a spoonerism. For example:
“Give three cheers for our queer old dean.”
“Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?”
“The Lord is a shoving leopard.”