Part of the 2021 TCM Classic Film Festival, the SF Sketchfest presents their rendition of “Plan 9 from Outer Space.” The virtual event is depicted through a series of web cams, and in glorious black and white just for authenticity. Despite the characters not being able to play off one another, the adaptation of “Plan 9” from Dana Gould is actually damn good, and that can be attributed mainly to the fantastic cast, all of whom have a great time with the goofy material.
Ed Wood’s “Plan 9” from 1957 is considered one of the best worst movies ever made, and is certainly one of my absolute favorite of all time. It’s a nonsensical, weird, and goofy science fiction horror mutant that involves aliens resurrecting the dead as a means of implementing plan nine. Plan nine involves exploding sun rays or some such lunacy, and things go awry when aliens enact their mission over California’s San Fernando Valley and are stopped by a local cop and a brave pilot.
“Plan 9” is just as silly read live as it is on film and Dana Gould orchestrates a truncated but absolutely entertaining table read. He also allows for some improvisation which makes the experience so much more hilarious. Gould (who takes on the role of narrator Criswell) recruits a bevy of brilliant respective comic actors including Kat Aagesen, Maria Bamford, Bobcat Goldthwait, Dana Gould, Jean Grae, David Koechner, Tim Meadows, Laraine Newman, Oscar Nunez, Bob Odenkirk, Jonah Ray and so many more. To contribute to the experience, there are also classic miniatures on hand including the iconic pie tins, and even a great small statue of Bela Lugosi as the dreaded “Ghoul Man.”
The great musical accompaniment by Eban Schletter compliments the reading as Schlettter conjures up the mood of the original film wonderfully, while the cast just go hog wild with the material. I especially loved Bob Odenkirk as the Galactic Ruler, Oscar Nunez who takes on multiple roles, while Jonah Ray is hilarious as over dramatic hero Jeff Trent. You also have to appreciate how much Kat Aagesen gets in to the table read by dressing as Vampira, black wig and all. This is an absolute blast and if you’re a fan of the original film and want to see it lovingly remade, you’ll love what the Dana Gould has in store here.
Premiering Friday May 7th on Turner Classic Movies, followed immediately by Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space.” Check Local Listings.
The TCM Film Festival runs between May 6th and May 9th.