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July 5, 2024 98 mins

In this classic episode of Weirdhouse Cinema, Rob and Joe finally discuss a film that almost defies description: “Plan 9 From Outer Space.” Yes, it’s Ed Wood’s 1957 cinematic monolith featuring Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, Vampira and the Amazing Criswell! (originally published 08/05/2022)

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
Hello, and welcome to Weird House Cinema. Rewind. Today we
are bringing you an older episode of Weird House Cinema.
This one was originally published on August fifth, twenty twenty two.
And oh boyd, this is the one we did on
Plan nine from Outer Space. Let's dive right in.

Speaker 2 (00:26):
Welcome to Stuff to Blow Your Mind, a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 3 (00:35):
Hey, welcome to Weird House Cinema. This is Rob Lamb.

Speaker 1 (00:39):
And this is Joe McCormick, and it's finally time for
our very first ed Wood movie on Weird House Cinema.
Today's selection is perhaps the reigning world champion of the Schlocktagon.
It is the nineteen fifty seven undead Saucer invasion film
Plan nine from Outer Space, a movie in which fussy

(01:01):
aliens attempt to conquer planet Earth by creating approximately three
zombies at a local cemetery in Los Angeles. I've been
wondering how long it would take us to do an
Edwood movie, and we debated whether we should do this,
do this one or Bride of the Monster. They're both fantastic,
but I think this might be a sort of emotional

(01:22):
episode for me because Plan nine is not only one
of the best and most famously bad movies of all time,
it also played a very special role in my life. So, Rob,
I don't know if I ever told you this before,
but when my wife Rachel and I were very first
hanging out when we were in high school. This was
before we were technically dating. I don't know what the

(01:43):
term in your high school time and place was. It
was going out for us before we were going out.
One of the first times we ever got together was
to watch Plan nine from Outer Space in the basement
of my parents' house.

Speaker 3 (01:55):
Oh well, that's sweet.

Speaker 1 (01:56):
Yeah, So we already knew each other, we had some
friends in common, and for some reason we decided we
needed to see this movie. And I still remember vividly
a bunch of failed attempts to acquire a copy, like
we went to Blockbuster Video, thinking, oh, yeah, okay, it's Blockbuster,
surely they will have Plan nine from Outer Space, and
what a shock they did not. This would have been

(02:18):
I think of around two thousand and two, so they
could have hooked us up with thirty seven copies of
mister Deed's if we wanted, but they did not have
any Edwood movies in stock and Eventually we figured out
that one of Rachel's friends had a bootleg VHS tape
of it. We finally got our hands on it, and wow,
it was so perfect, like the aliens wearing the costumes,

(02:40):
with the medieval sigils, like you know, Bunny Breckenridge with
the axe, and the constant switching between night and day,
the floppy tombstones, the line delivery but I'll be in there,
and it was. It was just a magical experience. And
now in our house, right next to one of our

(03:00):
wedding photos, we have a framed portrait of Tor Johnson
and Vampira from Plan nine.

Speaker 3 (03:07):
That's sweet. And I have to say, this is probably
the perfect movie to watch on a bootleg VHS in
a basement somewhere.

Speaker 1 (03:14):
It's this is a great date movie in general. I mean, yeah,
oh yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3 (03:18):
I've watched this with my wife before and it's it's
just it is. It is NonStop, it is relentlessly what
it is, and it's I was having trouble coming up
with the perfect adjective for what this film is because
you can say it's cheesy, or it's bad, or it's amateur,
or it's outsider art. You know, and it's and it
is all those things, and yet it it it kind

(03:41):
of expands beyond easy definition.

Speaker 1 (03:44):
Oh yeah, And I also just want to point out
that this is another nineteen fifty seven sci fi horror movie,
which you know, I was trying to think of it.
I have a feeling about this. It's kind of ineffable.
I was trying to find the best way to put
it into words. But I think I think it's that
I have a sense that, like nineteen fifty seven to
fifty eight was a two year period that was a

(04:07):
renaissance for sci fi monster trash, like just to stick
to movies that we've talked about on Weird House, fifty
seven was the same year as Attack of the Crab
Monsters and Not of This Earth. Fifty eight was The
Brain Eaters and Fiend Without a Face. I feel like
something happened during this two year period. There was a
shift in the veldtgeist, and it gave rise to all

(04:31):
these emanations, emanations in the gnostic sense, from a kind
of primeval spirit of B movie weirdness, and the world
has never been the same. We live in the culture
that was built by the clumsy brow furrowing Demiurge that
descended from those emanations. It's fifty seven to fifty eight,
and it's been monsters ever since. This is the air

(04:52):
we breathe.

Speaker 3 (04:53):
Yeah, I think it's a great point. And yeah, thinking
about my own history with ed Wood and Plan nine
from Outer Space, I'm reminded that I think I saw
my first clips from a number of these movies in
nineteen eighty two's it came from Hollywood, which somebody in
my family had taped off of HBO onto VHS, and

(05:14):
for some reason I was allowed to watch this over
and over again, even though you know, it's mostly like
a lot of fun monster clips, but also some risk
humor and also some disturbing content from Hollywood of yesteryear.
But still there's a whole section on there's that is
celebrating Edwood and talking about like how great and how fun.

(05:36):
You know, So much of this content was so many
of these films, and I guess I kind of took
all that for granted. And it wasn't until I was
digging in and researching a little bit for this picture
that I realized before, like before the early eighties when
this came out and some other things were going on
with film festivals, like ed Wood had already drifted into obscurity,

(05:57):
and it was it was the memory of these films
that ended up resurrecting his spirit.

Speaker 1 (06:04):
Oh yeah, the weirdness of Plan nine. I get the
impression that this was not recognized at the time as
anything great or worthwhile, and it was not celebrated even
in an ironic sense, for a long time until like
decades after it was made. I think the initial reaction was, well,
that was weird. Okay, never see that again.

Speaker 3 (06:24):
But to come back to what you said, like the
classic era, you know, I mean they are different classic
eras and cinema, but he had that late nineteen fifties
era seemed to have produced a number of these ideas,
these tropes that would continue to resonate throughout our film
culture as different creators then grew up with those images
in their heads and then created their own things.

Speaker 1 (06:47):
I sort of feel like this is the era where
like the Corman machine is finally humming at full output
like it has it's going, and other parallel production machines
for drive in monster movies are sort of at their
peak output.

Speaker 3 (07:03):
Yeah, but before we get too.

Speaker 1 (07:05):
Wrapped up in how Plan nine from Outer Space is,
you know, cranking the gears of history and of our
personal lives before we get caught in the wheels of progress.
We should also describe what this movie is in a
literal sense, so I have a few categories I think
it should fit into. One is that it's a fifties
flying saucer movie. The plot concerns aliens who fly around

(07:29):
in saucers that are described both as saucers and as
quote cigar shaped. That's mutually exclusive, dude. I don't know
why you say that in the movie, but that's what
they say. But at their saucers, they come to Earth
to do something something vaguely hostile. It seems their main
objectives are to make sure that humans acknowledge their existence

(07:52):
and to keep humans from finding out about them.

Speaker 3 (07:55):
And we find out more about their missions as we'll
get into.

Speaker 1 (07:58):
But yeah, so what is their Well, this entails the
second thing. It's also a zombie movie. The aliens plan
involves resurrecting the dead from a cemetery and making these
revenants wander around and scare people. It is also an
ed Wood movie. Now, more about that when we discuss
Edwood directly. But this means a film made with an

(08:22):
absolutely irresistible blend of overwhelming ineptitude and awe inspiring self confidence.
And it's a combination I can't really think of in
any other filmmaker. It's a movie that is so bad
it's unbelievable, and yet it doesn't feel like just check
cashing hackwork. It feels like it was made by someone

(08:44):
who thought this was a brilliant masterpiece and it might
even change the world.

Speaker 3 (08:49):
Yeah, there's an audacity to Edwood movies for sure. Yeah,
so we'll get it into that in a bed, But yeah,
there's nothing quite like an ed Wood film.

Speaker 1 (08:58):
Also, tying into the cast, which we'll discuss more in
a minute, I think it's important to say this is
sort of a bizarro ensemble movie. Like, despite the fact
that this is a very low budget movie, the cast
includes a surprising bill of strange but familiar faces or
what would have been strange but familiar faces at the time.
You've got Bella Lagosi, the legend himself, but also Tor Johnson, Vampira,

(09:23):
the amazing Chriswell. It's really kind of unusual when you
stop to appreciate how many sort of names ended up
in this thing.

Speaker 3 (09:32):
At least names that would have resonated on television in
LA at the time. Yeah, and beyond that to some extent.

Speaker 1 (09:41):
And who might not necessarily be known for acting, but
who make a very striking screen presence. I mean, are
Vampira and Tor Johnson actors? Not really, but I mean
when they're on screen, it looks great.

Speaker 3 (09:56):
They are both individuals who had totally nailed what they
were doing outside of film, and in this movie though,
those skill sets are able to work well on film
in kind of an acting space, but I would not
say they are acting right.

Speaker 1 (10:15):
One last thing I want to say is that it's
in a category of a category that doesn't exist as
much as it used to, and that is the thoroughly
technically incompetent film. Maybe we don't appreciate this distinction enough,
but here's my take. I'd be interested to hear from
people who actually work in the film industry to maybe

(10:36):
agree or disagree with this. But my feeling is that
in decades past, bad movies were packed with way way
more technical mistakes than bad movies of today. So you
have everything from you know, continuity failures between shots, obviously
phony sets. You might see a crew member who wasn't

(10:56):
supposed to be in the shot standing in the background,
you know, you see the boom, my decnct audio, stuff
like that. But now the film industry has become much
more professionalized, and I think there are so many people
working in the film industry now who know how to
execute the technical aspects of a film properly. They're good
at their jobs. There are enough of those people that

(11:18):
even bad movies today are rarely full of actual technical incompetence.
Even the bad movies of the twenty first century are
made with a pretty high baseline of technical professionalism. And
instead now I would say when a movie is bad today,
I would argue it's almost always bad because of the

(11:38):
creative elements rather than the technical ones. So, for example,
in my personal opinion, hands down the most common problem
for bad movies made this year is going to be
a bad script, followed by other creative failures, you know,
failure of like a cinematographer to establish an interesting or
pleasing visual style. But this will rarely extend to mismatching

(12:01):
day night, continuity between shots.

Speaker 3 (12:03):
Right right, or or one that is also frequently used
by Edward Jarring, use of stock footage.

Speaker 1 (12:12):
It's like not even of apparently the same film grain
or whatever.

Speaker 3 (12:16):
Right, right, different film, grain, different era, sometimes different continent.
It looks like.

Speaker 1 (12:21):
There's a really good one in the other movie we
were thinking about doing Bride of the Monster, where a
character like looks at a tree and then we cut
to grainy stock footage of a snake and then she
screams and faints. It's really it's wonderful.

