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Robot Monster
Robot Monster
Actors: Claudia Barrett, George Barrows, Gregory Moffett, John Mylong, George Nader
Director: Phil Tucker
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
UR     2005     1hr 30min

Ro-Man, an alien that looks remarkably like a gorilla in a diving helmet, has been sent to Earth as the advance party of an impending invasion. Destroyed all but six people on the planet Earth. He spends the entire film ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Claudia Barrett, George Barrows, Gregory Moffett, John Mylong, George Nader
Director: Phil Tucker
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Horror, Robots & Androids, Aliens
Studio: Cheezy Flicks Ent
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 10/25/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/1953
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1953
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Black and White,Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
See Also:

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Movie Reviews

This could be the best of the worst!
Steven J. Hoffman | Takoma Park, MD USA | 08/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I must agree with those who say this could be the BEST "worst movie ever made." I have seen nearly every Ed Wood movie and although his "Plan 9 From Outer Space" has a special place in the heart of any fan of bad sci-fi movies, "Robot Monster" certainly gives it a run for the money. (Ed Wood had nothing to do with "Robot Monster" but it's similar to his type of movies.) This movie is so gloriously bad and yet entertaining on many levels. I love the stock footage of fighting lizards, interjected for no apparent reason. The tender moments like the impromptu wedding scene. The bubbles that float up around Ro-Man's junky-looking equipment. The fact that the heroine manages to get tied up in rope TWICE, once by her friends & family and later by the monster. The terminology (like the "calcinator death ray"). The pointless scenes showing the Ro-Man schlepping up and those barren hills and plains. Dialogue that is so stilted, it would make Ed Wood proud. I could go on and on. What could you possibly be doing in your life that is so important you can't spend the 62 minutes it takes to watch this incredible paean to human incompetence?"
Behold the awesome calcinator death ray!
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 07/11/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"In the pantheon of bad movies, few ever achieve the notoriety of Robot Monster (1953), except maybe for Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), as being among the worst of the worst. Written by Wyott Ordung (Target Earth) and directed by Phil Tucker, Robot Monster, intended to be a allegory of the post modern world of World War II, instead has become a cult classic of cosmic proportions in its' complete and utter badness...So what's the movie about? Well, apparently us Earthlings have become too smart for our own good, incurring the worrisome wraith of the Ro-Men, aliens with gorilla bodies and diving suit helmets for heads, as their fear is we will someday become powerful enough to destroy them...or they just want our planet (their motivation seemed to flip-flop between these two ideas). Their plan? Send a deadly emissary (only one) armed with a death ray and bubble machine to annihilate the population of Earth, allowing for others to which they find great success...almost. Yes, the entire population of our planet, about two billion at the time, are destroyed, except for 5 people. Seems these five people share some sort of immunity to the death ray, and now find themselves huddled for survival in bombed out ruins, trying to hide their existence from the alien fiend, who just happens to reside in a cave not to far from their hiding place. Can these lone survivors, these last remnants of humankind, find a way to destroy or make peace with this menace before they find themselves extinct?Man, this movie, which was shot on location in Bronson Canyon in California, probably one of the most used locations for Hollywood films, was a effects I can usually take, as I've seen hundreds of B movies, but everything in this film seems like it was scraped from the bottom of some barrel. I guess the most obvious element to start out with is the aliens' extremely cumbersome costume, limiting its' mobility to the point where anytime it would chase someone, for it to actually catch them, the prey would have to either run very slow and awkward, or conveniently trip and fall to the ground. A gorilla suit with a diver's helmet? That's pretty sad, even for a film like this...I especially loved the fact that the person wearing this getup was also wearing a mask within the diving helmet, and so we were unable to see his face, so whenever he spoke, he would usually make all kinds of exaggerated gestures with his hands much like your stereotypical Italian, as if to compensate for lack of facial expressions. And really, what is the deal with the bubble machine? I suspect they got a really good deal (possible free use of it) or something on it, as the company who supplied is listed within the credits, but if I was making a film with the intention of providing chills or scares to my audience, a bubble machine only serves to counteract any terror as bubbles just can help but emote a sense of happiness. I also got really tired of that cheesy view screen the monster kept using to contact his homeworld, where he would then get messages from his leader, known as The Great Guidance, on how to proceed in his task of eliminating these last five surviving members of the human race, which proves entirely too difficult given the ease and speed of which he wiped out the other two billion humans on Earth. The acting was about as bad as you'd expect, and I found myself actually hoping for the alien to eliminate this persistent band of less then plucky survivors. The dialog...once you got past the gorilla suit/diving helmet alien element, the viewer is bombarded by round after round of some really awful dialog. The direction, while not great, is serviceable, but given the mish mash plot, it hardly makes a difference. One bright spot throughout the film was the musical score, presented by legendary Academy Award winning composer Elmer Bernstein, who later working on such films as The Ten Commandments (1956), The Magnificent Seven (1960), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), and The Great Escape (1963), to name a very few.The film, which I believe was originally presented in 3-D (in fabulous 2-D here), looks surprising good. The source material used for the transfer has obviously suffered some deterioration over time, but not as much as I would have thought, as the picture, while having many flaws visually, all seem minor at best. The audio was pretty soft here, as I had crank the volume up high to fully catch every bit of riveting dialogue as it was spoken. As far as special features, there is a theatrical trailer present, along with some other trailers, most all for Ed Wood films I believe, and that's it...not much, considering the cult status level of the film, in my opinion.As I said, cheap effects don't necessarily make for a bad movie, but in conjunction with extremely lame dialogue, incredibly poor acting, passable direction, and a completely incoherent plot equal a cinematic hurting few others have ever achieved. I read that the director, Phil Tucker, took this movie so seriously that when released and the extremely critical reviews began coming in, he was so distraught he attempted suicide, but was unsuccessful, and actually went on to direct about six more films, certainly none as memorable as this, his first. I can't help but wonder when a director makes a film as bad as this, how they can't see just how awful it is prior to releasing it. How deluded would you have to be to think this was actually going to be a good movie? I guess the most important thing to have if you are going to watch this film is a sense of humor, as that is where the main gist of the entertainment lies, unintentional as it may be... Cookieman108"
Ro-man Hollandaise -- Yummy!
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 08/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Though some fans of "bad" cinema often put 1953's ROBOT MONSTER on the same tier with PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (1959), it honestly doesn't even come close to reaching the heights of inspired ineptitude attained by Ed Wood's magnum opus. Still, ROBOT MONSTER is an entertaining so-bad-it's-good flick in its own right.

