"Plan 9" Book Review
Written by Jennifer Turner
Published by Darkstone Productions
Written by Matthew Warner
2016, 278 pages, Fiction
Released on February 13th, 2016
What is it about my reviews that wind up ruining my horror street cred? In a past review I had to admit to having never read H.P. Lovecraft. Come at me bro! My latest confession is I have never seen Plan 9 from Outer Space, not the original nor the remake this book is based on. For the first time in a long time, I can honestly say I'm a virgin.
Normally I don't like movie novelizations; they are usually stale with the mentality of "Let's slap the script onto some pages and make an extra buck or two". However, I honestly loved Matthew Warners's Plan 9 novelization, it entertains you even if you haven't seen the movie it's based on.
Plan 9 is a fun story even though I have no knowledge of its origin material. It takes place in the obligatory small town that seems to pop up in the majority of horror films. You know the one: quirky, close minded, slightly backwards.
A scientist, a bumbling cop and an arrogant actor suddenly find their quiet little town under an attack from the undead. To make matters worse, the zombies aren't the only threat, as the army is intent on containing this menace at the expense of their lives. Not only is this a zombie story, it also introduces aliens, and I appreciate the crossbreeding of the sci-fi and horror. Another bonus is that you get to read things from the zombie's point of view, which is original and really adds to the atmosphere of Plan 9.
I also appreciate the author fleshing out the characters; not just the main ones, but even the minor ones who aren't going to make it to the middle let alone survive the damn thing. By getting a more personal sense of the people involved and their motivations, I actually felt a bigger response to their deaths. Usually in horror media these deaths would be assigned to little-known people who are introduced as strictly murder bait.
Not only did I enjoy the novelization, it's whetted my cinema appetite and makes me want to watch both the original and the remake. I'd recommend Plan 9 as a light and fun read that you don't have to take too seriously.