Speaker 3 (12:35):
So, I mean, for the most part that's the pitch,
but for just to throw out an elevator pitch, I'll
use one from that is from the trailer that we're
about to listen to, and that is a terrifying revelation
of things to come. We cannot overlook the fact that
this is a movie that is not just about something
that could happen. This is not a speculative work. This

(12:56):
is about things that have happened, are happening, or definitely
will happen in near future. Yeah, all right, well, let's
go ahead and listen to this trailer in full, because
on its own, like if this were a lost film
and all we had was the trailer, we would still
have a masterpiece on our hands.

Speaker 4 (13:17):
It is safe to state that the grandchildren of some
of the people in this dinner will not be born
on Earth. They come from the bowels of Hell, a

(13:48):
transformed race of walking dead zombies guided by a master
plan for complete domination of the Earth. Plan nine from
Outer Space, starring the most right Marrish past ever, Fella Legosi,

(14:10):
the seductive Vampira, and poor Johnson as the walking dead.
Turn your rector gun, No, no starting down, you can't
get it. Bullets bounce off their buddies, Rockets, missiles, jets
cannot stop their death shifts. What earthly power can stop

(14:33):
this terror? Or a glimpse of things to come? See
this blast of screen suspense, or it could be happening
right now?

Speaker 3 (14:48):
All right, I absolutely love that it is safe to
state that the grandchildren of some of the people in
this theater will not be born on Earth.

Speaker 1 (14:56):
Can you prove the trailer wrong? I don't think you can.
You don't even know who was in that theater.

Speaker 3 (15:04):
All right, Well, let's get into the people a bit more.
Of course, we're going to start at the top. We're
going to start with Edwood or as he is credited
on the film, Edward D. Wood Junior. He is the director,
he is the writer. He is the producer, he is
the film editor, and he also has a cameo in
the picture.

Speaker 1 (15:22):
You know, I realized that a lot of my thoughts
about the life of Edward actually are not like researched
for accuracy, but a lot of them come from the
nineties Tim Burton movie Edwood, which I think is it's
probably my favorite biography movie. It's fantastic. I don't know
how true it is to the reality of the events
it depicts, but it's incredibly fun and it has a

(15:45):
standout performance by Martin Landau as Bill a Lagosi.

Speaker 4 (15:48):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (15:49):
Yeah, nineteen ninety four's ed Wood also pretty crazy, because
you know, we've talked about how already about how Wood
Edward was a Hollywood outsider. Through Tim Burton's ninety four picture,
it becomes an Academy Award winning property. Like Martin lan
Dallasbela Lagosi role wins an Academy Award. Also, Rick Baker's

(16:12):
makeup wins an Academy Award for that picture, and so
it's kind of like the Hollywood establishment finally has to
enshrine Wood's legacy, which is kind of interesting, but.

Speaker 1 (16:23):
Okay, putting the movie that movie aside, I don't know.
How do you describe what Edwood was?

Speaker 3 (16:29):
Yeah, again, it's difficult to sum up. You know, just
a low budget legend, counterculture icon, overconfident, amateur outsider artist.
Sometimes I think about that. I compare him to someone
like a Howard Finster in my mind, you know, someone
who doesn't have the training that other individuals working in
the field have, but there's something going on. There's this

(16:52):
spark that still manages to force its way into the.

Speaker 1 (16:56):
Medium inspiration in the classic sense, as in literally meaning
divine guidance.

Speaker 3 (17:05):
When I was looking around for some additional biographical information
on him, one of the mistakes I made was thinking, well,
I'll look up see what the obits of the day said.
And that's one of the things about his life is
that there weren't really any major obits about him when
he died, because he had drifted into such obscurity. But
I was looking at a review that Roger Ebert, the

(17:26):
late Roger Ebert, wrote for Tim Burton's ed Wood movie,
and he included, like I thought, what was a nice
summary of who and what Edwood was? Quote, Edward D.
Wood Junior must have been the Will Rogers of filmmaking.
He never directed a shot he didn't like. It takes
a special weird genius to be voted the worst director
of all time, a title that Wood has earned by acclamation.

(17:50):
He was so in love with every frame, of every
scene of every film he shot that he was blind
to hilarious blenders, stumbling, ineptitude, and acting so bad that
it achieved a kind of grandeur. But badness alone would
not have been enough to make him a legend. It
was his love of film sneaking through that pushes him
over the top.

Speaker 1 (18:10):
You know, I think this is a phrase I recall
from Roger Ebert, though I don't remember the origin of it,
but it was Roger Ebert talking about some bad movie
that he said was not just bad, but was awesomely bad.
And I think that is a good descripture to apply
to the Edwood movies I've seen. There they transcended normal badness.

(18:31):
They even transcend the normal way that you appreciate bad
movies at an ironic level. They become, in some genuine sense,
an awe inspiring spectacle. It's like it's you are observing
a work of sheer will. It's oh, I guess you know.
To quote the title of another podcast, you wonder how

(18:53):
did this get made? Like how was this pushed through
to completion?

Speaker 3 (18:58):
Yeah, and it's it's it's a rare enough thing just historically,
but it's certainly rare now. You don't you don't really
find examples of this as much as one might like,
and I feel like we're kind of starved for it
at times. There have been films that have come out
in recent years where I think people were expecting awesome badness,
and unfortunately the cases you end up with something that's

(19:19):
just bad in the and the lackluster, lukewarm sense of
the word.

Speaker 1 (19:24):
Plan nine has such a kind of relentless, ludicrous unbelievability
while you're watching it that before we started recording, we
were talking off Mike about how when you're explaining this movie,
you want to like quote the weird dialogue, but then
you can't really end up doing that because you end

(19:45):
up wanting to quote the entire script. Like every scene
is just filled with exchanges that that that clang and
sound wrong in the most awesomely weird way, and and
then it never stops. You think like, oh, I got
a make a note of that one, but then the
next one is exactly like it.

Speaker 3 (20:03):
Yeah, it is relentless, it is stupefying. So briefly on
the bio of Edward here he lived nineteen twenty four
through nineteen seventy eight. He was a film enthusiast. As
a child, he had a Kodak Sinis special. He was
an usher at a cinema. At one point, he served
in the Marines. In nineteen forty seventy moved to Hollywood

(20:25):
to pursue his cinematic dreams. He would become a legend,
true enough, but like we said, his star would rise
after his death in seventy eight. The end of his
life was one of obscurity. But then you had stuff
like eighty two's that came from Hollywood Come Out, which
again featured inn Edwood tribute section. You had a growing
cult following for films of this nature, including for instance,

(20:48):
Michael Weldon's Psychotronic Film Guide, which started up as a
magazine in nineteen seventy nine the year after his death.
Documentaries would follow film festivals, and then by the time
you get ninety four's ed Wood the picture by Tim Burton,
like the legacy is assured, like it's cemented, and again

(21:09):
the Hollywood establishment itself kind of has to enshrine Wood's legacy.
Towards the end of his life, Wood's output descended sharply
into erotic and adult territory. This would have been in
the seventies, but his work in the fifties gave us
a string of just memorably weird films, including the semiotographical
fifty three film Glenn or Glinda, in which Would himself
plays the titular lead character. He also gave us Bride

(21:34):
of the Monster in fifty five, The Violent Years in
fifty six, The Bride and the Beast in fifty eight,
Night of the Ghouls in fifty nine, and The Sinister
Urge in nineteen sixty.

Speaker 1 (21:44):
I would say he's most remembered. I think for Glenn
or Glinda and the two Big Bella to go see
Monster movies which were Bride of the Monster and play
nine from outer Space Bride of the Monster. We may
have to come back and also do on the show
in the future because it has more bella Legosi than
Plan nine does. In fact, Plan nine has almost no

(22:05):
bella legosi at all, and that's one of the real
core paradoxes of Plan nine. I would say that this
movie seems in a way to be kind of built
around Bella Lagosi. It might be in modern to use
a modern expression called a Legosi vehicle. And yet Bella
Legosi is almost entirely missing from the movie. He actually
appears in literally just a couple of shots. Legosi I

(22:28):
think died before most of the movie was filmed, so
in most scenes that feature his character, he's played by
a body double holding a cape over his face. And
even including the shots with the body double, Legosi's character
is not really central. He's just one of a number
of zombies.

Speaker 3 (22:47):
Yeah, And it's just such a wood move right to
not let this stand in the way of not only
completing the film, but also not reshooting anything they already had,
Like we already have Bella in one scene to scenes,
why reshoot any of that. Let's just keep going and
we'll just have the cape over the face looks perfect,
no reason, no notes, no reason to change anything.

Speaker 1 (23:09):
It does not look perfect at all. The guy that
got to replace Bella Lagosi kind of looks like Jared Letto.
He's just like creeping around with slicked back hair and
the cape over his like he's you know, his face
is in the crook of his arm with the cape.
There no explanation of why he's walking like that. There
are some scenes where I'm not even sure it looks

(23:29):
like it was shot for the movie. There there's like
one of just Bella kind of standing around.

Speaker 3 (23:35):
It's hard to tell because again there's such such a
jarring difference between one scene and the next. Ye and yeah,
at times it looks like like he's just standing there.
So yeah, I agree, it's it's a weird paradox of
planed nine and almost. That's one of the reasons that
I'm not even gonna go into Bella Lagosi too much here,

(23:55):
because this is it's not really a Bella Lagosi film
because he's in it so briefly. It's still an important
part of his legacy. It's his final film, but still
here ere the basics. Bella Legosi in this plays the
old man, slash the dead man, slash the ghoulman. Like
several characters in this, they're called different things. He lived
eighteen eighty two through nineteen fifty six, and yeah, he's

(24:18):
a titan of classic horror. The star of nineteen thirty
one's Dracula. Nineteen thirty four is the Black Cat. And yeah,
we'll have to come back to him in another episode
of Weird House Cinema when we can really talk about
Bella Lagosi as a performer more, because again barely performs.

Speaker 4 (24:36):
In this at all.

Speaker 3 (24:36):
Is barely in this movie, but he was.

Speaker 1 (24:38):
One of the greats. I love Bella. Yeah, but you
know who performs in this movie without acting, I would
say performs almost entirely with this, with this kind of

(24:59):
stack she like Grimace, is Tor Johnson.

Speaker 4 (25:03):
Oh.

Speaker 3 (25:04):
Tor Johnson is so good in this playing He has
basically a dual role here. He gets to play a
human by the name of Inspector Clay, a policeman he gets,
so he gets kind of like a straight acting part.
But then he also plays the main undead character who
is sometimes called the Big One or sometimes called the Giant.

