PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE- HORRIFY ME

PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE – Horrify Me

The very mention of the film PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, makes many fans shudder. It is one of the most notoriously bad films ever to crawl from the bowels of Hollywood.

It’s so bad that it has a unique status among bad films, that being, it is one of the ultimate ‘so bad, it’s good’ films.

Shot in 1958 by the celebrated master of trash cinema, Ed Wood, Plan 9 has everything: silver frisbee UFOs, wobbly fake gravestones, the poorest day-to-night continuity you’ve ever seen, atrocious dialogue, cheap sets, and the living dead!

PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE- POSTER_HORRIFY ME

The vampiric living dead were portrayed by Vampira (actress Maila Nurmi), and the original cinematic, Count Dracula himself, Bela Lugosi … sort of.

Lugosi actually died during production and so his role was taken over by Wood’s wife’s chiropractor, Tom Mason (who looked nothing like Bela) keeping his face hidden behind his cape. It was unintentionally hilarious.

The very mention of this film makes many fans shudder. It is one of the most notoriously bad films ever to crawl from the bowels of Hollywood. It’s so bad that it has a unique status among bad films, that being, it is one of the ultimate ‘so bad, it’s good’ films.

Shot in 1958 by the celebrated master of trash cinema, Ed Wood, Plan 9 has everything: silver frisbee UFOs, wobbly fake gravestones, the poorest day-to-night continuity you’ve ever seen, atrocious dialogue, cheap sets, and the living dead!

The vampiric living dead were portrayed by Vampira (actress Maila Nurmi), and the original cinematic, Count Dracula himself, Bela Lugosi … sort of.

Lugosi actually died during production and so his role was taken over by Wood’s wife’s chiropractor, Tom Mason (who looked nothing like Bela) keeping his face hidden behind his cape. It was unintentionally hilarious.

One of the most iconic roles in the film was that of the Swedish wrestler, Tor Johnson, who trudged stiffly around the cardboard sets like a bad Frankenstein impersonator in a school panto.

Needless to say, I have a deep affection for this awful but fun movie and I’ve actually watched it more times than is healthy. I bloody love it.

I love shooting vintage-style photos, and I’ve shot all kids of classic horror, such as the Bride of Frankenstein, the Wolfman, Nosferatu, and many others. But one of my favourites was the Plan 9 shoot. It was actually the idea of Kevin Wilson, who posed as the Tor Johnson character in the photos.

The more clued-up film geeks out there might recognise Kevin as one of the twins from the ‘Cornetto trilogy’ (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and World’s End). He’s an awesome guy with a vast knowledge of genre films that far outclasses my own, not that I’m jealous or anything. Hmph.

My wife Claire posed as Vampira (I allowed her to look lovely for a change, instead of her usual face full of scars, boils and blood that I inflict on her in my shoots) and together, they made a great couple of B-movie nutters.

I made some crappy UFOs out of disposable plates and silver paint, and purchased some of the cheapest, tackiest fake gravestones I could find. Cheap and tacky is the name of the game when dealing with Ed Wood material.

The UFOs were suspended from wires in the backdrop area. I actually wanted the wires to be visible, just to add to the cheapness of it all. But sadly, the wires didn’t show up in the photos, so my UFOs actually look more realistic than the movie. What a shame.

I shot the goofy portraits with a high key light and a side light in a dark room, aiming for some of that old school ‘noir’ feel, and edited the photos for a striking black and white finish.

I did toy with the idea of editing old scratchy film texture over them, but I decided against this, as the portraits looked pretty cool as they were.

If you haven’t seen Plan 9 from Outer Space, then I can highly recommend it, but get blisteringly drunk first. Trust me, it helps.

Horrify Me

Other photoshoots from Horrify Me

Photoshoot Team
Author: Photoshoot Team

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