Plan 9 from Outer Space is a 1957 independently made American black-and-whitescience fiction–horror film, produced, written, directed, and edited by Ed Wood. The film was shot in November 1956, and had a theatrical preview screening on March 15, 1957 at the Carlton Theatre in Los Angeles (the onscreen title at this time read Grave Robbers from Outer Space). It later went into general release on July 22, 1959 in Texas and several other southern states re-titled Plan 9 from Outer Space, before being sold to television in 1961. 
It stars Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Tor Johnson, and “Vampira” (Maila Nurmi) and is narrated by Criswell. It also posthumously bills Bela Lugosi (silent footage of the actor had been shot by Wood for another, unfinished film prior to Lugosi’s death in August 1956, and was inserted into Plan Nine later). Other guest-stars are Hollywood veterans Lyle Talbot, who claimed that he never refused any acting job, and former cowboy star Tom Keene.
The film’s storyline concerns extraterrestrials who seek to stop humanity from creating a doomsday weapon that could destroy the universe. The aliens implement “Plan 9”, a scheme to resurrect the Earth’s dead, referred to as “ghouls“. By causing chaos, the aliens hope the crisis will force humanity to listen to them; otherwise the aliens will destroy mankind with armies of the undead. The film was originally developed under the title Grave Robbers from Outer Space, but in 1959 it was retitled Plan 9 from Outer Space and re-released under that name.
Plan 9 from Outer Space played on television in relative obscurity from 1961 until 1980, when authors Harry Medved and Michael Medved dubbed it the “worst film ever made” in their book The Golden Turkey Awards. Wood and his film were posthumously given two Golden Turkey Awards for Worst Director Ever and Worst Film Ever. It has since been retrospectively described as “the epitome of so-bad-it’s-good cinema” and has gained a large cult following.
Mourners are gathered around an old man at his wife’s grave as an airliner overhead flies toward Burbank, California. Pilot Jeff Trent and co-pilot Danny are blinded by a bright light, accompanied by a loud noise. They look outside and see a flying saucer land at the cemetery, where both gravediggers are killed by a female zombie.
Lost in his grief, the old man is struck by a car and killed. Mourners at the old man’s funeral discover the dead gravediggers’ bodies. When Inspector Daniel Clay and his police officers arrive, Clay goes off alone to investigate.
Jeff and his wife, Paula (who live near the cemetery), hear sirens. He tells her about his flying-saucer encounter, saying that the Army has sworn him to secrecy. As the saucer lands, a powerful swooshing noise knocks the Trents and the people at the cemetery to the ground. Clay is killed by the female and old-man zombies. Lieutenant Harper states: “But one thing’s sure. Inspector Clay is dead, murdered, and somebody’s responsible”.
Newspaper headlines report flying-saucer sightings over Hollywood Boulevard, and three fly across Los Angeles. In Washington, D.C., the military fires missiles at more saucers. Chief of saucer operations Thomas Edwards says that the government has been covering up saucer attacks, and a small town has been annihilated.
The aliens return to their Space Station 7, and Commander Eros tells the alien ruler that he has been unsuccessful in contacting Earth’s governments. Eros recommends “Plan 9”, the resurrection of recently-deceased humans. Concerned about Paula’s safety, Jeff urges her to stay with her mother but she refuses. That night, the undead old man breaks into the house and pursues Paula outside, where the female zombie and Inspector Clay join him. Paula escapes, finally collapsing after the three zombies return to Eros in the saucer.
At the Pentagon, General Roberts tells Edwards that the aliens have been telling the government that they are trying to prevent humanity from destroying the universe. Roberts sends Edwards to San Fernando, where most of the alien activity has occurred.
Clay attacks Eros, nearly killing him. After examining Clay, the ruler orders the old man destroyed to further frighten humanity. He approves Eros’s Plan 9 to raise zombie armies to march on Earth’s capitals.
Edwards and the police interview the Trents, unaware that the flying saucer has returned to the cemetery. Officer Kelton encounters the zombie old man, who chases him to the Trents’ house. Eros’ ray hits the old man, who is reduced to a skeleton. Edwards, the Trents, and the police drive to the cemetery.
Lieutenant Harper insists on leaving Paula in the car; when she refuses to stay there alone, Kelton stays with her. Eros and Tanna (his fellow female alien) send Clay to kidnap Paula and lure the other three humans to the saucer. Seeing its glow in the distance, Trent and the police head toward it. Clay knocks Kelton out.
Eros lets Trent and the police enter the saucer with pistols drawn. He tells them that human weapons development will lead to the discovery of solaronite, a substance which explodes sunlight molecules. Such an explosion would set off an uncontrollable chain reaction, destroying the universe. Eros believes that humans are immature and stupid; he intends to destroy humanity, threatening to kill Paula if Jeff and the police try to stop him. Officers Kelton and Larry arrive, and see Clay near the saucer carrying the unconscious Paula. Realizing that their weapons are useless, they sneak up behind Clay and knock him out with a wooden club. Eros says that Clay’s controlling ray has been shut off, which released Paula. He and Jeff fight, and the saucer’s equipment (damaged in their struggle) catches fire. The humans escape, and Tanna and the unconscious Eros take off. The fire quickly consumes the saucer, which explodes, and the zombies decompose to skeletons.