When it comes to cherished memories from one’s teenage years, many people recall football games, proms, parties and friends at the pizza parlor. As for yours truly, Tawny T, most of mine involve late night viewings of strange, amazing, and/or just plain bad films. My young, impressionable mind would busy itself scouring the TV Times for what was going to be running on the “cheapo” local channels such as KHJ and KCOP during the wee hours of the night. If a title looked good, I would stay up to watch it.
This habit was also fed by the recommendations of like-minded deviant friends, which is how I first came to see “Plan 9 from Outer Space”. This was years before the film became known as the worst movie ever made, as stated in Michael and Harry Medved’s “Golden Turkeys Awards” book, so I was unprepared for how bad this movie really was. I remember being confused… “Weren’t those people just walking left to right, and now they’re walking right to left?”… “Wasn’t it just nighttime and now it’s day?”… “And now it’s night again?” “Can’t this Tor Johnson speak English?” “Doesn’t Vampira ever say anything?”
Little did I know that this movie and its auteur, Ed Wood, Jr., would become celebrated in a major motion picture, and that the mainstream would become well-acquainted with the sheer joy this film provides.
In the spirit of spreading the joy this Halloween season, the Alex Theater in Glendale is screening “Plan 9” twice this Saturday at 2 and 8pm, courtesy of the Alex Film Society. If you’ve ever been to one of the Alex Film Society’s presentations, you know that you’re always in for a treat. Not only do they carefully select fun movies for their events, but they also pack them with extras. The 8pm screening features a guest appearance by Plan 9 star, Gregory Walcott, a classic cartoon, “Jumpin’ Jupiter” and a panel discussion on Ed Wood that will include a salute to the horror film icon, Bela Lugosi. I have my tickets and am looking forward to the show!
If you’re unacquainted with the Alex Film Society, check out their site. Each year, they show a silent movie with live accompaniment; recently, they screened Lon Chaney’s “The Penalty”, which was fantastic. They also have a Three Stooges event every Thanksgiving. Their 14th annual Stooges event is coming up Saturday, November 26 at 2 & 8 pm.
The Alex Theater itself is also gorgeous, lovingly restored and the perfect place to watch a great old flick!