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Plan 9 from Outer Space is a 1959 American independent black-and-white science fiction horror film written, produced, directed and edited by Ed Wood, starring Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Tor Johnson, and "Vampira" (Maila Nurmi), and is narrated by Criswell. The film also posthumously bills Bela Lugosi as a guest star (silent footage of the actor had actually been shot by Wood for another, unfinished film just prior to Lugosi's death in August 1956). Other guest stars are Hollywood veterans Lyle Talbot (who claimed that he never refused any acting job) and former cowboy star Tom Keene. Plan 9 from Outer Space was released theatrically in 1959 by Distributors Corporation of America (then credited as Valiant Pictures).
The storyline concerns extraterrestrials who are seeking to stop humanity from creating a doomsday weapon that could destroy the universe. The aliens implement "Plan 9", a scheme to resurrect the Earth's dead, referred to as "ghouls". By causing chaos, the aliens hope the crisis will force humanity to listen to them. If not, the aliens will then destroy mankind with armies of the undead. The film was originally developed under the title Grave Robbers from Outer Space, but its financial backers objected to this title, which they saw as being sacrilegious, and it was retitled Plan 9 from Outer Space prior to production.
Plan 9 from Outer Space played on television in relative obscurity until 1980, when authors Harry Medved and Michael Medved dubbed it the "worst film ever made" in their book The Golden Turkey Awards. Wood and his film were posthumously given two Golden Turkey Awards for Worst Director Ever and Worst Film. It has since been retroactively described as "The epitome of so-bad-it's-good cinema" and has gained a cult following.