The last six remaining humans on Earth resist attacks by Ro-man, an extraterrestrial who looks something like a gorilla wearing a cheap diving helmet. Receiving orders from his superior via 1950s consumer electronics that emit, of all things, soap bubbles, Ro-man's job is to clear out all intelligent life on Earth so that his "people" can come inhabit the planet themselves. Unfortunately for Ro-man, he finds it impossible to carry out his orders after he falls in love with an Earth girl, and it's all downhill for him from there.

This ludicrous tissue-thin plot is full of gaping holes, and the badly executed scene transitions and various stock-footage inserts of fighting reptiles and animated dinosaurs are humorously befuddling. But when it is revealed at the end of the film that all was simply the dream of a science-fiction-crazed young boy, the whole dish seems a little more palatable.

Some critics have read the film as an allegory of life in occupied Europe during World War II. Ro-man, it is claimed, represents a Nazi soldier simply carrying out the orders of his Hitler-like commander, and the surviving humans can be viewed as living an Anne Frank-like existence in their energy-encompassed hideout. But the obvious weaknesses of the plot, the glaringly technical mistakes, and the bargain-basement production values make it hard to believe that the filmmakers were astute enough to attempt allegorical storytelling. Any similarity to real situations or to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Believe it or not, the music for ROBOT MONSTER is actually pretty good (that is, "good" good, not "bad" good). It was composed by the late Elmer Bernstein, who went on to score cinematic greats like THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960), TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962), GHOST BUSTERS (1984), and MY LEFT FOOT (1989), to name but a few. Perhaps it is the efforts of the talented Mr. Bernstein that prevents ROBOT MONSTER from reaching the same level of achievement as Wood's PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE?

ROBOT MONSTER may not be the best "bad" film ever made, but for aficionados of the awful and connoisseurs of the crass, it's not to be missed.

While it's not in the original 3-D--yes, ROBOT MONSTER was filmed in old-school 3-D--the DVD from Image Entertainment offers the highest-quality consumer copy of the film to date, and the price that amazon charges for it is hard to beat."
Crazy Jim | Massachusetts | 06/21/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"While Ed Wood's "Plan 9 From Outer Space" is often regarded as the worst film in cinema history, anyone who has sat down to watch Phil Tucker's "Robot Monster" will tell you it makes anything Wood has done look like brilliant filmmaking. This one is so entertainingly stupid that it should make for ideal viewing for any group of drunk teenagers looking to do their own MST3K. Easily the finest apocalyptic sci-fi film to ever feature a giant monkey in a diving helmet, "Robot Monster" could not be any worse if it was penned by a grade schooler who just learned how to write. Fifteen minutes into it, you will literally wonder where half of the movie went as it jumps from the opening to what should be the halfway point of it without so much as an explanation, though the use of unexplained dinosaur stock footage could have been an elaborate distraction to make us forget there was a plot in the first place. When we finally are brought up to speed, we learn that the monkey-suited invaders are the evil "Ro-Mans" who have wiped out the entire planet with an awful-looking light show. Well, everyone except for a family of five, who live in a ditch for some unknown reason, and the heroic "Shirtless" Roy who isn't afraid to show off his amazing torso for no reason at all. In one of the film's most defining moments, Roy is thrown off a cliff, but not before letting out one of the greatest death shreeks in cinematic history. It's all wrapped up nicely with an ending, that in the tradition of the whole film, defies any logic what so ever but is filled with even more stock footage from old dinosaur movies. "Robot Monster" is just an absolute mess from start to finish but it's all part of the fun. While this was supposedly intended to be a serious message about the fears of the atomic age, it never came across as such in the production. If you have a few extra bucks and you're looking for some absolute barget basement entertainment then you should pick this one up. I recommend looking for the DVD two-pack with "Plan 9 From Outer Space" included."