I try my damnedest to be open minded about remakes, I always fear I'm going to miss the next The Fly (1986), or The Blob (1988), or heck, even the next Invaders from Mars (1986) (Well, I liked it anyway). Those films are rare exceptions in an ocean of remakes that more recently only seem to exist to keep the rights to a franchise. Hellraiser: Revelations (2011) is one of the most recently spewed out example of this type of film. So, upon hearing that a production company was filming a remake of Ed Wood Jr.'s opus, Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), and a serious remake at that, I was intrigued but also braced for disappointment.
Plan 9 stays very close to its progenitor's plot: Some aliens, feeling threatened by a newly developed super-weapon, invade Earth and reanimate the dead in hopes of spreading terror. A pilot finds himself caught up with the police and other locals as the fall prey to the zombies. The similarities stop there, as the Plan 9 introduces a large cast, including horror host Mister Lobo filling in as prognosticator, Criswell.
|"No one loves jams and jellies as much as I do, pal!"|
Plan 9 is a mostly serious remake, but there is plenty of comedy through out, most of it is wisely left to the human cast and their reactions to the situation. There are a couple of fun gross out gags, my favorite being a zombie woman dragging a baby behind her via its umbilical cord. There's a strange off note scene with a mother poisoning her daughter and stripping naked to allow herself to be killed by zombies. I guess it was supposed to be shocking, but the acting and editing just can't salvage it.
|Me during allergy season.|
Plan 9 could have been a dull cash-in on its name alone, but there is a lot of love for the material both in front and behind the camera. Plan 9 is vastly more entertaining than I expected, and sadly its probably going to keep me checking in on remakes just to see if another hidden gem appears.
Damn you, Plan 9.