Plant 9 from Outer Space : Background

When the space invaders come, they won’t be little green men!

Plant 9 from Outer Space : Background

Plant 9 From Outer Space came about as a result of MonSFFA’s Ed Wood Video Project, so dubbed because of its aim, the production, in one weekend, of a chomudget, sci-fi movie along the lines of those classically bad 1950s examples produced by writer/producer/director Edward D. Wood, Jr. Ultimately, logistics saw to it that the project was not completed in a single weekend, but total production time did come in at about two or three days worth.

The title, of course, pays “homage” to Ed Wood’s most famous flick, Plan 9 From Outer Space, regarded by some critics as positively the worst movie ever made! Further, a few of Plant ‘s characters are named for actors who appeared in Plan 9. Plant 9 screenwriter/director Keith Braithwaite, who conceived of the video project, anticipated that the amateur nature of the production, not to mention a minimal budget and the use of simple, home video equipment, would, hardly without trying, result in the Ed Woodsianly bad quality sought. An early story outline by Keith was expanded upon by Andre Poliquin, Bryan Ekers, Krikor Ajemian and others involved in the production. (Screen credits list Edouard Dubois, Jr. as the source of the story. This pseudonym — sort of a francisized version of Edward D. Wood, Jr. — was used to represent all those who had pitched in with story ideas or snippets of dialogue.) The shooting script read as something of a cross between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The X-Files, made silly (quite silly!), set at a science fiction convention and played strictly for laughs. Keith laced his script with numerous in-jokes, giving nods to a variety of sci-fi television shows and movies, and poking fun at SF fandom along the way.

Two dozen MonSFFA members and friends of the club worked on the project. Plant 9 was shot, almost entirely in one, exhausting 16-hour stretch, Saturday overnight into Sunday, on location at the Maritime Hotel in downtown Montreal. Editing and post-production work was completed over a couple of afternoons and evenings some two weeks later. The half-hour video-film was premiered to enthusiastic acclaim at the Con*Cept ’96 science fiction convention.

Plant 9 From Outer Space cost MonSFFA $256.36 to make (including the cost of dubbing over 35 copies for sale). Beyond even the most optimistic initial financial projections, it recouped that money and started turning a profit.


Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association