Robot Monster

( 3 )

Overview

A young boy named Johnny (Gregory Moffett) is on a picnic with his widowed mother (Selena Royle) and sister (Claudia Barrett), when he meets a pair of archeologists (John Mylong, George Nader) exploring a nearby cave. Later, while napping, he has a dream -- that the Earth has been attacked by an alien named Ro-Man (played by George Barrows in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet), using the "calcinator death ray," and that he and his family (with Mylong and his mother now married) and scientist Nader are the only ...
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Overview

A young boy named Johnny (Gregory Moffett) is on a picnic with his widowed mother (Selena Royle) and sister (Claudia Barrett), when he meets a pair of archeologists (John Mylong, George Nader) exploring a nearby cave. Later, while napping, he has a dream -- that the Earth has been attacked by an alien named Ro-Man (played by George Barrows in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet), using the "calcinator death ray," and that he and his family (with Mylong and his mother now married) and scientist Nader are the only survivors. They try to elude capture by Ro-Man, who turns out to have some very human failings despite his mechanized mentality, including a desire to experience human emotions, which greatly complicates his efforts to destroy the family.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Phil Tucker's Robot Monster has a reputation as an unmitigated cinematic mess, a train-wreck of a movie that was so severely maligned in its own time that it supposedly sent its director into confinement for a time in a hospital. And in the main, that reputation is deserved -- the dreadful acting, the continuity problems, and the amateurish editing and special effects do, to a large degree, speak for themselves. And yet this reviewer, across the decades, has found a basis for looking at Robot Monster in a slightly more favorable light -- an angle of approach that makes it, if nowhere near good, then at least not quite the incomprehensible mess that it is usually dismissed as being; and a way of looking at the movie that even gives it a certain internal consistency, a "logic" (though that is an extreme term to use with this script) that works and explains a great deal about a few of its seeming "flaws." Essential in appreciating what director/producer Phil Tucker was trying to do with Robot Monster -- and trying to do with a total budget of $16,000 and four days of shooting time -- is to keep in mind that the main body of the movie consists of an eight-year-old boy's nightmare. Indeed, Robot Monster is the most impoverished member a small group of fantasy movies (which also includes The Wizard of Oz, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, Curse of the Cat People, The Boy With Green Hair, Invaders From Mars and Godzilla's Revenge) that deal with childhood dreams, fantasies, and nightmares. It lacks some finesse, any polish, and even some basic competency in its execution, but it does -- in its editing, pacing, and structure -- capture the irrational, uncontrolled nature of dreams and nightmares better than any of those more respected movies (with the possible exception of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, which is a glorious and unique film). Indeed, Robot Monster closely parallels aspects of the plot of William Cameron Menzies' Invaders From Mars, and those parallels are sufficient to raise suspicions about the precise origins of Tucker's movie -- Invaders From Mars was released just a few weeks before Robot Monster; both movies promised 3-D that wasn't delivered; both are about boy heroes battling aliens from outer space, both include parents and surrogate parents for the boy, and both feature young girls who are killed by the aliens. One does wonder if the producers, having gotten wind of Menzies' film either in pre-production or through previews, rushed their movie into production and into theaters. Both films are very disquieting in their depiction of dreams, though -- surprisingly -- the budgetarily emaciated Robot Monster comes closer to the mark. The way that the action unfolds, suddenly and with huge leaps in logic and thought, are seen the way a child sees the world. The threadbare sets, which are missing what we know to be vital pieces, also resemble the settings of dreams. The serious yet cavalier manner in which the marriage of Roy (George Nader) and Alice (Claudia Barrett) is depicted mixes the boy's love of his older sister and respect for the young scientist with his abhorrence of what would have been called "gooey love stuff" in movies. The whole notion of a brave young boy facing down a space invader hangs together beautifully once one accepts the setting as a dream (or nightmare). And if one can get that far, then Robot Monster actually begins to take on the characteristics of a somewhat enchanting film, for all of its mistakes and holes.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/5/2006
  • UPC: 827421000026
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mvd (Generic)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 27,222

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Nader Roy
Claudia Barrett Alice
Selena Royle Mother
Gregory Moffett Johnny
John Mylong Professor
Pamela Paulson Carla
George Barrows RoMan
John Brown Voice Only
Technical Credits
Phil Tucker Director, Producer
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
Stanley Campbell Makeup
David Commons Special Effects
Clarence Eurist Production Manager
John H. Greenhalgh Jr. Cinematographer
Wyott Ordung Screenwriter
Jack R. Rabin Special Effects
Bruce Schoengarth Editor
Merrill White Editor
Alan Winston Producer
Al Zimbalist Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Robot Monster
1. Introduction [1:31]
2. Family Picnic [8:45]
3. The Survivors [8:29]
4. Work Now, Play Later [13:21]
5. Go Alone [7:12]
6. Love Is In The Air [6:57]
7. Destroy The Others [9:51]
8. Can't Kill The Girl [5:53]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Robot Monster
   Play The Movie!
   Select A Scene!
   Special Features!
      Gargoyals Trailer
      The Day Of The Triffids Trailer
      About Cheezy Flicks
      Intermission Time!
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Movies don't get any better than THIS!

    If PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE is you cuppa tea, you will adore ROBOT MONSTER. Yes, the monster is a guy in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet. Yes, it's got stock footage, and lots of it. And yes, it all turns out to be a dream. But it also has hunky leading man George Nader, without his shirt at strategic points in the movie, and the first film score by the great Elmer Bernstein. To heck with the STAR WARS movies, this is Sci-Fi as it was meant to be...low-budget claptrap. I love this movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Cave man from Mars?

    Give a guy a gorilla suit, a diving helmet and a decent set of rabbit ear antennas for his helmet, and youv'e got Ro-man. Needless to ssay, watching this movie is better than sitting around doing nothing, but, dont expect a whole lot in the way of Expense put out on props. At one point we can see ro-man turn a knob on the People viewer, Only problem, Ain't no knob there to turn! Maybe he could not see too good in that suit. The hero of the day in my Book is The Kid, Johnny. He pretty much tells Ro-man off. Ro-man trys to off Johnny but finds for some reason, he can't. I do like the part where Johnny runs off and Ro-man waves his arms at him as a last ditch effort to put out some kind of threat towards the kid. And, they claim that every army in the world couldn't defeat Ro-man, A guy in a gorilla suit who has practically wiped out the earths population with his Calcinator ray machine. E-mail me and tell me what you think. patrick.mccoy@excite.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews