Everyone knows about the infamous Ed Wood film Plan 9 From Outer Space. Even if you have not seen the film itself, you may have seen a fictionalized story about the making of it in the film – Ed Wood. Yes, it’s regarded as awful. One of the “so bad it’s good” films that people still talk about. Irrespective of its quality and merit, it does have staying power, and nothing proves that more than a remake.
The film that we are looking at this time, Plan 9, is a remake of the original. You may have heard about this project from various web sources and social media. It has been available on DVD and VOD for a while now.
The story of the film is much like the original, but of course updated and with some changes. There is not much point in a remake if it doesn’t offer something a little new and different. It has the old chestnut of invading aliens bringing the dead back to life as part of a Rube Goldberg plan to take over the Earth. We follow several groups as the deal with the new reality of the dead reanimating while they try to survive and eventually go on the offense to stop the invaders from another world.
The story kicks off with something landing near a town and a pulse of some sort of energy bringing the dead back from their long rest with the worms. We have survivors in several pockets that follow the usual tropes of a zombie film, holed up in various locations while they start to figure out some of what they are dealing with.
We have the heroic police officers, the lady scientist who explains everything for us, and the Average Joe dad who just wants to get back to his wife who is stuck at home. We have one character that is the selling point for this film – Mr. Lobo.
Mr. Lobo, of Cinema Insomnia and OSI74, plays a familiar role that I won’t spoil here. Suffice it to say, he gets what I think are the best lines of the movie.
The movie thankfully seems to have more budget than the original. Or at least it seems to have more budget, but with CGI and inflation who can say anymore? It is not a masterpiece, but it is a low-budget attempt to honor an original film and a director who cared about what he was trying to make, even if he wasn’t very good at making it.
This time around the remake is written and directed by John Johnson, who does a pretty good job considering. The action scenes are not the same quality you get from something like The Raid 2 but they are done well and one of the more horrifying scenes are done very well.
Some scenes and events that lead up to them are truly horrible, if not gory. They give the viewer the message that stakes are high even if that doesn’t pan out to be entirely true. The ending does set up a possible follow-up that I would be surprised if we see.
The acting in the movie is in some cases pretty good. In other cases, the acting is about on the level you would expect. The better acting comes from more known actors such as Brian Krause (Charmed), Addy Miller (The Walking Dead), Lana Young (Southpaw), Monique Dupree (Step Up 3D, an instant classic!), Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave), and Mr. Lobo.
Making another cameo is James Rolfe, of Angry Video Game and Cinemassacre fame.
I know I haven’t made it sound like Plan 9 has much to get excited about, but it is worth a watch just for the premise of what it is remaking. If you are a fan of Mr. Lobo, you will be happy with the amount of time he is in the film and you get to see him kill aliens.
I have to say that I think if this movie had a bigger budget and had some serious backing behind it, then it would have possibly been a damned good B-movie. As it is, it’s a pretty good Z-Movie. It was made with heart and the people involved had fun making it, and it shows. It does not take itself too seriously which is appropriate considering, and that makes it even more fun than it has any right to be.
If you like B-Movies, and let’s face it, if you are reading one of my reviews then you probably do, I say pick it up and check it out. You can buy it right now from Amazon, or even Walmart.
I saw Plan 9 on its original VOD release and liked it enough to buy the DVD at Walmart. I would say that me paying for it twice is recommendation enough.
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