(25:24):
And it's a great physical performance. So Tor Johnson lived,
and apparently there's some disagreeance on exactly when he was born,
either nineteen oh two or nineteen oh three, they seemed
to be the prime candidates here. Died in seventy one.
He was born Carl Eric tor Johansson, and yeah it

(25:45):
is a Swedish born professional wrestler slash strongman, slash actor
and quite an interesting character. He was known in professional
wrestling circles of the day as Super Swedish aim Angel,
and he was Swedish. But the reason he was an angel,

(26:06):
it was an angel. But the angel thing is interesting.
So he's Super Swedish Angel because there was already a
Swedish angel wrestling. So you can't have two Swedish angels.
You got to mix it up. Somebody's got to be
like son of the Swedish Angel or Swedish Angel too,
or Super Swedish Angel. There you go. And now that's
a gimmick. But this whole angel thing, but in both

(26:27):
cases they're tweaking a gimmick that was established by the
French angel Maurice Tillett, who was born nineteen oh three
and died in nineteen fifty four, who was like a big,
brutish strong man with a very interesting look, very much
you know, a giant wrestler of the day whoa yeah, sorry.

Speaker 1 (26:48):
I found an image comparing him to Shrek.

Speaker 3 (26:51):
Yeah, I've heard that that Shrek. The character Shrek was
actually patterned after after Maurice Tillett, So that's interesting. Now
it's hard to find footage of Tour Johnson wrestling, or
at least it was hard for me to find any,
but we did find some British footage of tour wrestling
some guy. I'll have to include a link for this

(27:13):
on the blog post for this episode at somemmutomusic dot com.
But it's it's it's weird. It's yeah. I mean, on
one hand, it's not Monster Tour. I mean, he's a
big guy and you get to see him moving around
applying headlocks and doing some Matt wrestling, but he's not
like a he's not in monster mode. He's not Tor
Johnson wrestling the way a modern wrestling fan might expect

(27:34):
Tod Johnson to wrestle.

Speaker 1 (27:37):
Yeah, so is this the clip you shared with me
that has the British narrator on it?

Speaker 4 (27:42):
Oh?

Speaker 3 (27:42):
Yeah, just totally trashing the whole enterprise.

Speaker 1 (27:45):
Oh so yeah, so the narrator is like, well this
professional wrestling, you know, it isn't very serious, is it?
It is somewhat funny?

Speaker 3 (27:53):
Yeah, it just okay, just just really rips into it.
And then there's all this other weird stuff, like the
ref is either shirtles at one point or the ref
has like a very like small undershirt on. It was weird.
I'm just used to sitting a ref in ref's clothing.
The ref can't be shirtless.

Speaker 1 (28:10):
That's weird, right, Well, maybe it's aren't There some cases
in like the I don't know whatever it's called, the
WWE or wherever where like a heel will attack the ref.
Maybe the ref has to be dressed like a wrestler
in case the heel attacks.

Speaker 3 (28:25):
I don't know, and I don't know a lot about
this this period of pro wrestling, though I have read
that is it is rare to have footage from some
of these earlier eras because, for one thing, a lot
of it wasn't taped, and then if it was recorded,
those recordings weren't necessarily preserve. Sometimes're essentially taped over and

(28:49):
they would be lost to history. According to cagematch dot com,
Tor Johnson's earliest match was nineteen thirty three and his
last match was nineteen fifty five. The records on this
website I don't think are always complete, especially when dealing
with older stuff like this, but still it seems like
a respectable era in which to have plied his trade,
and he was indeed a big boy build at six three,

(29:13):
four hundred and forty pounds.

Speaker 1 (29:14):
He is massive, and you can see why people wanted
to put him in monster movies. This is not the
only one he's He's been in a number. Another one
that sticks in my mind is the Beast of Yucca Flats,
where Tour Johnson plays. I think he so, that is,
if I'm not wrong, a Coleman Francis movie, the same

(29:35):
guy who made Red Zone, Cuba, which was famously parodied
on Mystery Science Theater. Beast of yucka Flats. I mainly
remember for two things, having a really just over the
top narrator who you know, every time you'd see a character,
he would just say something like John Johnson caught in
the wheels of progress. In fact, it's almost kind of

(29:57):
similar to Kriswell's narration in Plant nine. We'll get to
Kriswell in a second. But the other thing I remember
about Beast of Byuacka Flats is they barely put Tour
in any makeup to make him the monster. He plays
like a Soviet scientist who defects to the United States,
walks on to a nuclear testing range. They blow up
a bomb, and that turns him into a Radioactive Monster.

(30:18):
But they just sort of like put some oatmeal on
his face, I think, and then he's otherwise he's just tor.

Speaker 3 (30:23):
Yeah, I mean tour was a walking special effect. I
mean the physicality, the grimace, that was all you needed.
So yeah, Beasts of Yaka Flats, that's a fun one.
I think Mst. Three K did that one as well.
He was in such films as nineteen fifties Abed and
Costello in the Foreign Legion, Bob Hopes, the Lemon Drop
Kid in fifty one Ed Woods, Bride of the Monster,

(30:44):
and Night of the Ghouls. But in terms of earlier
in his career, he started off doing uncredited strongman tight
bit parts in films back to the mid nineteen thirties,
and by forty nine he was showing uh, still uncredited
in films like Ernest b showed Sacks Mighty Joe Young.

(31:06):
There's a scene in that movie where a number of
strong men are are are playing tug of war with
the giant ape and uh, and it's it's kind of
it's not kind of interesting. I didn't work on ibing
all of these guys, but one of them was the
famous Italian boxer turned professional wrestler Primo Carnera, who is

(31:26):
a really big guy six y six and was very
much a legendary figure in boxing of that day.

Speaker 1 (31:33):
Oh, I don't know him. Is he the last guy
on the tug on the tug rope?

Speaker 3 (31:37):
Here? Yeah, I found it. Still he's the last guy.
So he's the most enormous and he's like this big,
you know, handsome, well built Italian gentleman. And I'm not
sure exactly. I think I think I've pinpointed the individual
who's Tor Johnson in this, and I think Tor Johnson
has hair. I read somewhere that Tor actually had like

(31:58):
a full head of blonde hair, but he kept it
shaved because that was the look, you know, that was
the look he was going for.

Speaker 1 (32:05):
I can see that. I think he's the first guy
in the picture you have for me here. But this
other guy looks like he would definitely be cast as
Goliath in a bunch of nineteen fifties Italian Bible movies.

Speaker 3 (32:17):
I think he did some sword and sandals work. I
didn't go too far into the Primo filmography, but he
was a celebrity of the day and may have had
some mob ties apparently. But yeah, he was in a
number of motion pictures himself. But going back to the
picture on yourself, Joe, we can't just talk about tor
Johnson here. We also have to talk about Vampire.

Speaker 1 (32:39):
So Vampira has no lines in this movie. And yet
I think she is the best actor in it. Well,
maybe a tie between her and Tour. They both need
the Tour has lines before he gets killed. Both of
them spend a number of shots just sort of menacing
the camera, and they're great in it. Hirah is wonderful

(33:01):
as like making the creepy face and just like flexing
her nails.

Speaker 3 (33:06):
Yes, yes, she has the She basically has this Mortitia
Adams kind of look going on what essentially has become
an iconic Gothic female vamp look. Right, she has the
long nails, and then she also has this very painful
looking courset on that makes her, you know, have this

(33:26):
kind of almost skeletal appearance. You know, she's very made up,
and she's she's hamming it out big time as well.
You know, she's really twisting her her face in a
way that she's coming off like like the undead.

Speaker 1 (33:39):
Now, something I've always wondered. I don't know if you
know the answer to this vampire. We've recently on the
show been talking about these horror movie hosts, the people
who would you know, host a TV program where they
would show a horror movie and then they would interrupt
it to do commercial breaks and make jokes about the movie.
That was Vampira's gig way back in the fifties, And

(34:01):
so I wonder was she the first one or were
there other people who did this before her.

Speaker 3 (34:07):
Everything I've read seems to indicate that she was the first.
She's the matriarch of the entire enterprise. I don't think
anybody else was doing it before her, So it's an
interesting story. So Vampira is the persona of Malia Nurmi,
who lived nineteen twenty two through two thousand and eight.
And it didn't even have a long run. It only

(34:27):
ran fifty four through fifty five, but it resonated with folks,
especially apparently in the LA area. I believe that's where
it was primarily airing. That's where it was based out of.
And she also did appearances on some other shows, popping up,
you know, pretty much always in the persona of Vampira.
So yeah, she was this gothy queen super narrow, corseted waiste,

(34:51):
long fingernails, often with a cocktail, and some sort of
in the set. You know, behind her would be something
atmospheric and gothy, maybe a little ice smoke going on,
you know. So for the most part, yeah, she's always
showing up in her persona of Vampira, but she also
pops up as a hag and a sorceress in bert

(35:11):
I Gordon's nineteen sixty two fantasy film The Magic Sword,
which starred Basil Rathbone, Estelle Winwood, and Gary Lockwood. That is,
at least for me, a much beloved MST three K
episode as well.

Speaker 1 (35:25):
Never seen it.

Speaker 3 (35:26):
Oh it's good. Yeah, crote Robot falls in love with
Estelle Winwood and has a whole song about how much
he loves Estelle. It's great. And then the movie itself
is a lot of fun. It's you know, it's Sword
and Sorcery from Burt Eye Gordon.

Speaker 1 (35:39):
Oh I bet the effects are just perfect, but you
know so, Vampiro was not the only La Area TV
celebrity to appear in Plan nine from Outer Space. The
other one, the other main one, is Chriswell, who Plan
nine definitely would not be the same without Kriswell. Chriswell

(35:59):
is the narrator in this movie. Criswell was the name
of Jaren Charles Criswell King, also known as the Amazing Criswell,
who was an eccentric, celebrity psychic who is probably best
known for making predictions about the future on late night
TV shows in the fifties and sixties.

Speaker 3 (36:19):
Yeah. Yeah, he was a psychic for May West and
was a friend of May West's and at one point
he was also Vampire's roommate. So you do get the
sense that, like it's like a network of l A weirdos, really,
and I think that's something that that Tim Burton captured
rather well in his film, the idea that like these
these were the outsiders and they were brought together in

(36:42):
this strange enterprise.

