The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)

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In honor of Halloween I figured I go a bit outside the box for this week's posts. One of the movies I picked was the Ed Wood classic Plan 9 From Outer Space. I chose it, not because it's one of my personal faves, but more due to its reputation as something of a Michael Jordan or Babe Ruth of bad movies. For people who don't watch what we watch, Plan 9 seems to come up as the one they are most familiar with, whether they've seen it or not. I don't necessarily see that as problem, just an observation.

In Plan 9 From Outer Space, some UFOs are flying around scaring people and forcing the army to roll out tons of stock footage. Coincidentally, people are being savagely murdered at the cemetery in a town outside of LA. Turns out some aliens want to teach us how to not destroy everything, and they think the way to do it is to reincarnate a few dead people and send them out on a controlled killing spree. Some brave humans confront a couple aliens on their spacecraft, and the ensuing scuffle ends in a flaming mess.

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This isn't a bad deal. I'm not sure if part of its notoriety came from the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton biopic about Ed Wood, but anyone who watches MST3K has probably seen worse than this. Not much worse, but worse. It's not exactly my cup of tea, in that I prefer late 80s early 90s bad action to the 50s/60s era sci-fi and horror, but I can see the charm, and I think that's what counts. It also doesn't hurt that the film's a scant 78 minutes long, which is perfect.

It's weird watching this having seen the biopic, and knowing that Bela Lugosi wasn't actually in it, but was a mix of archive footage and another actor with his face covered. It's obvious in the scenes where it's the other actor, but the archive footage wasn't so apparent. I wonder, between that and the file footage Ed Wood used, how much he actually filmed on his own. It's also hard for people of my generation to understand just how big Lugosi was at one time in the industry. He was one of the founders of the Screen Actors Guild. Had he been born fifty years later, his decline into the depths of drug addiction would've made for good reality TV, and he may not have done Ed Wood-esque movies to make ends meet.

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Ed Wood gets a little preachy with his aliens that want to show us how destructive we are. That's all well and good, but I prefer my aliens Richard Kiel style in the Twilight Zone's "To Serve Man". I'm still not sure how resurrecting dead people and having them savagely kill us makes a point about our need to find peaceful solutions to problems. If I were the humans that made it aboard that ship, I'd have been firing my pistol indiscriminately as well. It would've been awesome during the presidential debates if McCain had been like "my opponent is in favor of holding talks with leaders of rogue nations with no conditions. What if they start resurrecting people and sending these zombies on killing sprees? My opponent is fine with that." Then Obama would counter with "I never said I'd condone resurrecting dead people and having them murder us. This has been completely taken out of context by Senator McCain and his people."

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One thing about the aliens I liked was the hot female second in command. Those boots, tights, and ample backside all worked well for me. Now, I'm not one of those sci-fi cats who has trouble speaking when Star Trek runs out a new hot chick in a tight jumpsuit and weird ears or nose-- in reality, we're not talking so much about an alien, just a woman in a silly outfit-- but I dug this chick. If the 50s and 60s understood one thing about men's taste in women, it's that we don't find arms so skinny that the elbows can cut gashes over our eyebrows that attractive. It's okay for actresses to mix in a sandwich once in a while.

If you haven't seen this, you probably should give it a shot. On the other hand, it might be really postmodern for a bad movie honk like yourself who hasn't seen it to be able to tell people when they ask you "no, I never saw it." What, you like bad movies, and haven't seen Plan 9 From Outer Space? Man, now I kinda wish I hadn't seen it so I could say that too.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052077/

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