Plan Ten from Outer Space

Director: Trent Harris
Screenwriters: Trent Harris

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival


Aliens, Mormons, and sex! What more could one ask from a midnight movie in Utah? Plan Ten from Outer Space is an outrageous, whacked-out interpretation of Utah’s history and Mormon ideology, directed by Trent Harris (who gave us the regional cult hit, Reuben and Ed).

In 1853 Norman Talmage, a mad Mormon prophet, buried a strange plaque near the shore of the Great Salt Lake. A century later, Lucinda Hall (Stefene Russell) finds the plaque and begins a quest to uncover its meaning. She discovers that aliens in beehive-shaped spaceships, led by Nehor (Karen Black), the operatic queen from Planet Kolob, are on their way to carry out a grudge against Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church. Lucinda’s search coincides with her awakening desire for an inscrutable neighbor who may or may not be an alien. The once-familiar streets of Salt Lake City become a frightening place as Lucinda pursues various leads, hoping to uncover “the secret of the bees.”

Harris offers up Utah’s eccentricities as only a native can. He combines religious doctrine and science fiction to create a hilarious look at all that’s weird and wonderful in the land of Zion. The end result is a hysterical film of biblical proportions for all to enjoy.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]