Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The beauty of horrible movies

I enjoy good movies, but a movie can still be entertaining even when it is horrifyingly bad. I was reminded of that the other day when I stumbled across "Plan 9 from Outer Space" when I was flipping the channels. Even casual movie fans know this flick is considered by most critics to be the worst movie of all time.

Directed by Ed Wood, it is a masterpiece for all the wrong reasons. Cheap sets, wooden acting, stilted dialogue and more contribute to the fun. Several years ago, director Tim Burton made a film about Wood's life (appropriately titled "Ed Wood") and is well worth seeing if you missed it. A significant chunk of the film deals with the filming of "Plan 9..." It stars Johnny Depp and has a strong ensemble cast.

As for "Plan 9..." its plot primarily deals with aliens trying to impose their will on America. There are many things that make this film hilarious, but the best example is how Wood dealt with the death of actor Bela Lugosi. Lugosi died during the film's production, but instead of re-shooting Lugosi's scenes, he kept him in the film.

However, Wood also hired a replacement actor to shoot the remaining scenes involving Lugosi's character. So, two actors are playing the same character in the film. Actually, calling the replacement an "actor" is a stretch because he was a chiropractor by profession.

It didn't help that the chiropractor/actor looked nothing like Lugosi. In fact, he looked so different that Wood had him hold a vampire's cape over his face in every scene he was in. I guess Wood thought nobody would notice.

If you haven't seen this film, it is a hoot and well worth your time.

And while you're at it, also check out “Road House” with Patrick Swayze.

Oh, baby, it's bad.


sh4wn said...

I would be what one would call a "fan" of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, but i have never seen Ed Wood. I should probably add it to my ever-growing queue of films.

Also, i have an unavoidable desire for some chocolate cake.

Which reminds me of my favorite line from a 50 Cent song: "I love you like a fat kid loves cake."

Fitty couldn't be more on the money.

Sjones said...

One movie I've seen that is far worse than Plan 9 is 'The English Patient'. A date dragged me to see English Patient about 10 or so years ago and I remember thinking at the time that this was a movie Ed Wood would be proud of. I think Seinfeld even did a show about it. I'm proud to say I own a copy of Plan 9 and would highly recommend it to all. If Ed Wood were alive today, he would work at MI.

josh said...

I had forgotten about the cape-wearing chiropractor. Brilliant!

Chris said...

sjones wrote: "If Ed Wood were alive today, he would work at MI."

I agree 100%.