Robot Monster (1953) – Phil Tucker

DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies book, by director John Landis brings me a 50s title that is so bad, it’s come around to good, passed that and slapped it for being out too late and travelled back to bad again. It’s also become iconic, in that the monstrous ape, the chapter I am currently exploring, has become something of a recognisable figure.

The monster this time, is yet another man in an ape suit, but this time, instead of a head, it has a space helmet. You see Ro-man (George Barrows), as he is called, is hunting down the last family on Earth (there are eight people altogether, and conveniently enough, most of the adults are scientists of some kind) , but instead falls in love with the beautiful daughter, Alice (Claudia Barrett), but so does one of the scientists, Roy (George Nader).

The film was originally released in 3D, but I don’t see how that would have made this one any better.  But somehow they were able to get Elmer Bernstein to provide a score!

Surprisingly, everyone has clean, whole clothes, the ladies even have low heels, and long dresses to wander through the apocalypse in.

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Ro-Man is hunting the survivors down, and falling in love with Alice, but the family unit is coming up with a plan of their own, they’ve been injected with a serum that helps them escape Ro-Man’s detection, and if they can get to a nearby rocket and get into orbit to meet the space platform, the garrison there may have a fighting chance.

Though, I’m not sure how that makes sense, as it was Ro-Man’s race that started the nuclear war that wiped most of man out, and our weapons proved to be useless against these robotic apes.

But as each new possibility is revealed, the writer seems to come up with another idea, and sends the story rocketing off in another ridiculous direction.

This one is poorly written, eminently laughable, and I had a damned good time watching it.  Definitely not a film to take too seriously, this one is best laughed at and enjoyed for its silliness.

And while I may not have been the biggest fan of this particular chapter, I am loving DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies, and look forward to each new to me title, and wonder what I will discover.

Pick one up for yourself, and find something monstrous and unique to watch tonight.

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