A Plan 9 Remake
Bruce Von Stiers
Plan 9 From Outer Space is touted as the worst horror / sci-fi film of all time. But because of the sheer adolescent mindset of “what's bad is good” the Ed Woods film is considered classic camp. On the weight of that, a film company recently decided a re-make was in order. But this re-make would take a bit more serious tone to the classic story. This new film is simply titled Plan 9.
Darkstone Entertainment is the studio behind the film. The studio is led by John Johnson a self-proclaimed “king of B movies” Johnson's company has produced three Skeleton Key films along with 165 other features, shorts, web series and other material.
The write-ups that Darkstone has for the film is that the thrust is to “pay homage to the spirt of Wood's film without resorting to camp or parody.” And that while the film does “focus on the horror and science fiction aspects of the original” the bulk of it is character driven.
Plan 9 was filmed on location in Bedford, Virginia. It has a run time of one hour and forty-three minutes. It is non-rated. There is intense gore and violence, along with a tiny bit of nudity. And the f-bomb gets dropped a lot.
Basically the story takes bits and pieces of the original film and molds it slightly differently. The small town of Nilbog (Goblin spelled backwards) is about to get hit with an alien invasion. These aliens plan to use the dead people of earth to do their dirty work for them. So the town becomes infused with blood thirsty zombies driven by aliens who want to wipe out all of earth's population.
The film opens with the filming of an intro to a horror film with the host Criswell. He's played by Mr. Lobo, who is noted for hosting bad films on late night television. Criswell is a dude with a ‘tude. But hey, prima donnas are everywhere.
Then the viewer gets to meet Lucy Grimm at a funeral, where she's going back to work at her lab despite the brevity of the occasion. Lucy is played by Sara Eshleman. After that a scene in a small plane finds the pilots and passage almost colliding with a meteor. The pilot, Jeff Trent, played by Brian Krause, lets the people below know that a meteor is coming their way. The cops come to take a statement after the plane lands but don't take it too seriously. But, oh they should. Because it's about to hit the fan. Of course, this is all happening on Halloween, so nobody is taking things too seriously until it's too late.
The story continues to build a bit, with a radio host taking calls from listeners who are seeming to be scared, police detectives who have to investigate possible sightings of dead people and beat cops breaking up a family brawl. Jeff Trent and his wife Paula, played by Amy Hart, hit the sheets and then have some eggs. Lucy discovers an anomaly in her lab. And oh yes, there's a lame special effect that causes corpses to rise in a cemetery.
I know that the producers were trying to avoid camp, but scenes of the zombies rising and starting to eat people are accompanied by classic bobby socks rock n roll music. The music is complements of the local oldies radio station. To me that is nothing but camp.
But there were some interesting special effects like zombies pulling out the intestines of one of their victims, and the organs exposed by a chest and abdomen being ripped open on another. Blood squirts out of a guy's eyes as a zombie gouges them. And John Johnson, got gave himself a role as one of the cops, gets to shoot one of the zombies in Lucy's lab.
Jeff Trent ends up being one of the heroes of the film. There is also a military presence later on in the film. There are some pretty cool shooting scenes and Lucy proves she's pretty lethal with an axe in the last part of the film. There are also a couple of obligatory nude scenes. One with a mom who strips and offers herself to the zombie mob. The second one has Brandy Mason taking a shower and getting a meet and greet with a zombie.
Some of the other actors in the film included Matthew Ewald, James Rolfe, Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan. There was also Monique Dupree in a small role as a police officer, Addy Miller, Hailey Carter and Mika Cigic.
Like I mentioned earlier, the film was supposed to take a more serious approach. But I think that they really weren't that serious. There were several sight gags and a few send-ups that made it a bit more camp than I was expecting. But the acting was pretty solid. Nobody seemed to be over reaching.
Plan 9 was entertaining. Although it was not strictly a re-make of the cult classic it attempted to keep true to the spirit of the original. There was some definite camp in the film, but then again, what would you expect for a re-working of the worst horror / sci-fi film of all time.
Plan 9 is available on Amazon.com, Google Play, iTunes, the PlayStation network, Xbox and various cable networks.
To learn more about the film, visit http://www.plan9movie.com/ . There is also a Facebook page for the film at https://www.facebook.com/plan9remake/
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© 2016 Bruce E Von Stiers