This Day In History 7/2

On July 2, 1959 Plan 9 from Outer Space opened in theaters. Plan 9 is considered by many critics, including Michael Medved, to be the worst film in Hollywood’s history.

Plan_9_Alternative_posterHarlan Ellison recently asked readers of his forum to pick the worst movie ever made, and he warned, “Plan 9 From Outer Space is a true no-brainer, so no one gets any props for throwing THAT ‘usual suspect’ into a competition requiring REAL CHOICES.”

Plan 9‘s popularity as the worst movie ever made actually has prevented it from ranking anywhere near the bottom of quality metrics. For example, Rotten Tomatoes reports that 66% of critics gave the film positive reviews.

In honor of this historic occasion I offer the following four question trivia quiz.

(1)  What did Ed Wood originally intend to be the title of the movie?

(2) Is it true that Bela Lugosi died on the second day of filming?

(3)  What popular TV psychic provided Plan 9’s introductory narrative?

(4) Plan 9 had cheap, horrible special effects. Was its iconic flying saucer a –

(a) Paper plate

(b) Hubcap

(c) A commercially available toy

Answers appear after the jump.

The answers are based on information from the ever-authoritative Wikipedia.

Lugosi Plan 9(1)  What did Ed Wood originally intend to be the title of the movie?

The original title was Grave Robbers from Outer Space

(2) Is it true that Bela Lugosi died on the second day of filming?

Probably not, since I cannot find such precise information in the Wikipedia or anywhere else. But it is true that when Lugosi died on August 16, 1956 much of the movie had yet to be filmed. Historians say silent footage of the actor actually had been shot by Wood for other, unfinished projects just before Lugosi’s death in 1956 and was repurposed for use in Plan 9.

(3)  What popular TV psychic provided Plan 9’s introductory narrative?

The film opens with an introduction by Criswell: “Greetings my friends! We are all interested in the future, For that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives! …”.

(4) Plan 9 had cheap, horrible special effects. Was its iconic flying saucer a –

(c) A commercially available toy

According to the documentary Flying Saucers Over Hollywood – The Plan 9 Companion (1991) it was a plastic toy. Both a regular version of the toy and a somewhat modified one appear in the film.


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5 thoughts on “This Day In History 7/2

  1. I’ve never seen PLAN NINE in its entirety, but I have seen TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE all the way through, and I have to say TFOS gives PNFOS a run for its money in the “absolute worst” department…even without Bela Lugosi. or his stunt double.

  2. Sam: If you saw it on TV with commercials,that’s not watching the film. Commercial breaks improve lame content. TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE lacks any redeeming unintentional humor, so it is a harder watch.

    It has one strange plus in that it was someone’s home movie, and was edited and ready for showing. There was no way the distributer would loose money.

  3. And in the running as lame (or worse): HORROR OF PARTY BEACH, EEGAH!, BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS and THE CREEPING TERROR.

    I add as an aside that I received a note from someone years ago who wanted a VHS copy of BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS, because she was related to Tor Johnson.

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