Topic: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE on Blu-ray

At first thought, I wasn't going to review this here. I figure if it says "Outer Space" in the title then it's sci-fi and not horror.

But I also remembered that the original title for this movie was GRAVE ROBBERS FROM OUTER SPACE! In fact, the film's opening monologue by Criswell use that term "grave robbers from outer space". And it's about reanimating the dead. It also "sort of" has Bela Lugosi.

So: grave robbers, reanimated dead and Bela Lugosi? That's close enough to horror in my book.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FahPh0bxL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Lovers of "B" movie schlock caught a break a couple of decades ago when somebody decided to crown this film as the worst movie of all time. Well, it certainly isn't. As a film production, it is largely without any merit. However, it has one important redeeming factor: it's entertaining. Had this not received the dubious and misplaced honor of being the worst film of all time, it would probably have languised largely unnoticed and forgotten as have scores of other 50's drive-in films like TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE, THE COSMIC MAN or PHANTOM PLANET. The gift of notoriety has given us the gift of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE on Blu-ray.

I got mine yesterday and just finished watching it.

I have to say that I was surprisingly impressed.

I really would not have expected this to be an upgrade of the old Wade Williams print DVD released through Image. In it's day, I thought the Image DVD was pretty neat stuff. Wade Williams usually had the best prints of 1950's "B" movies (which are sort of my specialty). Some of them are quite amazing (with a few misfires like FLIGHT TO MARS and INVADERS FROM MARS). So I watched the new Legend Blu-ray then immediately put in the Image DVD to compare a few key scenes (I regret that my aging computer can't do Blu-ray screen shots).

For the record, I'm watching on 60" Sharp Quattron LED/LCD set from a distance of 8'.

This clearly should be seen 1.85:1. After about 15 minutes of watching it at 1.33:1, I zoomed it to get the proper (more or less) aspect ratio. This is obviously NOT the preferred way of doing things since zooming causes some loss of effective resolution. This should have been transferred at 1.85:1. But that's a battle that's lost so I worked with the BD as it was. Fortunately, the higher resolution of BD allowed me to zoom with very little degradation to the image.

The print is in very good shape. Dirt and debris is very minimal. The most obvious print damage appears in the form of vertical scratching. There are occasional odd stains and blemishes as well as slightly bizarre artifacts that look like they may be tell-tale signs of repair or digital restoration but none of these problems are pervasive...they are momentary and transient.

DNR (Digital Noise Redution) is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it's presence is barely noticed. While obviously used, the DNR is not used to a level of distraction and would likely go unnoticed by most. Most pleasantly surprisingly to me was the almost total absence of visible Edge Enhancement. I'm sensitive to EE and I really couldn't notice any here. The image was nicely detailed and I didn't sense that over-processing short-changed my viewing experience.

Contrast and black levels were also a pleasant surprise. Some of Legend's colorized home videos feature B&W that is a bit washed out (as in MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS). I didn't check out the colorized nonsense But I thought the tonal balance of the original B&W was excellent.

All in all, I was impressed. The next test was to put in the well-respected Image DVD and compare some key scenes.

The first thing that made itself obvious is that the Image DVD is very contrasty and pushes the blacks into crush territory. The next thing to catch my eye was Edge Enhancement...not too heavy for a DVD but still very noticeable. The DVD has significantly more dirt and debris present. As with the BD, I watched part of the disc at 1.33:1 and then zoomed it to the near correct AR of 1.78:1. The DVD just couldn't handle the zoom. When enlarged, the picture took on a disctinctly soft, electronic appearance.

For all it faults (especially the aspect ratio), this Blu-ray is unquestionably a measurable jump in quality over the best DVD I've ever seen of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE.

Re: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE on Blu-ray

on blu ray..... that makes me laugh haha

Re: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE on Blu-ray

^^^

Hehe

Re: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE on Blu-ray

Quality, thanks for this

Re: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE on Blu-ray

I always love Dex's reviews.  He gets into the nerdy stuff which I love.  I'm really surprised they didn't include a 1.85 transfer.  In the processing they can re-aspect (is that the proper term?) it correctly so it looks good natively.  I agree on the EE; some discs I've seen make it look like the characters are standing in front of a green screen through the entire movie.

Re: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE on Blu-ray

Good observation....if it wasn't dubbed ''the worst movie ever made'' I surely would have stumbled upon this and upon Ed Wood's body of work but it would surely be a much less accessible film and it wouldn't even have made it's way to DVD unless as part of a massive ''Sci-fi movie pack: 50 films on 5 discs for 5$)...superbly entertaining. 

Great Review

Re: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE on Blu-ray

"You see?  You see?!  Your stupid minds.  Stupid!  Stupid!"

Plan 9 may be called the worst movie ever made but whoever gave it that title obviously never saw Wood's previous flick Glen or Glenda.  At least Plan 9 is entertainingly bad; with Glen or Glenda it's a struggle not to shut it off halfway through out of boredom and frustration.

Incidentally, there's an old story that the reason Plan 9 is so bad, is because Ed Wood was attending a party where he made a drunken pest of himself; a couple other filmmakers at the party, to get even, broke into his car where they found his script for Plan 9, then removed every other page from it.  Supposedly Woods spent so much of his time drunk that he never even noticed the difference.  Now whether that story is true or not, I don't know...but it would certainly explain a thing or two. lol

Re: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE on Blu-ray

Heh...after replying above I thought I'd check to see if Youtube had Plan 9 available.  They do; plus, on iits page are links for a number of great, cheapo sci-fi b-flicks.  For anyone interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5DZhDH8 … re=related