Sync or Swim: Plan 9 From Outer Sync

It has been stated that The Day the Earth Stood Still, a great science-fiction film, would sync with “A Saucerful of Secrets”. However, I wondered what would happen if it worked with another film about flying saucers, but considered one of the worst films of all time? One test later proved surprising.

Start the album an movie at 0:00. Loop until the end for nearly two whole plays. Discovered by me on August 3, 2014.

Points of Interest

  • The word “saucer” in the album title.
  • Traditionally, most movie syncs have an album (or three depending on the complexity) that matches with a great movie or two. The “secret” with this one is that this defies convention for what is considered good cinema.

Act I

Let There Be More Light

  • The instrumental introduction sets the mood during Criswell’s “prediction” and ends when the credits begin.
  • “Far, far away” as the title is shown, Plan 9 From Outer Space.
  • “Something in my eye.” The mourners weep at the grave.

Remember a Day

  • The saucer lands in the cemetery, a place of remembering those who had once lived.
  • “Free to play along with time.” The continuity error of going from day to night is shown for the first time.

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

  • The mellow nature fits the mood of the scene as the police inspect the cemetery in the fog.

Corporal Clegg

  • The police find one of their own has fallen.
  • “Mrs. Clegg, you must be proud of him.” The wife is present at the funeral.
  • The kazoos accentuate the cheesy nature of the “special effects”.
  • The stock footage of the armed forces roll in during the final march.
  • An armed forces officer inspects the sky, possibly another corporal.

A Saucerful of Secrets

  • Part I, “Something Else”, plays as the armed forces discuss just what it is they’re fighting. It’s something else not of this world.
  • Part II, “Syncopated Pandemonium”, sees the saucer squadron leave the mother saucer and begin to cause said pandemonium.
  • Part III, “Storm Signal”, has the plane go after the saucers. The last part takes place in a cemetery. This also happens in The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  • Part IV, “Celestial Voices”, has the Bela Lugosi stand-in attack in the bedroom.

See-Saw

  • Some instrumental parts fit the mood.
  • One can argue that the light continuity “see-saws” between day and night for no reason.

Jugband Blues

  • “And I’m most obliged to you for making it clear that I’m not here.” Sums up the constant switch between Bela Lugosi’s character and his stand-in.
  • “I don’t care if the sun don’t shine.” Again, lighting continuity.
  • “What exactly is a joke?” This entire movie.

Act II

Let There Be More Light

  • It’s nighttime, lack of light save for the moon.
  • One policeman asks for a light when he tries to read the inscription at one grave.
  • The tape recorder plays the music during the board meeting.
  • The officers’ expressions while they hear the music are priceless. They don’t know what exactly they heard.

Remember a Day

  • “Hide from your little brother’s gun.” There’s no gun in sight until the end of the song.

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

  • The alien commander waits for orders to “set the controls for the heart of the sun.”
  • This song takes place at night for both movies.

Corporal Clegg

  • Another officer has fallen, but he’s fine.
  • “Will they laugh at me?” Yes they will for all time.
  • Yet another corporal shows up at the cemetery in this song.
  • The odd sound effects come from the random instruments inside the saucer.

A Saucerful of Secrets

  • Part I fits the mood in the cemetery.
  • The rest of the song is the long-winded exposition between the aliens and humans. The secrets are revealed.

See-Saw

  • We see the dead officer carry the woman in a similar fashion to Gort.

Jugband Blues

  • The odd sound effects play during the end credits of a very odd movie.

OK, so maybe this was a half-baked concept. The fact that a good portion of the movie is exposition affects the experience. If it had some more action, I’d give it a better grade. As it is, it’s OK at best but it’s a clever and surprising secret.

Sync grade: C+

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