Monday, June 23, 2014
Movies I'd Like To Make: GRAVE-ROBBERS FROM OUTER SPACE
For all it's faults, and they are numerous, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE remains a sort of triumph for Ed Wood. It's epic in scope, has a beginning, middle, and end, and he got it made. True, he never saw any money from it, but the film has achieved cult status in the decades following his death in the late 1970's.
It's sort of hard for a man who loves genre pictures not to have a grudging admiration for Wood. While the guy was hopelessly inept and in over his head every step of his career, such as it was, he had a tenacity that made him singular. Amid the seas of hack and bottom-line B producers, Wood alone seemed to love what he was doing to a point where one can see the excitement behind the camera show through. You get that "Hey, I'm making a movie!" vibe from all his films, no matter how dreary they may be. It isn't talent, but it is infectious.
Wood can be considered something of an underdog, the Preston Tucker of Hollywood, if you will. That may be the major reason he still has fans, despite the quality, or lack thereof, of his work. I had the thought of paying tribute to the troubled man via a good remake of his most famous film.
PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE is a mess, there's no denying that, but it has a few promising elements. Basically, I'd like to take the bones of the film and make from them the picture Ed thought he was making. Take the basic premise, clean it up a little, and shoot it on good sets with strong actors working from a well-written script. Not to get too carried away, I'd keep it black and white, with much the look and feel of a 50's Universal picture. I'd even wish to use the same musical score, which is rather stronger than one might think.
Why the GRAVE-ROBBERS FROM OUTER SPACE title? Because that was Wood's original title, and I have to admit it has a nice ring to it.
So who knows, a decently-budgeted film about Martians reviving the dead could really work. Had they been better constructed and shot, the bleak and dark graveyard sets of the original film would've had a certain punch to them. Tackling the script with the intention of turning it into something that makes a degree of sense would certainly be a challenge!
I think it might be interesting to see what the film looked like in Ed's mind...