The cheesy B movie double bill


An easy one to start with. For some reason the cheesy B picture is a hearty staple of the movie party. “Come around to my house,” somebody heartily declares. “I’ve got tonnes of shit to watch.”

The problem is that they are all, invariably, rubbish. Everybody will start off grinning smugly at the wobbly sets and wooden acting but then it will slowly fall apart as the damn film grinds on for hours on end; the rubber monster suit man stumbles blindly towards the blond heroine.

The solution is simple. You turn to the one movie that is genuinely funny, crazy and badly made throughout its run time. You turn to Plan 9.

Plan 9 From Outer Space

Plan 9 From Outer Space

Notoriously terrible, Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), the work of Ed Wood, tells the story of an alien invasion where the aliens resurrect the dead. It’s never really explained how that will lead to a takeover of the world.  And the plan is so badly executed they only manage to bring a handful of people back to life. It makes you wonder whether Plan 1o was just to throw rocks and flash their arses from a distance.

The film features starring performances from TV cable show host Vampira (who looks demented but does have a massive cleavage), The Wrestler Tor Johnson (who struggles with English but is the size of a house) and Bella Lugosi (who died before filming started so is replaced after the first scene by a man who looks nothing like Lugosi.)

It’s an incredible lesson in incompetence; shots change from day to night, the flying saucers are on string and the sets are made of cardboard. Plan 9 also features the only alien space ship which uses curtains over its doors.

But, with a seriousness mixed with uselessness (helped by the fact it is short and genuinely funny), means you’ll genuinely be able to have some fun. And remember,  “We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.”

Now for a couple of trailers before we move on to film two. Troll 2 should do the trick. A horror from 1990 which manages to feature absolutely no trolls and also some of the most random acting I have ever seen. But don’t take my word for it, take a look here.

After that one more just to keep people on their toes. Let’s go for something really random.

How great does that look? It isn’t by the way. Blood Of Dracula (1957) is terrible, which is why we’re just keeping it to the trailer before going on to the second movie of the night.

This is where we throw our hands up and admit that we’re going to have to put something entertaining on at some point. The 80s were great, weren’t they? Written and directed by Fred Dekker, Night of The Creeps (1986) is, effectively, an homage to the cheesy 50s movie (with a script heavily cribbed from Plan 9). But there an amount of flair that poor Mr Wood could only dream of. You get aliens, zombies, weird slug things and a bit of gore. You also get students doing stupid things and a punchline ending that the director hated but I love.

If you can get past the flying saucer opening (which is nuts and features some very odd puppets) then you settle down to a brilliantly silly horror comedy which manages the rarest of feats; it’s funny and scary.

But the real reason this film has earned its cult film credentials is Tom Atkins as burnt out policeman Detective Ray Cameron. A man who answers the phone with the words “Thrill Me” for no other reason that it sounds cool. Oh, and there’s a zombie cat.

Brilliant stuff.

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One Response to The cheesy B movie double bill

  1. Catharine B says:

    This is intriguing – want to read more…

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