If there is one film that epitomizes the phrase “so bad it’s good,” it has to be Plan 9 From Outer Space. This 1959 science fiction horror film, directed by Ed Wood, has become a cult classic due to its poor production quality, cheesy special effects, and over-the-top acting.
But did you know that one of the stars of this infamous movie made his last appearance on the big screen in this very film? That star was none other than Bela Lugosi.
Lugosi was a Hungarian-American actor who is best known for his portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1931 film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel. He had a long and illustrious career in Hollywood, appearing in over 100 films throughout his lifetime. However, by the 1950s, Lugosi’s career had begun to decline due to typecasting and struggles with drug addiction.
It was during this time that Ed Wood approached Lugosi with an offer to star in Plan 9 From Outer Space. Lugosi was intrigued by the script, which centered around aliens resurrecting the dead to take over the world. He agreed to take on the role of “The Ghoul Man,” a zombie-like character who is brought back from the dead by the alien invaders.
Unfortunately, Lugosi’s health was already deteriorating when filming began. He suffered from chronic pain due to sciatica and was addicted to painkillers.
He also struggled to remember his lines and had difficulty standing for long periods of time. To compensate for Lugosi’s limitations, Wood used a double for some scenes and incorporated footage from an earlier film Lugosi had starred in.
Despite these challenges, Lugosi gave it his all during filming and delivered a memorable performance as The Ghoul Man. However, he would never get to see the finished product. Lugosi passed away on August 16th, 1956 – three years before Plan 9 From Outer Space was released.
Despite Lugosi’s limited involvement in the film, his presence has made Plan 9 From Outer Space even more famous than it ever could have been otherwise. His inclusion in the movie has become a symbol of the film’s cult status and a testament to Lugosi’s enduring legacy as a horror movie icon.
In conclusion, Bela Lugosi made his last appearance on the big screen in Plan 9 From Outer Space. While his role in the film was limited due to health issues, his presence has become an important part of its legacy. For fans of horror movies and cult classics, Plan 9 From Outer Space is a must-see – if only to catch a glimpse of one of the genre’s greatest stars in his final on-screen performance.