Name: B-Movie Mash-up
Artist: Ulf Pedersen
Excerpts from some of the worst B-movies ever produced!
Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)
Sixty years ago a select audience filed into the Carlton Theatre in Los Angeles for a private screening of a new film. They might not have known it when they walked in, but it’s a safe bet that some of them might have had an inkling when they came out that cinematic history, of a sort, had just occurred.
They had just borne witness to the worst movie ever made.
Why was it so bad?
Even at a time of primitive cinematic techniques, Plan 9’s on-screen special effects are hilarious. A UFO dangling in the sky has been variously said to be either a car hubcap or a paper plate, sound microphones wobble in and out of shot. Fake trees and cemetery headstones wobble as the actors brush past them.
Perhaps most deliciously, the footage used of Lugosi had been shot for an entirely different film, and when there proved to be not enough of it a replacement actor was brought in, who was taller and looked precisely nothing like him, which was got around by having him hide his face with a cloak for most of his scenes.
There’s a rough storyline hiding somewhere but it’s a real struggle for it to come out.
Aliens have come to Earth to set in motion their sinister Plan 9 which involves raising the dead and sending a zombie army marching on the world’s governments. Why?
Because humanity is about to invent a substance called solaronite, so dangerous it could destroy the universe.
Ro-Man, an alien robot who greatly resembles a gorilla in a diving helmet, is sent to earth to destroy all human life.
Ro-Man falls in love with one of the last six remaining humans, and struggles to understand how his programming can instruct him to kill her while his heart demands that he can’t.
Robot Monster secures its position as one of the Truly Great Bad Movies because;
- it gives us a space robot in the form of an obese gorilla with a diving helmet on its head,
- the space robot falls in love with a human female,
- he spouts existentialist philosophy at the drop of a hat.
It is the script of Robot Monster, written by Wyott Ordung, that separates this film from the herd, and sees it rubbing shoulders with the few, the proud, the utterly incomprehensible, like Plan 9 From Outer Space.
It is entirely possible that, word for word, this is the funniest film ever written: there is
barely a line of dialogue here that, for one reason or another, isn’t pure comedy gold.