Legion of the Dead  (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

When people discuss the worst movie ever made, a common choice is Plan 9 from Outer Space. Ed Wood's reverse masterpiece has long endured and its reputation continues to grow, although many similar films from its era are only dimly remembered footnotes. Why? Because Plan 9 is so incompetent and so memorable in so many ways.

  • The plot is illogical and incoherent.
  • The editing ignores the entire concept of continuity. Day becomes night becomes day again.
  • The special effects are among the worst ever assembled. (Tin plates for flying saucers. Wobbly gravestones. An airplane cockpit which looks like  somebody's dining room, in which the walls shake when touched. A body double who must be six inches taller than the actor (Lugosi) he subs for.)
  • The acting is incomprehensibly poor.
  • The actors are not only incompetent, but outlandish. They look like the people rejected by the traveling carny for excessively odd appearance.
  • The dialogue and narrative are rhetorical.
  • The director, although responsible for the script and the other major problems, took himself seriously and thought he was making a  masterpiece.
  • Screen legend Bela Lugosi died during the filming.
  • Tim Burton made a movie about director Ed Wood.

Legion of the Dead will probably not be remembered next week, but it is, like Plan 9, utterly incompetent across the board.

  • The acting? Fuggitaboudit. If you made a movie by hiring the first twenty people who walked past a certain spot, the acting in your film would be far better than in this one. They made the cast of Plan 9 seem like the RSC.
  • Is the cast odd? Some of these guys make Tor Johnson and Vampira and Bunny look like senior executives at IBM.
  • The script and continuity? The film has about fifteen superfluous characters.
  • The special effects? Halloween night in The Big Easy.
  • Is it self-important? They made a film about the making of this film (also on the DVD), in which they discuss it as if it were Apocalypse Now. They even have several deleted scenes, although it is impossible for the human mind to grasp how a scene could be too incompetent to get into the film itself. Best of all, all the people involved with the film talk exactly like "Dieter" in those SNL "Sprockets" skits. "Und now vee tahnce".

I don't know if anyone died during the making of this film, but what the film lacked in fatalities it more than made up in failed humor. In fact, that's what really put the film in the bad film major leagues. In addition to all its other flaws, it tries to be funny, and nobody in the cast or crew appears to have any concept of comic timing. Although that didn't really matter, because the material wouldn't have been funny if Groucho and Seinfeld had delivered it. Nothing is sadder than when humorless guys don't realize it.


These is one very attractive shot of a reclining female nude. It is supposed to be the character played by Kimberly Liebe

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen anamorphic 1.85:1.

  • many deleted scenes

  • "making of" documentary

The original concept was to make a film something like From Dusk 'Til Dawn. Imagine your Uncle Dwight, the one with the cheap toupee, who always tapes family Christmas on his home camcorder. Now imagine that guy trying to remake From Dusk 'Til Dawn from his memory, using other family members and some circus sideshow freaks as the cast, and creating special effects from common materials lying around his house. Is that film fixed in your imagination?

Well, Legion of the Dead isn't that good.

The Critics Vote

  • Cinema Zone scored it one star our of six. I can only assume that they have no lower score available, but they should have made an exception.

The People Vote ...

IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, it is an F, but a very low F. Und now vee tahnce.

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