Speaker 1 (36:44):
So when we were getting ready to do this episode,
I got really into doing to reading about the predictions
made by Chriswell. So that was what he was famous for.
He'd come on TV and say, you know, I'm a psychic,
so I predict that Allegedly he correctly predicts did that
John F. Kennedy would not run for reelection because of

(37:05):
some tragic event in November nineteen sixty three, that is,
at least what I've seen claimed on his website. I
don't know if that's actually what he said, but that's
what it says. That's what it claims retroactively. But he
made all kinds of other predictions that definitely did not
come true. So there's a website called Criswell predicts dot
com where you can read a bunch of these, excerpted

(37:27):
from his books, or at least from one book of his.
I don't even know where to start with these. There
are a lot of predictions about like Earth being destroyed,
So to read one passage quote, can our whirling, turning,
churning Earth last out the night? Our geologists tell us
that the danger to Mother Earth lies not in the
uncharted vast of outer space, but from inner Earth. Here

(37:50):
is what will more than likely happen. According to geologists.
Small tidal waves will play havoc for no reason at all.
The surface of the Earth will bowl jeffer so slightly,
and highways will slightly buckle. Foundations will tip, and floors
will slant when you pour a cup of coffee or
a glass of water. The rim will not level. Telephone

(38:11):
coin boxes and vending machines will refuse to work. Delicate
instruments will go haywire, elevators will go out of whack,
jukeboxes will be mute, radio and TV will fail. All
electric power, gas and water service will cease. And then
will come the time when garbage cans roll across the
street for no apparent reason. Then, and only then will

(38:33):
you realize the advanced corrosion spelling the end of our earth.
The seas will fill up quickly with a gooey mass
of inner earth rubble. Our streets and city lots, farms
and deserts will bubble up like a festered oil and
marking the complete collapse. Has this happened before, more than likely,
and it will happen again in your incredible future. He

(38:58):
also predicted the assassination of Fidel Castro in nineteen seventy.
He predicted that there will be an outbreak of men
becoming cannibals in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in December nineteen eighty, and
he predicts the world will end on August eighteenth, nineteen

(39:18):
ninety nine, in a sequence of events including a jet
black rainbow, a huge snake encircling the world and feeding
upon the oxygen which we need to exist. Well, oh wait,
actually sorry, I apologize. The huge snake in Circling the
World is a metaphor he's using, Oh okay, a metaphor

(39:40):
for the black rainbow that's caused by a mysterious force.
So it's a black rainbow, but it's like a snake
eating all of our oxygen.

Speaker 3 (39:47):
But the black rainbow is not a metaphor. It's an
actual black rainbow.

Speaker 1 (39:51):
I think so. Also, several of his predictions are about
some kind of mass sexual behavior phenomenon, such as one
he predict where clouds of afrodisiac substances will take over
the country in the years nineteen eighty eight to eighty nine,
causing people to marry kats and stuff.

Speaker 3 (40:10):
Okay, well, this reminds me. One of the things I
read about Chris Well is that he worked with Edwould
to figure out exactly what he was going to say
on this film, because there were certain words that Chris
Well could not really get out all that easily kind
of a speech impediment kind of a situation, and so
they kind of like figured out how to like figured

(40:33):
out what he could say, so, you know, work it
to his favor here, and ultimately I feel like with
Tor Johnson, with a Vampiro with Chris Well, like, these
are all examples of someone who they'd already figured out
their gimmick outside of film, and then they're brought into
the film world and they're just they're continuing to do
their thing on their terms, and that's why they're probably

(40:55):
the most impressive figures in this picture.

Speaker 1 (40:58):
Yeah, there is, there's. Tour doesn't really do any wrestling
in the movie, except there's one moment where he gets
a really nice wrestling slap down on a cop. He
like smacks him on the shoulders, you know the part
I'm talking about.

Speaker 3 (41:11):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, he does kind of it almost looks
like a double chop. Yeah situation, almost like a Mongolian
chop or something. But the other individual just completely collapses
if it just instantaneously broke all of the bones in
their body. All right, Well, onto the rest of the cast.

(41:35):
Some of these are humans, some of these are aliens
or celestials, but the first is definitely a human man.
This is the character Jeff Trent, played by Gregory Walcott
who lived nineteen twenty eight through twenty fifteen. He is
our square jaws six ' four punch. First hero.

Speaker 1 (41:51):
This is the lug hero of this monster movie.

Speaker 3 (41:54):
Yeah, and it's interesting because he's also He was also
more of an established actor than many of the folks
and Plan nine, which isn't saying much obviously, but he'd
already been in a string of movies and TV shows
at this point. He mainly went on to do a
lot of TV after this, but also popped back up
on the big screen in a trio of Clint Eastwood
movies in the nineteen seventies, Thunderbolten, Lightfoot, the Eiger Sanction,

(42:18):
which I remember is being a pretty fun mountain climbing
thriller every which way, but Lose, which some would say
is a Grade eight movie, and then nineteen eighty seven's
House to the Second Story. He even has a cameo
in Burton's Edwood movie. He plays like a potential backer
for one of the pictures.

Speaker 1 (42:36):
I don't want to be too unkind, but Gregory Walcott
this is no John Agar. I mean, you've, you know,
in fifty sci fi movies, You've got your lugs and
then you've got your lugs, and Walcott is the latter.
The best comparison I could think of. I don't think
I've ever put this together before, but on this viewing,
I realized that this is what you'd get if you

(42:57):
made an alien invasion movie where the dashing hero was
Putty from Seinfeld.

Speaker 3 (43:03):
Yeah, I know what you mean. His voice. He's got
a deep voice, but it's almost a little too deep,
like he's almost leaning into lurch territory. And again he's
he's already six y four. Like, he's a very tall guy.
I mean, we're getting I guess he's taller than than
Tor Really at this point, he's getting up in there
into into primo territory. And that's that's awfully tall for
your for your heroes. You got to pull some apple

(43:23):
boxes on set at this point. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (43:26):
So, actually, you know what I think, to go even better,
I would say he's a combination of Putty from Seinfeld
and Jack Palance.

Speaker 3 (43:34):
Oh that's good. Yeah, yeah, but but without without the
the uh, the the overpowering charisma of either.

Speaker 1 (43:41):
Oh of course, I didn't mean he has the charisma
of Jack Palance. He does not have that sneer. No,
he's he's actually quite appropriate though for the role he plays,
which is he he seems to be playing a man
who's supposed to represent the stupidity of Earthlings, because the
Aliens are like, you know, you're going to destroy yourselves
by creating weapons that will annihilate the entire universe. And

(44:04):
he's like, but wouldn't these weapons make us stronger? And
he also, I hope you'll notice in the later scenes
where the aliens are calling Earthling stupid, he's the only
Earthling who gets offended, and I think that tells us something.

Speaker 3 (44:18):
All right. So he plays Jeff Trent, a human man,
But then we also have the character Paula Trent, a
human woman. This is his wife, played by Mona McKinnon,
who live nineteen twenty nine through nineteen ninety Tennessee born
actor who acted in just a handful of movies during
the nineteen fifties, including Mesa of the Lost Women, Jailbait,

(44:39):
Teenage Thunder, and Knight of the Ghouls.

Speaker 1 (44:42):
She has some line deliveries in this movie that will
leave you reeling.

Speaker 3 (44:46):
Yes, I mean, you can't blame her too much because
she's using the lines that were given to her by
ed Wood, right, but oh, it's beautiful to behold.

Speaker 1 (44:57):
There's a scene where Jeff Trant is, you know, her husband,
he's going off to fly an airplane and she's like,
I wish you'd go stay at your mother's house because
of all these zombies that have been wandering around. And
she's like, oh, don't worry about things, and he's like, okay,
well be careful, and then the line she says is,
I'm afraid I'm getting wrong. I think it's something almost

(45:18):
exactly like this. The flying saucers are up there, the
cemeteries out there, but I'll be in there.

Speaker 3 (45:26):
Yes, Oh my god, Like really, she did a great
job with what she was given there, like what are you?
How are you supposed to deliver that? And then there's
so much other weird stuff that she's given, Like there's
this whole bit where she's talking about how with lghead
Away with Jeff Away that she's got a pillow that
she's going to hold at night and he's acting a

(45:46):
little jealous of the pillow and there's like some at
least mild pillow eroticism wrapped up in the whole scene
and it's just so weird, all right. So that's that's
McKinnon playing Paula, a human woman. Character is Arros, a
celestial an alien which of course, especially in a film
like this, just looks like a human being except in

(46:07):
a funny costume. And this character is played by all
the brilliant Dudley man Love, who lived nineteen fourteen through
nineteen ninety six, a California radio announcer with a voice
of just solid gold and also sometimes actor.

Speaker 1 (46:23):
Exact opposite end of the spectrum. So whereas with Jeff
and Paula, both of them have these line deliveries that
just clang and clunk and like roll tumble down the stairs,
this guy says every single line, no matter how banal,
with like like he's giving a sort of political announcement.

Speaker 3 (46:43):
Yeah, or the Hindenburg is crashing. Yeah, that's the level
of his delivery.

Speaker 1 (46:50):
Yes.

Speaker 3 (46:51):
Yeah, he was not an actor, to be fair, sometimes
an actor, but this was his first picture. He went
on to act in nineteen sixty two's The Creation of
the Humanoids, and he had some roles that would pop
up here and there on TV shows, like even Alfred
Hitchcock presents in Dragnet. But this, this is his memorable performance.
He's just he's a light anytime he's on screen, but.

Speaker 1 (47:12):
He's usually not alone on screen. There are two aliens
who pilot the main flying saucer in the movie, and
the other one is Tana played by Joanna Lee.

Speaker 3 (47:22):
Yeah. I lived nineteen thirty one through two thousand and three,
and as an actor, she was mostly active in the
nineteen fifties, including a role in The Brain Eaters from
fifty eight mm hmm, but she more extensively had an
impact as a producer, a writer, and a director. She
wrote for a slew of TV comedies, including, just to

(47:43):
name a few of them, The Jetsons, My Three Sons,
Johnny Quest, Bewitched, The Flintstones, Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch,
The Waltons, and then later on Dynasty. So that alone's
pretty impressive. But she also produced and directed episodes of
CBS School Break Special and ABC After School Specials. So

(48:05):
seem to me like a pretty solid career.

Speaker 1 (48:06):
Yeah yeah, broke mainstream YEP.

Speaker 3 (48:09):
Now, before we get to the next celestial we want
to dip back into the human world for a second
and mention that we have this patrolman. Patrolman Kelton played
by Paul Marco. Paul Marco lived nineteen twenty seven through
two thousand and six. He was a three time would actor.
He also appears in Bride of the Monster and Night of.

Speaker 1 (48:26):
The Ghoules classic Bumbling Cop performance. I was trying to
find where to insert this in our outline, and I
feel like maybe that the best place is here. So
I came across a record that I just have to
get a copy of. It is Let's see what is
it called. It came out in nineteen ninety five or
ninety six, I think, and it's called Uncle Dale presents

(48:50):
Paul Marco as Kelton the Cop and Chriswell, and they're
performing two different songs. So it's like a single record
with a one song on each side, and one is
performed by Paul Marco singing a song called Home on
the Strange, which is like a sort of monologue song
about a bunch of horror stuff happening, and then the

(49:11):
other side is Chris Well doing a song that I
have to say Criswell sounds like he's real phoning it in.
It's called someone Walked Over My Grave and it's just
piano playing and he's going sub one walked over my Grave.

Speaker 3 (49:26):
I think I've heard this in a weird mix at
some point as well.

Speaker 1 (49:30):
But the Paul Marco song is better. I mean, it's
it's worth a listen. You should look it up Home
on the Strange.

