Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959): Ed Wood’s Sci-Fi-Horror

Ed Wood (“dubbed the worst filmmaker in Hollywood’s history) wrote, produced, directed, and edited Plan 9 from Outer Space, a sci-fi horror movie.

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Starring Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Tor Johnson, and “Vampira” (Maila Nurmi).

It also posthumously bills Bela Lugosi as guest-star (footage of the actor had been shot by Wood for an unfinished film just prior to Lugosi’s death, in August 1956).

Other guest-stars are vets Lyle Talbot, and former cowboy star Tom Keene.

Plan 9 from Outer Space was released in 1959 by Distributors Corporation of America, then credited as Valiant Pictures at the time.

The tale concerns extraterrestrials who seek to stop humanity from creating doomsday weapon that could destroy the universe. The aliens implement “Plan 9,” a scheme to resurrect the Earth’s dead, referred to as “ghouls.”

The aliens hope that the crisis will force humanity to listen to them–or else they will destroy mankind with armies of the undead.

The film was developed under the title Grave Robbers from Outer Space, but its financial backers argued that it was sacrilegious, and subsequently, it was retitled Plan 9 from Outer Space prior to production.

In 1980, Harry and Michael Medved dubbed it the “worst film ever made” in their book The Golden Turkey Awards. Wood and his film were posthumously given Golden Turkey Awards for Worst Director Ever and Worst Film.

The movie has since been retrospectively described as “the epitome of so-bad-it’s-good cinema” and has gained a cult following.


Produced, directed, written by Ed Wood
Narrated by Criswell
Cinematography William C. Thompson
Edited by Ed Wood

Production company: Reynolds Pictures, Inc.

Distributed by Valiant Pictures

Release date: July 22, 1959

Running time: 80 minutes
Budget $60,000