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Plan 9 From Outer Space/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Plan 9 From Outer Space

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  • Funded by a Baptist church, several members of the cast let themselves be baptized.
  • The aliens obligingly fly by the ABC, CBS and NBC buildings in Los Angeles.
  • Bela Lugosi appears in footage shot just before his death, but with no script in mind. Edward D. Wood Jr. wrote the script to accommodate all the footage shot in a cemetery and outside Tor Johnson's house in the new production. Lugosi was doubled by Tom Mason, Wood's wife's chiropractor, who was significantly taller than Lugosi, and played the part with a cape covering his face.
  • The film's original title was "Grave Robbers from Outer Space", but, supposedly, the Baptist ministers who financed the picture objected to it, so Edward D. Wood Jr. changed it to "Plan 9".
  • Named 'Worst Film of All Time' in the book "The Golden Turkey Awards".
  • A video release, making note of the actor's death before production began, lists on the cassette box, "Almost Starring Bela Legosi". This same box also touted the film as being "science fiction gold".
  • The scar worn by actor Tor Johnson had to be moved every day, as it caused severe skin irritation.
  • When Gregory Walcott read the script, he told Edward D. Wood Jr. that it was the worst script he had ever read. He reluctantly signed on.
  • The company was able to get police cars and uniforms through Tor Johnson's son, Karl Johnson, an officer in the San Fernando Police Department.
  • Bela Lugosi's role in the film is listed in the credits as "The Ghoul Man". In Wood's screenplay it is called "the Dracula character".
  • Bela Lugosi supplied his own costume. He wore one of the capes he used when portraying Dracula on stage.
  • One of the legends about the production of this film was that Edward D. Wood Jr. used everything from automobile hubcaps to pizza pans to pie tins and even paper plates as flying saucers. The truth is that he bought a number of children's plastic model kits of flying saucers for use as props.
  • This film was shot in late 1956. It took almost three years to find a distributor who would handle it.
  • According to Maila Nurmi, she would put on her Vampira makeup and costume at home and then take a bus to the Quality Studios soundstage where her scenes were filmed.
  • Much of the filming took place at an independent soundstage called Quality Studios. Though it hasn't been used as a soundstage for many years, the building still exists. It is located on Santa Monica Blvd. near Western Ave. The entranceway is located next to the Harvey Hotel.
  • Copies of the original 35mm release prints are extremely rare. There were reportedly fewer than 20 release prints struck for the original release. As part of the distribution deal with the Distributors Corporation of America (DCA), producer J. Edward Reynolds had to pay for the release prints and advertising material.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the detective that points his gun at himself several times was actually testing director Edward D. Wood Jr. to see if he would notice. Needless to say, Ed Wood didn't notice.
  • The DVD release of the colorized version of the film features an audio commentary track by comedian Michael J. Nelson of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (1988) fame. The producers of the series at one point actually screened the film for airing on the show, but found it to have too much dialog to fit the show's format.
  • One of the locations used for the silent footage shot with Bela Lugosi was the home of co-star Tor Johnson.
  • Eartha Kitt's name can be seen as an entertainer on a marquee.
  • After an argument with Edward D. Wood Jr., veteran makeup man Harry Thomas insisted that his name not be used in the film's credits. His assistant, Tom Bartholomew, received sole credit.
  • Previewed as "Grave Robbers from Outer Space" at the Carlton Theater in Los Angeles on March 15, 1957, the film went into general release as "Plan 9 from Outer Space" in July of 1959, on a double bill with the British suspense thriller Time Lock (1957), which featured a pre-James Bond Sean Connery.
  • Leading actor Gregory Walcott was at the time a busy Hollywood contract player who attended the same Baptist church as executive producer J. Edward Reynolds.
  • Paul Marco got the surname for his character "Kelton the cop" from the street on which his agent lived.
  • Footage from the same shoot that produced Bela Lugosi's performance in this movie was meant to be used to make another film, "The Ghoul on the Moon". When Edward D. Wood Jr. went to retrieve the film he found it had been ruined, so the new movie was scrapped.
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