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Plan 9 from Outer Space

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Poor Ed Wood Jr. Not only did he not look particularly fetching in angora (his fetish) but his fame rests primarily on the sheer awfulness and unintentional humor of his Z-grade flicks. Topping most critics' lists as the worst film of all time, Plan 9 boasts a motley cast assembled from offbeat L.A. personalities of the time (Vampira and bogus psychic Criswell), along with eerily bald former Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson. For Plan 9, Wood reused locations, employed an absurd use of stock footage, shot a flying saucer crash scene using a burning paper plate thrown Frisbee-style, and--as his ace in hole--befriended and lured Bela Lugosi onto the set, wearing his Dracula cape, of course. Lugosi, in the final stages of drug addiction and malnutrition, died mid-film, resulting in some scenes being shot with a "double" (leading to more unintentional hilarity). The "plot," a pseudo-scientific bit of sci-fi gibberish, seems--guessing from the title--to do with aliens. Wood sincerely ached to make movies; he just lacked budgets, writers and stars, not to mention talent. But somehow, Plan 9 captures his crackpot "vision." See "Special Showings" for details.

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