Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Stars: Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Tom Keene, Tor Johnson, Dudley Manlove, Joanna Lee, John Breckinridge, Vampira, Bela Lugosi
A critic's take: “It all ends with famous psychic Criswell asking the audience, 'Can you prove it didn't happen? God help us in the future.' Prophetic.” - Derek Adams (Time Out)
Why it's bad (meaning good): Over 50 years have passed since the heyday of Edward D. Wood Jr.’s filmmaking pursuits, yet the man behind such misfires as the cross-dressing drama Glen Or Glenda and giant-rubber-octopus-starring Brides Of The Monster remains Hollywood’s all-time worst director. That’s something to be proud of, no? If Ed Wood were still alive today, we’d hope that he’d feel a ton of gratification from knowing that all of his movies hold up as endlessly hilarious works of non-art; that’s not what he intended, but it’s certainly something for which we’re eternally thankful.
Plan 9 From Outer Space is, hands down, Wood’s pièce de résistance of crap—make that glorious crap. The modicum of story revolves around aliens resurrecting Earth’s dead in order to halt a potentially universe-shattering nuclear weapon from discharging. But, as in any Ed Wood production, plot is meaningless, as well as idiotically presented; what’s most important, and most enjoyable, are the scenes in which boom microphones are clearly visible, prop tombstones shimmy whenever characters move their feet, and Wood’s chiropractor walks around with a cape over his mouth to hide the fact that he’s not star Bela Lugosi, who died early into the shooting process.