Action! Drama! Terror! Romance! ROBOT MONSTER has none of these. If anyone could have come close to topping Ed Wood in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE when it comes to absurd plotting and inept filmmaking, it would have to be Phil Tucker in ROBOT MONSTER from 1953. A film fit for ridicule, it has climbed the charts to become one of the most beloved B-movies of all time.
Mankind has all but been destroyed by the mighty Ro-Man, an intergalactic ape in an diving helmet who heralds the full-scale invasion of Earth by the robotic Ro-Men from within his desert cave. The last surviving humans must negotiate their lives with the calculative automaton before "The Great Guidance" decides their fates for them.
ROBOT MONSTER raises more questions than answers. Where did all the dinosaurs suddenly come from? Why did they disappear after Ro-Man commanded them to destroy the planet? Just what is inside of Ro-Man's mysterious cave of wonders, anyways? A communications device that is more than effective than his bubble-blowing radar? A futuristic telepod that can eliminate his daily desert walks? Or perhaps a love nest for he and his hu-man heartthrob? How did the anthropology professor and his crew suddenly become involved in space platforms and electrified forcefields? Do all Ro-Men speak with flailing arm gestures? The viewer is left with nothing but intrigue and wonder while watching the mind-numbing events as they occur on screen.
It is easy to write off the film's flaws based on its limited budget and inexperienced crew, but it's not nearly as fun. There are literally no sets in the entire production, just a large cave, a dilapidated building, and a few scraggly hillsides that are only suitable for aimless wandering. Legend has it that when the budget could not account for an actual robot costume, Tucker tapped Ro-Man actor George Barrows for his ape suit and quickly threw a helmet on him for good measure. The story seems simple enough, but the hilarious performances, atrocious special effects, and corny dialog are too awesomely terrible to ignore. "To be like the hu-man! To laugh! Feel! Want! Why are these things not in the plan?" objects the robotic ape to his leader after the one called Al-Ice arouses his interests. Will Ro-Man betray his feelings to carry out his orders, or defect from the Ro-Men for a steamy night of hu-man passion?
Why continue reading when you can find out for yourself? Do as The Great Guidance commands, and pick up ROBOT MONSTER today. "Fail, and I will destroy you!"
If you liked ROBOT MONSTER, check out:
PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, TROLL 2, SHARK ATTACK 3.