Your Name Prof’s Name Date Plan 9 and Terrible Film-Making Plan 9 From Outer Space is regularly panned as the worst movie ever produced, and for good reason. Its low budget caused myriad production issues, including unrealistic sets and so forth…
Plan 9 from Outer Space operates as almost a compendium of what not to do in film-making, and should be viewed by any film maker to see how disastrous horrific film-making decisions can truly become. One of the biggest issues with Plan 9 was simply the fact that it did not have the budget to realize the film-maker’s vision to actually look… tolerable. Sets in this film were terrible. Many of them simply consisted of a blank background lit differently: in one scene with a soldier it is lit brightly to supposedly look like sky, in another with detectives it is lit very little to make it look like a black night. At other times a set simply consists of a series of curtains put up around a room. Either way, however, the effect is the same: it looks like a set, it looks like a backdrop, and it completely breaks any suspension of disbelief the audience had been able to muster. At other times the sets are clearly blank walls with fake ladders made of small rungs of wood installed on them to make them look more “space-like” Makeup was also overdone, and costumes were often incongruous and re-used from other films. At other points the lighting is completely mis-used, casting multiple shadows on a set (which would indicate artificial lighting when it should not be present in the world of the movie) or in another case accidentally casting a shadow of a boom mic onto the wall of the set. Overall, there was no cohesion, and the film looked supremely amateurish. All of this might have been bearable if the acting and dialogue could do anything to save the film. Unfortunately, however, the acting and dialogue were, if possible, weaker than the set design and lighting. At best everything was incredibly corny, at worst it made absolutely no sense and had many continuity problems. The issues with the dialogue might be best expressed from actual snippets from the film. The opening sequence, for instance, which should intrigue and audience, get them into the world of the movie and make them want to see more, fails horribly, making the audience mostly remark on the poor quality of the film rather than acquire any interest in what the film might eventually be like. These opening lines constantly refer to the audience as “my friends,” which is vaguely creepy (unintentionally) and incredibly jarring for an audience, especially given that the actor does not seem warm, but rather somewhat disconnected. He then goes on to remind the audience that they should pay close attention to the film, because it depicts things that happen in the future, and “future events such as these will affect you in the future,” which would have been humorous if not for the fact that it was completely devoid of recognition of how humorous it was. The acting and dialogue served only to drag this already awful movie further into the depths of its own failure. Finally, we come to what might be the worst offenders of all, special affects and post-processing. The special effects were bad, even for the era. They seemed like what they were: cheap models and roto-scoping that was done without enough time to actually do them well. The worst aspect of the post production, however, was the director’s choice to integrate clips from a completely different film about a vampire into the movie. While any clip from a film other than this would undoubtedly be expected to raise the overall quality of the film, given that nothing could be as bad as Plan 9, the jarring inclusion of this ...
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