Speaker 3 (49:37):
All right, Well, I'll make sure I did listen to
someone Walk Over My Grave, but I'll listen to Home
on the Strange as well, and I'll put both of
these on the page for this episode at Sumuda music
dot com. All right, now, back into the celestial realm.
We have the Ruler a celestial played by John Breckinridge
who lived nineteen fourteen through nineteen ninety six. A very

(50:00):
fun screen presence in this film, a very very sassy performance.
But this is a guy who's just was a complete
non actor making a one time appearance in film. He
just happened to be a house guest of Paul Marco
at the time.

Speaker 1 (50:14):
He's, well, he's got wonderful screen presence.

Speaker 3 (50:17):
Yeah, he does, because he has he has he has
his performance, his his uh, his performance is such that
I feel like some of his lines are legitimately creepy,
like he's the he's the the actor who gets to
deliver the line.

Speaker 4 (50:31):
H uh.

Speaker 3 (50:32):
Plan nine deals with the resurrection of the dead and
so forth. So it's a it's a fun little role.
But but yeah, he's not an actor at all, and
just kind of, I guess, convinced to show up and
do this. He was French born, the great great great
grandson of US Attorney General John Breckenridge, born into a

(50:53):
wealthy family, and also the great grandson of Wells Fargo
Bank founder Lloyd Tevis.

Speaker 1 (50:58):
Heir to the dynasty.

Speaker 3 (51:01):
All right, and finally I want to just I want
to have a note here about the music, though, because
as with Tarantula, we're knee deep in fifty stock music here.
But I will say, in a movie that is so
well known for its ineptitude and in its amateur style
and the clunkiness of pieces coming together, this is a

(51:22):
film in which we have pieces of music from multiple sources,
compiled by one Gordon Zalar, and I feel like some
of these are just really great pieces of music.

Speaker 4 (51:32):
You know.

Speaker 3 (51:32):
They're that classic kind of horns blaring, monsters attacking music
from the day. And when you're watching the film, you
may be noticing all these other things that don't feel
right and are coming off weird and amateurish, but the
music isn't one of them. The music sounds really solid.
So I have to give Gordon credit for bringing in

(51:53):
these pieces, assembling them in such a way that they're
able to back the film up and make you and
you may be second guessing everything else, but you're not
really second guessing the music for the most part.

Speaker 1 (52:04):
Yeah. I cannot hear those horns without thinking of Tor
Johnson's gaping mouth, like the sounds are coming out of
his mouth.

Speaker 3 (52:13):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (52:14):
Now, I think we face a different kind of challenge
when breaking down the plot of this movie than we
normally do, which is that there is way too much
of a temptation to minutely describe and quote every single scene,
which we're gonna try not to do. But this movie,
like the weirdness and the double take inducing stuff that's happening,

(52:36):
is just non stop.

Speaker 3 (52:38):
Yeah. It is relentless this film, and you definitely should
see it. It's one of these films it's rare to
find anyone who is not amused by it. This is
one that I would I would recommend to everyone out there,
and it's one that holds up to repeat viewing. I've
seen this a few different times. I've seen I think
I saw a riff track's presentation of at many many

(53:00):
years ago, and that's fine, or retracts. It can be
a lot of fun. But this is a film that
doesn't even need the riffing. Like it is, its energy
is such that you will do the riffing. You know
that the riffing occurs in your own head. It's brilliant.

Speaker 1 (53:15):
But one thing we do have to talk about is
the introduction, because the movie begins. This is a fictional
movie that begins with a Chriswell predicts segment like the
Amazing Criswell did on TV, and he so it, you know,
the lights come up on Criswell and he goes into
a monologue that is so indescribably weird, Like the rambling,

(53:40):
nonsensical nature of it actually reminds me of you know,
when you're in high school and people have to do
class presentations and sometimes there's a kid in the class
who hasn't done any of the homework or any preparation,
but they're also kind of good at talking, and they
just start saying words.

Speaker 3 (53:59):
Yeah, yeah, I think that's totally fair. And really it
seems like it would line up well with with Chriswell's
career here where he's essentially saying nothing, but the delivery
is good enough that it sounds profound.

Speaker 1 (54:12):
I can't, I can't do. The Criswell voice is famously
the adjective I think is stentorian. You know, it's greetings,
my friend, and so he begins by saying, greeting's my friend.
We are all interested in the future, for that is
where you and I are going to spend the rest
of our lives. And remember, my friend, future events such

(54:33):
as these will affect you in the future. You with
it so far, okay? Future events will affect even you
in the future. You are interested in the unknown, the mysterious,
the unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now,
for the first time, we are bringing you the full
story of what happened on that fateful day. We are

(54:56):
bringing you all the evidence based only on the secret
testimony of the miserable souls who survived this terrifying ordeal,
the incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this
a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty, let
us reward the innocent, my friend, Can your heart stand

(55:16):
the shocking facts about grave robbers from outer space?

Speaker 3 (55:21):
I absolutely love it, and it's so ridiculous, and yet
at the same time, one thing I was thinking about
is that if you compare this opening narration to the
John Leroquet opening narration on the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre,
they have a lot that lines up with each other,
like they're both presented to varying degrees of believability as

(55:43):
a statement of what you're about to see is real,
this really happened, this is really important. And then both
examples say the name of the picture at the very end,
the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And even though Plan nine from
Outer Space is the final title for this picture, Grave
from Outer Space was like an alternate title or a
working title or something to that effect.

Speaker 4 (56:05):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (56:05):
I don't know if this is historically true, but in
the movie Edwood, they explained the reason for the change
of name was that the film was at least partially
financed by a Baptist church in the Los Angeles area,
and they found the idea of grave robbing sacrilegious.

Speaker 3 (56:22):
And it should be noted graves aren't really robbed. I
mean they're self robbing by real corpses. So it's really
nitpicking at this point, there's so many other glaring errors.

Speaker 1 (56:34):
Well no, wait, actually to that point, there is an
absolutely unbelievable scene that goes on for minutes of cops
talking about standing over a grave, talking about whether or
not they can go down into the grave to look
at it.

Speaker 3 (56:48):
Right. It goes on forever and they're talking about do
we have jurisdiction to go in there? But also it's
like can we physically do it? Can't in here? And
then one guy goes in and he's like, I can't
read anything. It's like you're in an open grave and
I think it's supposed to be night, and so they
are like, well, we better get him a flashlight. And

(57:09):
we mentioned that we have DeMarco playing a bumbling cop,
but like all the cops are bumbling, and they're so
blumb bumbling, Like this seems to be a picture in
which the only understanding of law enforcement was based entirely
on Laurel and Hardy movies.

Speaker 1 (57:22):
It's incredible, but I mean, there's so many levels of
the Criswell monologue. So yes, it is like the Texas Chainsaw.
It's like insisting this is real even though the events
don't even have internal consistency, but also saying what is
the relationship to time here?

Speaker 3 (57:43):
Like it seems to establish that causality is still in
effect future events will only affect you in the future,
which I guess is good, Like it's good to know
there are some rules still in place here for this
motion picture.

Speaker 1 (57:56):
But he's also saying that the events he's talking about
are happening in the future, but also have already happened.

Speaker 3 (58:04):
Okay, well, yeah, now that just twists me all up.

Speaker 1 (58:06):
Okay, So we go from Criswell to Boom thundercrack credits
etchings on a tombstone. You see tour Johnson. Just a
little note. I remember thinking even back the first time
I saw it. Wardrobe on this movie is by someone
named Dick Cheney. I think it's not the same one.

Speaker 3 (58:22):
I miss that.

Speaker 1 (58:23):
But then so the credits finished, and then one of
the funniest things is that it cuts to a funeral
and then Criswell is still going. You think you're done
with him, but he just comes back in. You're watching
people in a graveyard, and he's all of us on
earth know that there is a time to live and
a time to die. And we see Bela Legosi, the
real Bella Legosi in the sense he's crying into a

(58:46):
handkerchief at a graveside and some guy's reading a Bible,
and there are two grave diggers nearby who look like
they belong in a commercial for baked beans. And the
Criswell monologue just goes and goes and go. You know,
he's talking about like the nature of death. He says, look,
when death the proud brother comes suddenly without warning, and

(59:09):
he says, oh. But he also gets very poetic. He's
talking about like the sundown. You remember the sundown line.

Speaker 3 (59:16):
The sundown of the day, and yet also the sundown
of the old man's heart, and you just like, you
can just imagine Edward riding this and or Criswell riding
with him, and they're just like, yeah, this is so good.
It's so good.

Speaker 1 (59:29):
So here's where things begin. Bell Legosi's at a funeral
for his wife. It doesn't show us this, but we
find out later his wife was Vampira. And then the
grave diggers start tossing dirt on the coffin, and then
we cut to an airplane, and then we cut inside
the airplane and wow, wow, this set.

Speaker 3 (59:49):
Yeah, it's it's a ludicrous set, they just said, so
obviously a set like like Muppet Show level of set.

Speaker 1 (59:58):
It's just a room with a open door and a
shower curtain and I guess that's supposed to go back
into out of the cockpit. And then on the wall
there's a clipboard and what is this circular thing? Is
that supposed to be a thermometer or something.

Speaker 3 (01:00:10):
I guess it's supposed to be some sort of gauge,
but it's clearly just some sort of a circular slidey
reference tool that's just been pinned to the wall.

Speaker 1 (01:00:19):
So they're like looking out the window and saying, yep,
that's the old San Fernando Valley right there, right where
it's supposed to be. And then suddenly, zoom, you get
a flying saucer goes by out the window and they're
showing it off to the flight attendant and it kind
of rocks the plane and they're like, wow, that was
nothing from this world. And the pilot here is Gregory Walcott.
That's Jeff Trent, our hero, and he's immediately very concerned

(01:00:43):
that the passengers not find out about the flying saucer.
But the flying saucer goes by and then it lands
at the cemetery from earlier, and the grave diggers hear something.
This is a dialogue exchange that must be quoted so
the Grave Diggers say, you hear anything odd?

Speaker 4 (01:01:00):
I did.

Speaker 1 (01:01:01):
Don't like here and noises, especially when there ain't supposed
to be any Yeah, kind of spooky like maybe we're
getting old. Well, whatever it is, it's gone now that's
the best thing for us too, gone. Yeah, let's go.

Speaker 3 (01:01:15):
It's just oh and then here comes Vampira. She shows up,
comes lurching out of the darkness, and the mist looking
just you know, completely put together, very much, has this
this gothic queen looking down and yeah, we're off to
the races here with the dead rising from the grave.

Speaker 1 (01:01:34):
Absolutely flagrant inner cutting between night shots and day shots
in this sequence, continuity does not even seem to be attempted.
And so Vampire walks up on them and she kills them.
But how are you imagining she kills the grave diggers.
What she does is she kind of stands in a
pose like an idle video game character, like a te pose,

(01:01:58):
and then suddenly raises her hands up while standing behind
a shrub, and then the grave digger scream and die.

Speaker 4 (01:02:05):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:02:05):
I think it's later in the picture we do have
some police comparing bodies to wild animal kills, So I
guess she's supposed to have used those really long nails
of hers.

