Pod 9 From Outer Space – Plan 9 From Outer Space

Nick

It’s another episode of pod 9 from outer space.

Liz

Cue the music!

Opening theme.

LIZ

So it was my tuyrn to pick and we are watching our namesake this week.

NICK

Papa film.

LIZ

Plan 9 from outer space. One of three films I’ve come across widely regarded as the worst. Which we should watch at some point.

NICK

What are the other two?

LIZ

Birdemic and the room. Yeah, so that gives you an idea of what level this is at.

NICK

It really does. It’s ones of those things that we do cause it fits with our very precise ethos – it’s got to be stuff the creator thought was great.

LIZ

Or at least adequate.

NICK

They have to be trying, and the room was trying.

LIZ

So plan 9 from outer spaced, I have to try hard not to call It pod 9 it has the best opening line of any film we’ve watched so far – we are all interested in the future cause it is where we will spend the rest of our lives.

NICK

Personally I’m drifting back into the past but that’s just due to an unfortunate tachyon based accident.

LIZ

Yeah as someone who wants to work in museums I plan to spend my time in a strange mix fo the past and the present.

NICK

All moments are one to us. So one thing everybody knows about plan 9 is they managed to get bela lugosi. His last film, where he appears for a little bit before he is obviously replaced by a double cause he came down with an unfortunate case of mortality.

LIZ

It’s well known the double was taller and as lot of the shots of lugosi are from the back or with a shot where his face is covered by his cape like the aliens from futurama. Another thing I’ve noticed is the double’s hair, his hair is a lot shorter on the side.

NICK

They really didn’t pay attention.

LIZ

No. We’ve spoken about ED Wood before, and this is a very Ed Wood shenanigan.

NICK

Such a shenanigan.

LIZ

I do want to know if he used the same cloak as Lugosi as it was his cloak from a stage production of Dracula he did.

NICK

I don’t think so cause I remember hearing something about him being buried with his cloak.

LIZ

Oh that’s nice. Cause dracula kind of made and destroyed his career in one fell swoop. It’s appropriate. I think we discussed that last episode when we did dracula and also dracula.

NICK

Wed did. He was replaced by Tom Mason, notable chiropractor.

LIZ

Not the only person you wouldn’t think was involved – a lot of the funding came from a local baptist church. Ed mostly did sexploitation so how he did that Idk. But the minister from that church can be seen early on in the film playing a grave digger which was one of his conditions.

NICK

That’s fair it must be fun to be a background character, you can tell your kids, unless it’s this.

LIZ

Yeah, I was in a film, I won’t tell you what or who it was by. Don’t seek out his films children they’ll corrupt you.

NICK

The basic plot of the film.

LIZ

Which is anything but basic.

NICK

There’s people rising from their graves and also UFOs appearing in the sky and the two are connected cause that is how the aliens are attacking earth.

LIZ

yes you may have guessed this is their ninth plan, the others not having worked out – they need to destroy humanity before they reach the point they can blow up sun particles and therefore destroy the universe

NICK

In case you were wondering we’re right in the middle of plan 10 right now it’s called 2020. The original title was graveroobers from outer space but the financial backers objected to the title.#

LIZ

Was it too daft?

NICK

Sacrilegious – they didn’t like the imagery of grave desecration. Makes sense knowing who they are.

LIZ

It does, but you have to consider there definitely was graverobbing. If anything I’d object to that title because it’s inaccurate they’re bodysnatchers from outer space.

NICK

Yeah so many bodies getting snatched.

LIZ

Well, three.

NICK

More than you’d expect on a typical day.

LIZ

Well, true. Personally I’ll at most snatch one body. It’s a lot of work.

NICK

I’ve secreted several but that’s over the course of weeks

LIZ

One other thing is bela lugosi the character does die in it quite early on – he buries his wife played by Vampira whose role is entirely silent because she hated the lines she was given so much she insisted on not say n it.

NICK

If you can'[t think of anything believable to say bset to say nothing at all.

LIZ

Not long after vampira dies bela lugosi also dies and they are two of the three people who are brought back as I guess the closest analogy would be zombies cause they are mindless creatures that do the work of the aliens. Which makes them more like the original meaning of zombies than modern zombies they’ve brought back to life for a purpose.

NICK

They are OG zombies, though saying that gangster zombies I would like to see. Either kind – I’m putting it out there, manifesting it with my words.

LIZ

The closest thing I can think of is cockneys vs zombies. You can tell from the title the crime men are very much against the zombies in that situation though it does have the best chase scene of all time and we need to watch that sat some point.

NICK

They don’t see eye to eye on a lot of the key issues public transport, schools, police, brain eating.

LIZ

It’s just a shambles all around. A shambling shambles.

NICK

In plan 9 it’s one of those films where I felt there was the structure of a very old school sort of style of film making of not necessarily needing as much of a single lead and going with an ensemble that doesn’t necessarily meet up which I find interesting in an action context – the first thing that comes to mind is 49th parallel, which switched perspectives a lot but in the context of a war drama rather than whatever this is.

