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Plan 9 review

Plan 9 (2015)


Written & Directed by John Johnson

Based on the original screenplay by Edward D. Wood Jr.

Starring Brian Krause, Mister Lobo, James Rolfe, Monique Dupree,Mathew Ewald, 

Matt Sloan, Addy Miller, Conrad Brooks, Aaron Yonda, Amy Hart & Sara Eshleman


"Plan 9 is the story of Nilbog, a small town with a big story. The beginning of an invasion! These aliens have a different plan for the inhabitants of Earth. To resurrect their dead as their own army set with but one goal: to wipe out all mankind! This night will decide the fates of all who walk the planet and thought they were the top of the food chain."

The movie begins with Criswell (Mister Lobo) on the set of a remake of Plan 9 From Outer Space, Criswell is a bit of a douche and he'd rather be somewhere else. This opening intrigued me because I usually enjoy movies within movies, or movies about the making of movies, Man Of A Thousand Faces and Tim Burton's Ed Wood being two of my favourites. That cool 'movie within a movie' plot device only lasts a few minutes though, it ends the second Criswell walks out of the shitty film studio onto the streets of a fictional town called Nilbog. That's goblin spelled backwards, an obvious nod to Troll 2 - a movie that is usually sitting right next to the original Plan 9 on most 'worst movie ever' lists or  'movies that are so bad they're good' lists. For yours truly it's the latter.  So Nilbog seems like a typical average boring American town where nothing really exciting happens, until one day a big ass meteorite crashes nearby. Black slimey shit oozes out of the meteorite and seeps into all the town's graves reanimating the dead. Also the meteorite sends out shockwaves that fuck with everyone's heads and turns the town crazy. It's aliens (insert Giorgio A. Tsoukalos meme/impression here) and they've come to take over the earth by using mind control, zombies and all other types of weird shit. 

I remember hearing about this and seeing a teaser for it 6 years ago and I wasn't impressed. I'm not sure what the whole story is but it seems to have been sitting in limbo since then.  For me remaking Plan 9 From Outer Space is like remaking E.T. I forgot about it for ages until it popped up before my eyes the other day and I said to myself the same thing I say before watching most remakes - "Fuck it, can't be worse than The Fog remake...." .Thankfully it wasn't. It was pretty much an ok low-budget zombie flick but it definitely lacked the charm of the original. As an Ed Wood fan i'm definitely biased so non-Ed Wood fans might enjoy it more. Kudos to John Johnson for doing his best to stay true to the original though with TV horror host Mister Lobo playing the part of Criswell, a big bald guy who looks like Tor Johnson and even a pale goth chick looking slightly like Vampira. I found it hilarious that he had a guy who looked absolutely nothing like Bela Lugosi playing his part, with or without the cloak over his face - and he doesn't look anything like Wood's chiropractor Tom Mason either! 

(only fans of the original will get that joke) 

John Johnson is obviously a fan of Troll 2 and this wasn't the first time he had a town called Nilbog in one of his movies, he also had it in his trilogy of Skeleton Key movies and i'm not sure if he did it with any of his other features or shorts. He also cast James 'The Angry Videogame Nerd' Rolfe in Plan 9 which is bound to appeal to a lot of geeks out there and Brian Krause which might appeal to fans of Charmed. It had a nice bit of gore in it as well making it more like a modern zombie film than anything like the original. Plus it had some cool tunes in it, going from classic 60's rock n roll one minute to pumping 80's style synth-wave the next.

At the end of it, all Plan 9 isn't a terrible movie and it's not the worst remake I've seen. I guess I just didn't love it because the original means so much to me. That being said i'm sure it meant a lot to the director as well and he did a pretty decent job of retelling it in a modern way with some added humor and without shitting all over Ed Wood's grave. 

I give it 2.5 reanimated corpses out of 5.