Speaker 1 (01:02:16):
I guess, so, yeah, the nails seem significant. But then
after that we get the famous shot immortalized in Tim
Burton's ed Wood of Bella Goosi coming out of a
little house and standing in his front yard and stopping
to smell a rose, apparently in grief. Meanwhile, Criswell is narrating,
you know. Criswell's just going on about how the house
that they win which they shared their love became a tomb.

(01:02:40):
And then Bella wanders just out of frame, and then
there is an immediate sound cue. He's the second he
steps out of picture. Tire screech, scream, crash, sirens. Though
I would like to stress obviously we're supposed to believe
that Bella was crushed by runaway truck or something right

(01:03:01):
after he left the shot, but actually you can see
his shadow still falling on the grass, not moving, so
he's just stepped out of view, is standing there casting
a shadow. Robi did a picture for you to look at.
You can see the shadow on the bottom left and
then the screech and the scream.

Speaker 3 (01:03:17):
Brilliant Again, ed Wood was not going to let the
death of a central character stand in the way of
not only continuing production but also not redoing a single
thing that he'd already shot.

Speaker 1 (01:03:28):
Right, So we go straight onto the funeral and then
we see people coming out of what they call a crypt,
but it's just like it looks like a cardboard box,
and ooh, it is such a clown car situation. Many
people coming out of this tiny box.

Speaker 3 (01:03:44):
Yeah, this tiny and you know, if you've ever been
in a crib, I mean, I guess this is a
movie crip. This is like like a Santo in the
Tomb of Dracula crypt where I guess there's supposed to
be a lot going on in there, but we don't
see that on screen. It looks like a tiny little
phone booth out of cardboard that's been sprayed gray to
look kind of like granite. And is this the scene

(01:04:06):
where they also they go ahead and establish well, due
to their customs, the old man's wife was buried in
the ground and he was buried inside of a tomb
inside of this mausoleum type situation, which I love because
it's clearly a situation where there was they at least realized, oh, yeah,
well we have her. Why would why would she be
buried there and he buried here. Should we reshoot anything, No,

(01:04:29):
We'll just have a line or two that establishes that
there is a reason for this. It's cultural. Don't worry
about it. But it makes sense.

Speaker 1 (01:04:37):
Yeah, it's the mourners who climb out of the box
and then the lady goes first, his wife, then he
and then her husband goes tragic and yeah, they have
the conversation about how it's due to an old family
superstition that she had to be in the ground and
he had to be in a crypt. But I think
I think it's literally because they just already shot some

(01:04:58):
of the shots and then they're like, we got to
cover for that.

Speaker 3 (01:05:01):
I just had so many questions about this custom, like why,
I mean, it's it's you know, it sounds kind of
sexist obviously, but like what possible reason would there be,
Like like, oh, you can't bury the men and the
women in the same soil. It needs the soil that's
where you bury women and men you bury in the TOEMM.
It's just ridiculous.

Speaker 1 (01:05:28):
Uh. But we're about to get to the police because
some mourners they get spooked seeing bodies of the grave.
Diggers and they freak out and the police arrive and
oh man, this is when we first meet Tor Johnson.
Before he's a zombie. He's a human. He's in fact
a police inspector.

Speaker 3 (01:05:43):
Yes, and there's yeah, there's some great dialogue here from him.

Speaker 1 (01:05:49):
This is a scene where the dialogue like it would
have been funny even if it had been delivered well,
but it's Tor Johnson saying it, so you know. He
there's one part where I think the very first thing
he says when he gets there, he's like a Melcal Examiner,
been here yet, so it's the Melcal Examiner. And there's

(01:06:09):
one part where he's like, I'm gonna go walk off
in the dark and they're like be careful, it's dark,
and then he's just like I'll be big boy now, Johnny.

Speaker 3 (01:06:20):
Yeah, Tor Johnson. Yeah, clearly not a not an actor
in this sense. Why is a physical presence. But it's
kind of cute though, because you get kind of maybe
a sense of the real Tod Johnson in this shot,
you know, because he's was supposedly like just kind of
a big teddy bear. They didn't say much, but it
was kind of a nice guy to be around.

Speaker 1 (01:06:41):
Yeah, So he goes wandering off into the darkness in
the mist and then we finally we meet Paula Trant.
So Jeff Trant is back home now, and he's hanging
out on his porch with a bunch of wicker furniture,
having a drink with his wife Paula, and they're commenting
on how you remember Jeff Trant was the pie from
the planet. So they're married. They apparently live in a

(01:07:03):
house inside the cemetery. That's best I can tell, Like
they talk about that fact and they are no Tor Johnson's.
But this couple has really weird energy and some of
the clunkiest dialogue in movie history. Uh it's again it's
hard to explain without just watching the movie. But you know,

(01:07:23):
like Paula says to him, I don't think I've ever
seen you in this mood before, and he says, I
guess it's because I've never been in this mood before.
And Putty here explains that he's in this unfamiliar mood
because he saw a flying saucer on his flight this morning,
and she goes, you mean the kind from up to
the from up there, and he goes, yeah, or it's counterpart,

(01:07:45):
I didn't know what that meant this sequence.

Speaker 3 (01:07:48):
One of the things I love about it is that
he Wood is trying to create what is essentially a
realistic scene with a with with this whole speculative of
the pic aspect to it, where it's a why fast
her husband like, what's bothering you? There's something bothering you?
And he is having to admit that it's something that
I don't even feel but that comfortable talking about. And

(01:08:09):
so this has tons of real world parallels obviously, and
it's one of these great moments where it's like the writer, director,
you know, filmmakers almost like aliens, trying to figure out
how normal humans interact with each other. And then you
kicked it on screen.

Speaker 1 (01:08:27):
Well he yeah, So it's trying to show that is
the dynamic I think it's going for, but instead it
just turns into Gregory Walcott having this rant about about
a cover up. He's like, you know, big army brass
grabbed us and made us swear to secrecy about the
whole thing. And then he's just on the subject of
big army brass, like he mentions it several more times.

(01:08:49):
He's really upset. He's like people keep seeing these saucers,
but but I can't say a word. I'm muzzled by
army brass. Oh and then right then the flying saucers
zooms over them and knocks over all their wicker furniture.
So then we get a scene where Tor Johnson is
attacked by Bella not Bela Lagosi, by the bell Legosi

(01:09:11):
body double, and by Vampira. And I just wondered, what.
So he's supposed to be investigating the graveyard for clues,
but he's just walking around with his gun pointed in
front of him.

Speaker 3 (01:09:21):
Yeah, yeah, well, and really this one, this is just
a small thing when it comes to the depiction of
firearms by law enforcement in this picture. Yeah, there was nobody.
Clearly nobody had ever been around a gun before or
had any idea about what gun safety was or what
it might look like on the screen. It's so ridiculous.

Speaker 1 (01:09:44):
Well, so, yeah, Tour gets killed by the zombies. And
then the other main cop who we follow after this
is the police lieutenant I don't even remember his name,
the police lieutenant who just uses his gun as like
a like a pointer, so he whenever he's talking about
something or about someone, he points then the gun at them.

(01:10:06):
He also scratches his own head with the barrel of
the gun and like holds it with the barrel pointed
into his own chest.

Speaker 3 (01:10:14):
Yeah, if he had picked his nose with the barrel
of the gun, it would not have been any more
outrageous than everything else he does with it.

Speaker 1 (01:10:21):
But so they're walking around and they find they find
Tor Johnson dead and they observe they said, Inspector Clay
is dead, murdered, and somebody's responsible. So we get a
funeral for Inspector Clay, and it seems Vampire is attending
the funeral. She's just standing there watching, and then we
cut to people seeing flying saucers over Hollywood Boulevardly there's

(01:10:45):
like a car going by in a part where like
three people suddenly point out the windows at the saucer,
all in unison. And meanwhile we're getting Chriswell monologues over
this where Qriswell's like, there comes a time in each
man's life when he kind believe his own eyes. And
here's where they decided got to pad this movie out.

(01:11:05):
We got some stock military stock footage, so they show
planes flying, rockets, launching, just military hardware doing stuff.

Speaker 3 (01:11:14):
Yeah, Yeah, there's all these shots of one Colonel Edwards
just standing there basically a blank background, staring up supposedly
the sky with the binoculars and just ordering all the
rockets to be fired of these three UFOs. He doesn't
even seem to care what continent these rockets are on.
So we just get all this stock footage of rockets firing.

Speaker 1 (01:11:34):
What is the deal with the secrecy about the UFOs?
This is completely inconsistent in the movie. So part of
the movie they're saying Army Brass won't let anybody know
that UFOs exist. But then also we hear we cut
to Colonel Edwards and he's talking to just some soldier
and they're talking about the flying saucers and the soldier
is like, hey, what's the deal with these flying saucers

(01:11:55):
And the Colonel's like, well, they attacked us. He says,
they attacked a town, a small town, I'll admit it,
but nevertheless a town of people. And he revealed, Edwards
reveals that big Army Brass is covering up the alien menace.

Speaker 2 (01:12:13):
You know.

Speaker 1 (01:12:13):
He says, take any earthquake, any fire, any natural disaster.
You think that's natural disasters? You know what it's probably
actually aliens.

Speaker 3 (01:12:22):
Yeah, you drop aliens in the middle of this and
everything makes sense.

Speaker 1 (01:12:25):
But I think it's time to meet some aliens. So
let's go to the mothership in orbit around the Earth.

Speaker 3 (01:12:29):
A mothership which really just looks like a breast or
a nipple. I mean, it's very glaring.

Speaker 1 (01:12:36):
But so we meet the aliens and these they do
a salute where they like cross their arms on their
chest and that's very funny. Kang and Codos do the
same salute when they're on The Simpsons. But the Alien
boss is played by Bunny Breckenridge, and here you he's
wearing a medieval times tunic with a like a sigil

(01:12:57):
of an axe on it. And then we see the
Underling's Aerosentana and they're wearing their satin tunics and they
have this bizarre conversation where they're talking about what plans
they are going to enact on Earth. Breckenridge says, oh,
what plan will you follow now? And Aero says, well,
you know, we tried to contact Earth leaders, but they

(01:13:18):
reject our existence. You just can't talk to these Earth humans.
Their soul is too controlled, that's what he says. I
don't know what that means. But here they say it's
time to go with Plan nine. So what's Plan nine
going to be?

Speaker 3 (01:13:31):
He says, Ah, Yes, Plan nine deals with the resurrection
of the dead, long distance electrodes shot into the pinial
and pituitary glands of recent dead.

Speaker 1 (01:13:42):
Okay, I guess that would explain the zombies we've seen.
But what were Plans one through eight?

