I am not convinced this is a good idea.

Someone’s remaking Plan 9 from Outer Space and says he wants to make a serious, scary movie.

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9 comments so far

  1. crystalgee on

    WTF? *boggle* They can’t do that.. can they?

  2. nsingman on

    I will only approve if they cast a scary-looking woman with a big rack in Maila Nurmi’s role.

  3. cashewlou on

    My personal opinion is that Mr. Johnson will fall flat on his face.

    You cannot plan ahead of time to create a cult classic. The creators of The Rocky Horror Picture Show were playing the well-tested cinematic game of making a film version of a popular stage musical. Then something went very, very wrong: the movie, essentially, kinda sucked. Out of boredom and more than a little disgust, a disgruntled audience member whose name is lost to history yelled at the screen during the car breakdown scene, “Get an umbrella, you cheap bitch!” The audience roared with laughter, joined in on the running commentary, and a legend was born.

    Contrast this with the film Mommie Dearest. Once the producers saw the movie was not being taken seriously as a drama, and that most of the test audiences were laughing heartily during what were supposed to be the “heavy” dramatic moments, they (the producers) tried to market it in a Rocky Horror fashion, planting audience members with scripted comments to yell at the screen. These attempts failed miserably, but from out of nowhere the film became a cult classic of a different stripe, in the gay and drag queen communities.

    Ed Wood had no intention of making Plan 9 from Outer Space the “worst movie ever made,” or even to make it campy and irreverent. Wood poured his heart and soul into every frame he shot, but heaven help the poor guy, he just couldn’t make a truly good movie to save his soul.

    At the heart of all this babbling is this: Filmmaking, at its heart, is a risky business. “Sure things” bomb and Z-level sleepers become surprise hits. (Category 1: Ishtar; Category 2: The Blair Witch Project.) Intentionally trying to make a niche or cult film, or capitalizing on one (and let’s be honest; this is what Mr. Johnson is doing) almost always results in failure. The only person I can think of who has done this with any resemblance of repeated success is John Waters…but then again, I am writing this at 4:30 in the morning and may be missing someone else.

    What Mr. Johnson is planning to do, in my opinion, falls under the category of The Best Laid Plans Oft Go Kablooey (TM). I honor and applaud his respect for Ed Wood, and for bringing Conrad Brooks aboard on the project. But the humongous strike against him before shooting a single frame is the colossal weight of the public perception of the movie he is trying to emulate. Nearly everyone who has drawn breath in the last fifty years knows about Plan 9, and I don’t think anyone will take Johnson’s film seriously because of that reputation, regardless of how outstanding a job he does. That’s a shame, too, in a way; I always applaud the independent filmmaker–the odds always seem to be against them from the outset. In Johnson’s case, I fear those odds are insurmountable.

    • The ‘get an umbrella, you cheap bitch!’ guy is kindergarten teacher Louis Farese, according to Sal Piro, president of the RHPS fan club, on Labor Day weekend, 1976. Maybe not lost to history. :)

      (Oh, the look on your face when I hit you with “Aw, it’s Clifford the Big Red Credit!” XD)

      And in your category 2, with the addition of being a deliberate B-movie, let us not forget The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra.

      One of the members of the LSoC Y!Group knows Mr. Johnson, and reports that he’s a nice guy but she has misgivings about the whole idea herself. Judging from the Plan Nine page, he says you can feel Ed’s love of movies throughout P9fOS… and who knows, maybe he loves films just as much. I just don’t know how he thinks he can cut a serious remake of it *and* keep its charm at the same time.

      ‘Course, I’m the guy who thinks he can fix Manos by making a Coen Brothers film out of it…


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