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Plan 10: Culture Shock

by tommy kirchhoff

Was Brigham Young a sex-crazed alien from outer space? Who was his 28th wife? And what is the secret of the bees? These are not questions that merely pop into one’s mind. But just because someone made them up doesn’t mean they’re not real.

The core staff at Wild Utah recently reviewed the Sundance film Plan 10 From Outer Space on a suggestion from a friend. We’re wondering if she wanted us to expand our perception of Mormon culture, or if she really wanted us to half lose our minds in one sitting. Reviewing this old flick may seem trite and cliché to some, but we feel there’s a significant population here that don’t know about it.

Plan 10 probably couldn’t be classified as a “B movie” on its best day. But the story line is exceptionally creative. The plot begins with a very accurate portrayal of Mormon personality, the history of Salt Lake City, and the practices of the LDS Church. Things get weird when an LDS virgin named Lucinda finds random clues linking the pioneer Mormons to space aliens. Somehow, the whole space/planet concept doesn’t come as a stretch to the viewer after Lucinda’s dad and brother have a conversation about Mormon men getting their own planet after death.

The film seems to focus on the age-old controversy of literature. Can one small book make that much difference? The Plan 10 (itself) exemplifies that it can. And after it stirs in inappropriate doses of wanton lust, cryptic flashbacks and a singing queen of planet Colab, it comes out of the oven incredibly bizarre.

Twice, the dialogue offers this parable:

“There are many truths. Some truths are uplifting, and some are not.”

“How do you know which is which?”

“Well, the Church leaders tell me.”

We wouldn’t want to give away the story line because we feel this movie is an invaluable rendering of the Mormon faith. So was Brigham Young a sex-crazed alien from outer space? As it’s put in the movie,

“It certainly would explain a lot about Salt Lake City.”