Speaker 3 (01:13:48):
I was thinking about this, so I guess Plan one
was evidently just buzz major cities with UFOs and just
kind of like freak people out a little bit. And
I'm guessing that Plans two through eight were just kind
of the stock plots of any other nineteen fifties film,
you know. So it's like Plan two's giant animals attack,
Plan three animals attack. Yeah, giant scorpions probably throw some

(01:14:11):
robots and monsters in there. Maybe they get up to
something like superviruses in space religion eventually, but by the
time you get to Plan nine, it's the resurrection of
the dead.

Speaker 1 (01:14:21):
Well, it's a great plan, and Dudley Manlove really sells it.
He's like, we have risen two so far, we shall
be just as successful on more.

Speaker 3 (01:14:31):
I do actually buy into Plan nine a bit when
this scene and others where they discuss it, the aliens
are discussing it because it's kind of like they won't
see this coming. This is going to freak them out.
Like there's a sense of psychological warfare to it that
sounds sensible, Like if aliens had the ability to do
this and they wanted to mess with us, yeah, make
our dead come back to life now, maybe resurrect more

(01:14:54):
than three of them, but you know, I don't know.
They had to scale up from somewhere right.

Speaker 1 (01:15:00):
Well, So they explain that the purpose of Plan nine
is to make the humans acknowledge their existence. They say,
like they won't accept that we exist. You know, they
just shoot at us when we come down there, and
then they believe that we're not real. So we have
to make them accept our existence by raising the dead.

(01:15:21):
I don't know why that would be more effective than
the flying saucers.

Speaker 3 (01:15:25):
Hmmm, yeah, I don't have an answer to that, okay,
but I like, if I lean into it and I
think about it, I can think of it as kind
of a psychological attack as a way of causing panic
among the humans, like more panic than just the UFOs.
The UFOs are up there, but the dead are down here.

Speaker 1 (01:15:44):
There's a great scene aosentana like walk out of the room.
They leave Breckinridge behind, and Aero says, you know, it's
an interesting thing the earth. People who can think are
so frightened by those who cannot the dead. Yes, well, anyway,
they go back to Earth. We get another porch dialogue
scene between Paula and Jeff. You know he's leaving. This

(01:16:07):
is the scene with the whole like the saucers are
up there and the cemeteries out there, but I'll be
locked up in there and oh man. This is also
the scene where they have the pillow conversation, because she's like,
when you're gone, I need your pillow here because I
can touch your pillow. And he seems kind of weirded
out by it, you know. He he leaves being like, well,

(01:16:28):
I love you, darling, but you're off your rocker. And
then he gets back in the airplane and leaves Awome.
So what We get a bunch of other shenanigans with
Jeff on the plane and the co pilot and the
stewardess talking about going to Albuquerque and trying to party there.
I don't even we'll skip over all that, so we

(01:16:49):
get Bella Lagosi in some actual shots where it's really him,
but then other shots where it's the body double showing
back up and essentially like creeping into the Trent house.

Speaker 3 (01:17:02):
Oh I love this scene because he's creeping around and
then he's like coming up to the door and sort
of jiggling it a little bit, but the no, no,
he rings the doorbell and then he comes inside like
he's just not cut out for this breaking and entering thing.

Speaker 1 (01:17:17):
Yeah. So Paula's in bed and then the old man
walks into her bedroom. She screams, and then she just
runs past him out the door. He's very slow moving.
It makes me think of Night of the Living Dead actually,
you know, like are these creatures slow moving? Oh? Yeah,
they're dead, they're all missed up. I think that applies

(01:17:38):
to Bella in this, and so she just runs past
him and then runs out into the cemetery. We get
a great shot of Tor Johnson rising from the grave
and it's actually so good. Yeah, it does look pretty creepy.

Speaker 3 (01:17:50):
I remember seeing this as a kid and finding it
pretty creepy, pretty disturbing because yeah, we've got the blaring
horn music tour is just touring it up to to eleven.
Here looks really good.

Speaker 1 (01:18:02):
We get a bunch of chasing around in the cemetery.
The zombies are chasing Paula, cutting randomly back and forth
between night time and daytime. And then eventually a random
cowboy hat man in a convertible rescues Paula. She like
faints by the road. He picks her up, puts her
in the car, and drives away. For some reason, he
knows who she is. I don't think we've ever met

(01:18:22):
this character before. Oh but next we get a scene
where okay, so Aerosentana the aliens. Now they're landing in
the cemetery and they're gonna check out their monsters because
they're going to take them up to show Breckinridge up
in the mothership. And there's a great scene where like
Tor Johnson and Vampire are trying to kill them, like
they walk in the door and they're like reaching for them,

(01:18:45):
and Arrows has to be like turn off the electrodes quickly.
They can't tell us from anyone else. And this is
not the only time they lose control of the zombies.
The zombies are frequently just attacking the aliens themselves.

Speaker 3 (01:18:57):
Yeah, this is and you know this scene, I feel
like man Love is able to really sell the threat,
Like I buy into the fact that he's panicking, like
he's losing it. He's at crashing Hindenburg level when it
comes to his fear over the big one, the giant
tor Johnson coming after his throat, and then afterwards he's
still had a breath and he's like, that was too close.

Speaker 4 (01:19:20):
Yes.

Speaker 1 (01:19:22):
And there's also a scene in here where the cops
are bumbling around in the graveyard. This is the one
we mentioned earlier where they spend a long time talking
about whether they can climb down into an open grave
or not, and eventually one of them does get in there.
I think it's Paul Marco and he goes it's Inspector
Clay's grave, but he ain't in it. There's a oh.

(01:19:44):
So we go to a totally different scene when in Washington,
d C. Where it's time for more big army brass
and this scene was also dumbfounding. So there's like a
big commander and he gets Colonel Edwards, the guy we
met earlier in there and he's like, oh, you know,
so you've been in charge of fighting off all these
flying saucer attacks, But do you really believe there are

(01:20:06):
such things as flying saucers? And Colonel Edwards says, yes,
I do, and then the boss is like, you can't
say you believe in them. You'll be court martialed for
believing in flying saucers. And then Colonel Edwards does some
real like logic twisting on him. He's like, how could
I defend the Earth against flying saucers if I didn't

(01:20:26):
believe in what I saw and shot at. It's like,
Mike drop, you can't beat that.

Speaker 3 (01:20:32):
It's the patriotism shining through, but I don't even understand.

Speaker 1 (01:20:35):
So his boss was trying to get him to say, well,
you have to fight off the flying saucers, but you
also can't tell me you believe in them. Anyway, This
scene leads into a long aeros monologue where they're like, hey,
we have a language computer that allows us to decode
messages from the aliens, and so let's listen to aeros
talk for ten minutes. So it's a very he's giving

(01:20:58):
this whole conver monologue about how do you still believe
it impossible we exist? You didn't actually think we were
the only inhabited planet. You are stupid.

Speaker 3 (01:21:08):
Yeah, it's very smug, and it's all about just dissing
on humanity, something he does quite a bit. First of all,
you're the worst. Secondly, you're the worst. And then the
third important fact here is you're on the verge of
just destroying the entire universe. So late fifties Earth technology
is on the verge of creating a catastrophe that will

(01:21:32):
destroy the known universe. And you might think, well, they're
not going to explain this, right, Oh, but they will.
They will explain it, and it is dumbfounding.

Speaker 1 (01:21:43):
Yeah, yeah, we get some technical details on this, but
he's like, you're about to do it. Your juvenile, stupid
minds are creating too many explosives and you're going to
blow up the universe. And oh and then later, let's
see a big army brass scene where it's Colonel Edwards
and his boss again, and Colonel Edwards is like, oh,

(01:22:06):
his I think. His boss says to them these flying
saucers they're attacking the Earth, and Colonel Edwards says yes,
and then he says, you think they mean business. So
he sends Colonel Edwards to Los Angeles to the cemetery
to investigate the zombies and the saucer attacks there, and
then we get the scene where where Breckinridge choose out

(01:22:28):
arrows and they do the demonstration of tour Johnson where
he is like choking arrows again. They're constantly losing control
of him, and this demonstration scene is a lot of fun.

Speaker 4 (01:22:41):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:22:42):
He also gets some of his ships taken away, right,
the rule is like, you don't need all three UFOs
now down to one. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (01:22:49):
Yeah. Arros gets chewed out big time, like it's a
real dressing down by his boss, but he is impressed
by Tor when he sees him. He goes, yes, he's
a fine specimen. Are they all this powerful on planet Earth?

Speaker 3 (01:23:03):
He literally says, well, actually the other two are a
woman and an old man.

Speaker 1 (01:23:07):
Yeah. He's like, oh okay, but they're like, oh, I
know a good idea with the old man, so he
has the The boss has the idea, what if you
take bela Lagosi and you make him He literally explains
that they should do all this. You should make him
walk into somebody's house and then instantly decompose in front
of them, and that will convince them that aliens exist.

Speaker 3 (01:23:30):
That'll do it. Yes, that has to work.

Speaker 1 (01:23:42):
So here we get the big army brass shows up
at the Trent's house. So it's another porch scene. They're
hanging out in the wicker furniture and Colonel Edwards walks
in and is like, hello, how are you doing? And
Bella Lagosi walks up on them while they're on the
porch and they shoot at him to no avail. But
then suddenly a ray is emitted from the spaceship at

(01:24:04):
Bella Legosi and he just instantly turns into a skeleton.
So turbo rot.

Speaker 3 (01:24:09):
Yeah, and it's one of those great scenes where he
just turns into like a high school science classroom skeleton. Yeah,
it's beautiful.

Speaker 1 (01:24:17):
And in a way, Plan nine kind of works because
that makes everybody be like, wow, I guess we better
go investigate that. I assume everybody else at this meeting
already did believe in aliens. Maybe not the police lieutenant,
but Edwards did, and Jeff Trent did.

Speaker 3 (01:24:31):
Yeah, and now they really I mean it kind of
backfires on him though, because they're like, well, I guess
we got to do something about this. Now, let's go
arrest those aliens.

Speaker 1 (01:24:38):
Yeah, the police lieutenants like, we haven't seen the last
of those weirdies. So they wander into the graveyard to investigate.
They leave Paula in the car and the aliens. Meanwhile,
we see Aeros Andtana talking about how their ship is
about to be discovered and they can't allow that. So,

(01:24:58):
like the purpose of creating zombies is to get the
Earthlings to accept the existence of aliens, but they also
can't allow the humans to see them or know about them. Yeah,
So they leave Paula in the car, but then Tor
attacks the car. He knocks down paul Marco by slapping
him on the shoulders. I think this is what you
called the double chop. And then he grabs Paula and

(01:25:21):
carries her to the ship. So we do get the
classic scene that's on the poster of Tor Johnson carrying
Paula unconscious.

Speaker 3 (01:25:27):
Yeah. Like we said on the show before, this is
an iconic image of the classic monster, the monster carrying
the unconscious woman. Yeah, And of course Edwood does not
shy away from creating this tableau for us.

Speaker 1 (01:25:38):
Though when Bride of the Monster on the poster, it
shows Bella Lagosi carrying the lady, and he does not
do that in the movie. I think Tor Johnson does
in that one as well.