LIZ

Yeah you get some working together at the end cause you have the pentagon and the local police but the pentagon get there faster cause they have the resources rather than two goofy police officers going around saying why do we always get the spooky shift?

nick

I do love those guys.

liz

I support them.

nick

they’re married now. I hope they retire and open a b&b.

l

there’s one moment they refer to themseves as hard hats whihc must be 50s slang.

n

yeah for grunts or something. would work better if they were grunts but those soldiers were busy going ‘oh no we can’t talk about UFOs’.

l

there’s a whole conversation between some sort of general it’s unclear what his role is and the head of the pentagon’s ufo research unit where he asks the head of this unit do you believe in UFOs – yes – you know the govt is suppressing information on UFOs – yes – you know you could get court martialled for admitting it – yes.

n

is that the general talking to the grunt about how do we disguise this?

l

no that was out in the field – when they were shooting missiles at UFOs and they were discussing It definitely being a training operation and they were just shooting at clouds – this was later in an actual office. that guy does not show up again I guess he’s there to just plot dump that there’s a UFO research dept and the govt is covering it up.

n

that was weird, but the thing that got me was the general sand the private were quite informal with each other it makes me wonder what kind of general he is – 2 star, he has a multilingual staff but no minibar.

l

they’re mates.

n

ok. sometimes he’ll let him borrow his hat and run around. when his mum visits he lets him borrow the general hat and run around. yeah he makes me swab the missiles.

l

swab the missiles? does it make them fly better?

n

yeah!

l

it makes them more aerodynamic.

PROBABLY BAD PROMO and BREAD AND THREAD PROMO. YEAH. NICE.

l

I do love the shooting at clouds thing though cause they shoot a whole thing of at least 12 missiles at these UFOs that must cost so much money to do. Surely at some point someone’s going to say why were you shooting live missiles at clouds just as an exercise?

n

Basically used up an entire municipal budget, luckily when they landed they hit a municipality so we’re good.

L

Balances out. I do want to go back to the aliens actual problem though cause first of all they sent several messages before and in the last message go we realise you only just got the tech to translate this but we’re still cross that you ignored the other messages so clearly this means you’re irresponsible cause you invented firecrackers and then grenades and then bombs and nuclear bombs and instead of teaching you that consequences have actions and than you shouldn’t be working to blow up sunlight which some scientists are doing, they know that, instead of teaching you to not blow up sunlight we’re going to destroy you with zombies.

N

Consequences have actions like you said.

L

Did I say that? To be fair you can’t have a consequences without an action. There is also during the aliens actual tirade which is not dissimilar to what I said, he just starts barking ‘stupid’/g at the pentagon guy and then gets decked – I’m surprised the pentagon guy waits that long to hit him.

NICK

I do question the actions of a lot of characters in this film. As characters, as actors, as humans.

L

There is one character whose actions I don’t question.

NICK

Wholist?

L

Bela Lugosi. He lost his wife, was sad his wife died, he died. That’s his arc.

NICK

Solid arc.

L

The most believable thing is a man died. But you know he didn’t need to go as method as he ended up being.

NICK

He really didn’t. I’d have believed him he’s a good actor.

L

You said there’s one person in this film who plays himself.

NICK

Ohohoh yes I wanna talk about this guy. So the film is framed as a prediction buy this guy…

L

Not a prediction, reports this guy ends up having.

NICK

Yes he’s just known for predictions. The amazing Criswell So Jeron Criswell konig.

L

Gerund?

NICK

Jeron. He looks like you’d expect a psychic to look, grew up with family – with relatives who own a funeral home and liked to sleep in caskets.

L

Perfectly normal.

NICK

He started off doing radio stuff and began to predict the future. And some prominent people did go to him for advice like Mae West. Her personal psychic. Want t know what he predicted he’d end up doing?

L

What?

NICK

She’d become president of the USA, then she, Criswell and George Liberace brother of The Liberace would take a rocket to the moon.

L

That sounds more interesting than what actually happened.

NICK

He actually made some interesting predictions idk how many happened, maybe you could fill me in. Denver Colorado would be hit by a ray from space giving metal the properties of rubber causing horrific accidents in amusement parks.

L

Don’t believe so. If you’re listening in Denver feel free to correct me.

NICK

Mass cannibalism and the end of planet earth on August 18th 1999.

L

I couldn’t tell you I’m not that good with recent history.

NICK

And finally… President John F Kennedy would NOT run for re-election in 1964

L

Now that one I’m pretty sure did come true.

NICK

Oh my god he’s real.

L

He was on the grassy knoll. I joke of course Kennedy’s head just did that.

NICK

Yes and landed on the grassy knoll. I kinda wanted to get his book, Criswell predicts from now to 2000, I might see if I can get a pdf of it.

L

Probably out of print. Idk about you but what I learned from this film is to not blow up sunlight.

NICK

Yep, I learned we’ll be living in the future where we’ll spend the rest of our lives. I don’t like that.

L

I think on the camp scale it might be our first full Glastonbury. It’s got everything aliens zombies it’s got bela lugosi it’s got vampira it’s got the tackiest form of framing narrative which doesn’t stop narrating for the whole film, a true candidate for the Glastonbury award for campiness.

NICK

Definitely.

L

So what are we watching next week?

NICK

That’s a really really good question. I’ve got a few things on my list… Which I feel like they end up quite varied to say the least, but I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

L

Neutral. It just is.

NICK

In which case… I’m going to go with Robinson Crusoe on Mars.

L

Excellent.

NICK

And we’ll see how many Martian Glastonburys that one scores.

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