If you ever tried to sit through Babel or Match Point, you know it's just plain lazy to say that Plan 9 from Outer Space is the worst movie ever made. But it takes a great mind and expert in not only sci fi but science and cinema to make the point without drama while dressing down the editors of a major newspaper's arts section for letting the middlebrow impression slide.
Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D., one of the most fascinating television personalities since the era in which Plan 9 was made, sets the record straight in his letter published today in the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times. By his own count, the TV host/lecturer/nuclear physicist/tabloid columnist/Bigfoot hunter/USA network character/public access legend and prolific correspondent has had 26 letters published by the Times. His latest is sure to generate controversy among hoity-toity cinephiles:
SCENES wildly oscillating between night and day! Dollar store UFO models! A chiropractor with his face covered standing in for the recently deceased Bela Lugosi ["When Horror Meets Horrible, It's All Camp," March 11]! Despite these celebrated negative elements of Ed Wood's 1959 cult entry, "Plan 9 From Outer Space," I submit that this production was by no means the worst film of all time.
This film was entertaining from start to finish, with no slow moments, an excellent musical score, solid acting by all involved and a credible sci-fi plot involving aliens resurrecting Earth's dead to use as warriors against mankind (the "Plan 9" in the title). Moreover, the narration by TV psychic Criswell was truly engrossing.
While admittedly not the topmost sci-fi/horror film ever produced, it was certainly far from being the bottommost!
May the power of the cosmos be with you!
Dr. Ruehl is a regular on Tom Green's Internet show, which relaunches with new episodes on March 26th. Two episodes of Dr. Ruehl's groundbreaking, earth-shaking and Tv-quaking series, Mysteries from Beyond The Other Dominion are available On Demand from Tom Green's website. Click here for a great and informative ride!
And someone get this guy on mainstream television!
(Update: How does the LA Times edit a letter? Click into the Comments section to see Dr. Ruehl's original letter to the editor.)