Robot Monster

August 5th, 2009 by Perfesser Deviant

Robot Monster   robot monster poster 87x120 sci fi reviews horror fantasy Director: Phil Tucker
Writer: Wyott Ordung
Release Year: 1953

At what point on the graph do ‘must’ and ‘cannot’ meet?

Robot Monster   Cheezy Drive In mini logo sci fi reviews horror fantasy Little Johnny (Gregory Moffett) and his ‘family’ have to battle with one of the least convincing alien invaders of all time … the ROBOT MONSTER! The ROBOT MONSTER! invades the Earth and destroys almost all life with his CALCINATOR DEATH RAY! – which uses stock footage of fighting dinosaurs from One Million B.C. among others – leaving only Johnny and his family as well as some off-camera people who die later in another stock footage extravaganza. This collection of people are humanity’s last hope to avoid extinction, but really if that’s the best Earth has to look forward to they might as well just up and die…..

(Spoilers follow…)

Robot Monster   RM title screen 300x231 sci fi reviews horror fantasy

The alien invader is Ro-Man (George Barrows in a costume with John Brown‘s voice) who is simply a guy in a gorilla suit with a cheap space helmet complete with a rabbit-ears antenna. His high-tech equipment includes a kitchen table, a WWII radio, a pre-Lawrence Welk bubble machine, a Jacob’s Ladder and a violin bow. Although he possesses great alien technology – including the CALCINATOR DEATH RAY! – he is reduced to manually killing the remaining Hu-mans when an antibiotic thwarts his CALCINATOR DEATH RAY! Yes, apparently death rays are easily blocked by antibiotics. Who knew?

Robot Monster   RM full 300x230 sci fi reviews horror fantasy In addition to Johnny, the family includes sisters Carla (Pamela Paulson) and Alice (Claudia Barrett), a mother (Selena Royale), a professor-father (John Mylong) and his assistant Roy (George Nader); a motley bunch at the best of times. Carla gets to be the annoying little sister who is actually killed by Ro-Man, which is a great relief. Roy and Alice get ‘married’ by the professor and then run off for a honeymoon in the brambles when Ro-Man shows up and screws up their connubial bliss by beating Roy up and taking Alice back to his lair for some bondage games. Speaking of bondage, Alice gets tied up a lot in this film, by Ro-Man, her father, etc. very 50s, I guess.

The plot of this film is a stupid variation on an endless parade of 1950s alien invaders films where some bad guy comes to Earth to conquer us and then falls for some pretty Earth-girl – who may or may not be easy – before his doom. This one is unusual in that the doom comes from Ro-Man’s boss, The Great Guidance (also George Barrows in a costume with John Brown‘s voice), who gets fed up with Ro-Man’s deviating from the plan and destroys him. What this accomplishes is anyone’s guess, but it does make the movie end.

Robot Monster   RM happy couple 300x228 sci fi reviews horror fantasy Or does it?! No, it turns out it was all a dream when little Johnny knocked himself out while playing. That means that the film was nothing more than the result of an over-imaginative child of the 50s dreaming up an alien invasion. It now makes sense why his little sister is killed by Ro-Man as there are few little boys who don’t wish for the death of their siblings from time to time. What is worrying though is that he wishes to kill off the love interest for his older sister, a sister he has tied up repeatedly. This is some sort of most unwholesome issue that shows his feelings toward his sister are about the same as mine toward yours. Not good at all.

Robot Monster   RM grave 300x230 sci fi reviews horror fantasy Wait!? Ro-Man appears again at the end. Actually, he appears repeatedly at the end in a less-than-riveting conclusion as he walks toward the audience in a damned silly excuse for a climax. I suppose that means that the film should start over and play like some sort of dreadful ouroboros snake-eating-its-own-tail tale on to infinity? No, I somehow doubt it, but a film made as a Möbius strip would be fun; at least, for anyone who didn’t need to spool the projector. Perhaps this means that Johnny’s vision wasn’t some sort of depraved sororicidal / fetishistic incest fantasy and demonstrated that he was some sort of psychic little brat? I don’t know, nor do I care as the film is entertaining in all it’s inept glory.

Robot Monster   RM abduction 300x229 sci fi reviews horror fantasy Inept it is in the greatest possible way. Shot quickly with a cast of few and a budget barely sufficient to buy a used car, this one wasn’t going to be good no matter who made it. The silliness of putting a helmet on a gorilla costume as an alien didn’t do the film any favors either. Really, the only thing this film has going for it is an epic score by the great Elmer Bernstein, a score that is so absurdly powerful that it makes the rest of the film seem even less by comparison. The use of inappropriate stock footage with an Ed Wood fervor doesn’t do it any favors either. Still, as bad films go, this one is a really enjoyable watch as it’s not long – the run time is a mere 66 minutes – and is very very silly awful rather than simply dull awful. A must-see!

Rating: Robot Monster   star sci fi reviews horror fantasy Robot Monster   star sci fi reviews horror fantasy Robot Monster   star sci fi reviews horror fantasy Robot Monster   star sci fi reviews horror fantasy Robot Monster   blankstar sci fi reviews horror fantasy

 

Trailer:

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Drive-In Cheezy Movie Collection:

Robot Monster   Boxset cover1 84x120 sci fi reviews horror fantasy Robot Monster / 4:3 Aspect Ratio / Region 1 / English audio / Full Version

Special Features:  Gargoyles (1972) trailer / The Day Of The Triffids (1962) trailer / Intermission Time! (2 drive-in cartoons) / About Cheezy Flicks

Click here for poster»

 

 

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