Speaker 3 (01:25:47):
Well. If you need somebody to carry another body around,
I mean, Tour is your man, like, that's what he's
been doing. He has a career based on carrying the
very large humans around and also being carried himself to
a certain extent, so he can probably help you out
if you did need a scene where somebody's carrying an
unconscious Tour around.

Speaker 1 (01:26:07):
So three lugs go into the spaceship. You got Jeff Trant,
you got the police inspector or, the police lieutenant and
Colonel Edwards, and they all have revolvers and they go
into the spaceship and point them at the aliens. And
then we get some villain monologue where Arrows he whinds
a lot about how human governments refuse to accept their existence,

(01:26:31):
and he says, and it's like why, And they ask, well,
why do you care so much about governments of Earth
accepting you? And he says, because of death, because all
you of Earth are idiots. And then he goes into
this this crazy series of monologues about how the Earthlings

(01:26:52):
are building a bigger, bigger and bigger bombs. He says,
first was your firecracker, a harmless explosive, then your hand grenade.
You begin to kill your own people, a few at
a time, then the bomb, then a larger bomb, many
people are killed at one time. Then your scientists stumbled
upon the atom bomb, split the atom, then the hydrogen bomb,

(01:27:16):
where you actually explode the air itself. Now you can
arrange the total destruction of the entire universe served by
our sun. The only explosion left is the solar night
and this, he explains, is a bomb that will explode
the sunlight itself. And of course Jeff Trant likes that idea.

(01:27:37):
He's like, well, if we had that, then we'd be
an even stronger nation than we are now. And this
is where Aros responds with the most maybe the most
famous line.

Speaker 3 (01:27:45):
Of the movie.

Speaker 1 (01:27:46):
He says, stronger you see you see your stupid minds, stupid, stupid,
And Jeff, as I mentioned, he gets offended when Earthlings
are called stupid. He says, that's enough out of you.

Speaker 3 (01:27:59):
And it's a great moment in interplanetary communication. Here everyone
is really terrible at it.

Speaker 1 (01:28:12):
We get a long explanation of how the solar night
bomb works using metaphors of a can of gasoline. I'm
not going to try to reproduce all of that. But
they say essentially that it's a bomb that will allow
you to blow up sunlight, and it will blow up
the sun, and then it will blow up everything that
the sunlight has ever touched.

Speaker 3 (01:28:32):
Yeah, like you split a photon, and it's going to
cause like a photon splitting chain reaction where it's going
to follow a beam of light back to its source,
which is the Sun, but also travel out on the
starlight from the Sun, and I guess reach anywhere that
the light of our sun reaches. And I was thinking, well, okay,

(01:28:54):
if this, if I am being generous here, if this
were going to happen, that would still take a very
long time. It's not going to be an instantaneous destroy
the universe situation.

Speaker 1 (01:29:05):
People with better astrophysics knowledge, please correct me, because I
haven't researched this, But my gut understanding of this, I
think is that that would mean the it would take
a long time, but it would mean the eventual destruction
of our entire local galaxy. But I would also think
that at this point other galaxies are probably moving away
from us at such a rate that it would actually

(01:29:27):
never catch up to them. So I think other galaxies
might be Okay.

Speaker 3 (01:29:30):
Well, maybe we're to take everything that Aeros says here
is truth, Like maybe other cultures have developed this technology
and have used it, and so you have whole pockets
of the universe that have been wiped out by it,
and so they just want don't want to see large
chunks of the universe continue to go this route.

Speaker 1 (01:29:51):
But I suspect that we would actually never be able
to know that something like this was happening, because if
the destruction is traveling at the speed of life, you
would have no forewarning of it, right, Like, you wouldn't
be by the time you saw it. It would arrive
at you.

Speaker 3 (01:30:05):
Yeah, yeah, but I don't know. They're very advanced, these celestials,
so they have tools we don't have. Resources we don't have. Again,
one wonders what would have happened if they had a
little more tact in approaching this instead of just showing up,
insulting us, buzzing our cities and raising our dead. Come on,
we're a sensitive people.

Speaker 1 (01:30:28):
Well anyway, so they have a big fight, big fist fight,
Jeff Trend is like punching arros, and they slam and
they like, they're smashing the equipment on the table. The
ship is on fire, and eventually the humans get out
of it. They're all right, and the aliens try to
take off in their flying saucer, but it's on fire
and then it explodes.

Speaker 3 (01:30:49):
And I found this to be kind of like a
hauntingly nice scene. I mean, yes, the UFO's effects in
this film are what they are, but the scene of
the flying saucer on fire over the Hollywood lights at
night and then it explodes, I don't know, there's something
kind of poignant about it.

Speaker 1 (01:31:06):
Can you guess how the movie ends. It's a chrism
Well monologue.

Speaker 3 (01:31:10):
I gotta go back to Criswell. He's gonna tie it
all up in a neat little bow.

Speaker 1 (01:31:14):
He's gonna make sense of all this. Yeah, so Criswell says,
my friend, you have seen this incident based on sworn testimony. Oh,
I can't do the voice all the time, he says,
can you prove it didn't happen? Perhaps on your way home,
someone will pass you in the dark and you will
never know it, for they will be from outer space.

(01:31:37):
Many scientists believe that another world is watching us at
this moment. We once laughed at the horseless carriage, the aeroplane,
the telephone, the electric light, vitamins, radio and even television.
And now some of us laugh at outer space. God
help us in the future the end.

Speaker 3 (01:32:00):
That yeah, prove that it didn't happen. The burden of
proof is on you, audience.

Speaker 1 (01:32:05):
Yes, yes, disprove or except.

Speaker 3 (01:32:08):
Oh yeah, there's just there is there's so much to
love in this picture. Like, even if you took out
everything we mentioned, there's still like three more bad movies
worth of stuff here, you know, three more psychotronic film's
worth of of like strange line deliveries and weird ideas
and and jarring use of footage. It's just it's a

(01:32:28):
gold mine.

Speaker 1 (01:32:29):
This picture one of the best of the best of
all time. I love playing nine Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:32:35):
And it's you know, it's ridiculous. But at the same
time you have these scenes of these kind of like
very dry looking exterior shots in in in Lost in
the Los Angeles area, you know, tombstones and uh in
in these you know, these very scraggly looking plants and trees.
I don't know, there's there's there is some authenticity sprinkled

(01:32:56):
in there as well, that kind of gives you a
little peak into the world out of which it emerge.

Speaker 1 (01:33:01):
You know, one last question, do you think Edward when
he wrote this sympathized with the Aeros monologue about our
stupid Earth minds? Was he expressing his point of view
or was Aero supposed to be the bad guy representing
an incorrect point of view.

Speaker 3 (01:33:17):
I feel like he had to be sympathetic to this cause,
I mean, it's given so much a monologue time in
the picture, and there's this, and then of course we
have the Chris Well stuff that is treating the film
like prophecy. So yeah, he had to be There is
this kind of cautionary tale that seems to be present,
no matter how poorly it's ultimately presented or how whack

(01:33:40):
adoodle the speculative of science is that's wrapped up in it.
And also, I guess to be fair, this is also
an idea that we see just spread out across science
fiction in general. That's something maybe watching us and something
may have an outsider perspective on where we are as
a culture, and it may realize the the errors of

(01:34:00):
our way, the dangers that we're bound to encounter, and
that we're kind of looking to UFOs as kind of
a divine entity or conversely an infernal entity that will
either help us and help us choose the right direction
or judge us for the direction we've chosen thus far.

Speaker 1 (01:34:20):
Yeah, I think I could get down with that. Another
last thing I will have to say this time is
that I really think you can't overstate the importance of
the Chriswell framing in establishing the self important tone of
the movie that like, the movie thinks that it is
powerful and perhaps world changing. It's like I'm trying to imagine,

(01:34:42):
like imagine if the Room started and ended with monologues
about how this movie will change the world, and the
monologues are from like the Long Island Medium.

Speaker 3 (01:34:56):
Yeah. Yeah, there's a self importance to the picture. It
feels like it's tapping into the now that it's you know,
it's like, this is stuff that's happening, and people are
talking about UFOs. There's something going on. You know. We
we have issues with with where we are as a people.
We have concerns about the future and about the state
of technology, and so this film is like, yeah, we're

(01:35:19):
really tapping into all that. We have something to say.
Get Dudley Man love on the phone. We're going to
cast him in this picture.

Speaker 1 (01:35:26):
Okay, I think that's we've got to We've got to end.

Speaker 3 (01:35:31):
Yeah, there's so much here, and we'd love to hear
from everyone out there, everyone who has loved plann NINGE
from Outer Space in the past, and perhaps you haven't
seen it before, like now's the time, and maybe you're
inspired by our thoughts here. We would love to hear
your thoughts on it as well. Perhaps there's some particular
moment or line in the picture that really is close

(01:35:53):
to your heart that we didn't mention write in. We'd
love to hear from you, and we'll discuss this in
a future episode of Your Male. Oh and I should
point out when it comes to where to find Plan
nine from Outer Space, Luckily you can find in a
lot of places these days. There are various DVD and
perhaps even Blu ray releases that are available. I know
that there was a recent colorization of the picture, but

(01:36:16):
I rewatched it in black and white. I feel like
it needs to be in black and white. But hey,
if colorization is what gets you there, then fair enough,
go ahead and do it.

Speaker 1 (01:36:25):
I'm a purist about this, don't meddle with Plan nine.

Speaker 3 (01:36:31):
Yeah, I mean there's something about those gothic scenes in
the cemetery, right, I mean those have to be in
black and white. I mean I assume Vampira and Tor
were in black and white in real life. I can't
imagine them as flesh and blood color entities. It's certainly
not in this picture, all right. As always, you can
check out other episodes of Weird House Cinema in the
Stuff to Blow your Mind podcast feed every Friday. We're

(01:36:53):
primarily a science podcast, but Fridays are our time to
set aside most serious concerns and just talk about a
weird film again. And I'll post some of the various
multimedia tie ins that we discussed here on the blog
post for this episode at simmutemusic dot com. Also, if
you are on letterboxed, and I recommend you get on
there because it's a lot of fun. If you're a
film fan, we are on letterboxed as well. Our user

(01:37:15):
name is weird House, so you can follow us there.
You can also pull up a cool list that has
all of the movies that we've watched in order. You
can do things like divide them up and look at
them by genre. And decade and so forth, and you
can often get a little peek ahead and see what
we're discussing next.

Speaker 1 (01:37:32):
Huge thanks as always to our excellent audio producer Seth
Nicholas Johnson. If you would like to get in touch
with us with feedback on this episode or any other,
to suggest a topic for the future, or just to
say hello, you can email us at contact Stuff to
Blow your Mind dot com.

Speaker 2 (01:37:54):
Stuff to Blow Your Mind is production of iHeartRadio. For
more podcasts from my heart Radio, visit the iHeartRadio app.
Apple podcasts are wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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