I… I don’t even know where to begin. I could feel the brain cells dying.
Is Robot Monster worthy of this series? Yes, because it is a classic. Made in 1953, Robot Monster is a classic example of a bad movie. Not just bad, but downright horrible.
Why was this atrocity even filmed, let alone showed to anyone? Who would pay to see this garbage, and why? Why hasn’t every copy of this been burned and destroyed, and with humanity pretending like it never happened? I just don’t get it.
For the first entry in this project I looked at what many consider to be the greatest movie ever made (Citizen Kane). I thought it was good, but not the greatest movie ever made. Robot Monster is the extreme opposite.
Obviously I haven’t seen ever movie made, but out of all the movies I have watched this one definitely ranks as the absolute worst one I have ever had the misfortune of seeing.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 featured this in an episode once. I would have rather have watched it that way, because at least then it would have been entertaining. It’s only 63 minutes, but good lord does it feel longer than Forrest Gump (I love Forrest Gump by the way, but I thought it would never end).
This movie is bad, people. It’s nothing but cheesy horribleness. And it’s not “so bad it’s actually enjoyable” either; watching it is a miserable time. Don’t go into it after the first ten minutes and say “well maybe it’ll get better,” as I did. It won’t. It gets worse, and worse, and somehow even worse.
I blame the people on Amazon that have given this such a high rating that it has a four-star rating out of 76 reviews. Shame on you people who rated this highly so that unsuspecting people like me might end up watching it when they scroll through Amazon looking for old films they’ve never seen.
You would think at some point in the four days that this film was completed in that one of the actors, or someone involved in the project, would have realized how absolutely wretched everything about the movie was and stopped it.
The villain of the movie is called Ro-Man, a robot, apparently from the moon (but actually from the planet Ro-Man). Does it look like a robot? No, because it’s a man in a fat gorilla suit with an old diving helmet on and a rabbit-ear antenna strapped to the top of it.
It’s SO bad.
We’ve all seen the movies where something crazy is happening and then at the end someone wakes up and we realize it was all just a dream (or maybe it wasn’t and you’re free to think whatever you want). Certainly the Wizard of Oz jumps out as one such movie, and a great one at that. This movie is different in that you know it is all a dream and you’re left wondering what the hell the point of it was.
The movie starts off with a horrible child actor (Gregory Moffett) playing an astronaut/spaceman and annoying his little sister who only wants to play house. The two kids hear a noise, so they go off to investigate. They find two archeologists in a cave working, and naturally the boy stays in his role of spaceman and for some reason the two adults humor the child. Eventually, the mother and older sister show up and are upset that they ventured so far off
Back at their little picnic area, the boy asks his mom when they’ll have a father and she responds “would you like that?” Next thing you know, they’re going to sleep and little Johnny wakes up and heads back to the cave. He’s wearing jeans, but then there is an explosion that knocks him down and renders him unconscious. He eventually gets up and now he’s wearing shorts. He sneaks around the cave as the alien Ro-Man stumbles around clueless. Johnny then heads back home.
What do you know, Johnny now has a father and it’s the oldest archeologist from earlier. Gee, do you think little Johnny is dreaming five minutes into the movie?
I’ll spare the rest of the plot details, but I will say the entire premise of the movie is stupid. Johnny and his family live in a bombed out house that is “protected” by a little electrical fence. Apparently, this fence makes them undetectable to Ro-Man. Why? Who knows? If that isn’t dumb enough, Ro-Man has used his “Calcinator Death Ray” to wipe out all human life on Earth. Well almost all, as only eight people survived. They survived because they had been injected with a special serum that would make it so they couldn’t get sick, which apparently also made them immune to a death ray. At this point, why the hell not?
Two of the survivors board a spacecraft and attempt to make it to an orbiting space platform. Ro-Man blasts them out of the air in a laughably bad sequence that features the worst space station ever. So we’re down to six: Johnny, his younger and older sisters, his mom, and the two archeologists playing the roles of his scientific dad and the assistant/finance of his older sister.
The humans begin conversing with Ro-Man through a machine, so now he is determined (and ordered by “The Great Guidance”) to destroy them. So now the humans must find a way to take out Ro-Man, but the “dad” is quick to point out that he “is impervious!” Maybe, but older sister Alice chimes in with “unless we find his weak spot!” Brilliant.
The guy in the suit obviously couldn’t move very well. Indeed, Ro-Man is seen in several shots just stumbling around in circles looking completely clueless. And he walks so slow that it’s laughable when he catches any of the humans. They have to literally stand there and let him grab them, or pretend to run and trip over nothing and then act like they can’t get up.
If you don’t end up turning the film off, you’re going to be wishing that Ro-Man will kill every single one of the idiots and end the film.
I’m going to start watching trailers for this series before subjecting myself to any old movie on Amazon. This trailer would have spared me this waste of time.
If you ever want to punish someone, tie them up and prop their eyes open and make them watch this movie. Better yet, knock them out because tying them up is too much work; and this movie shows us that if you knock someone out instead of tying them up, the next time you see them they will be tied up (and in different matters each subsequent time). Yes, this movie is absolutely littered with goofs that you don’t even have to search for. They almost seem deliberate.
The best thing, and indeed the only good thing, about this film is the musical score which was done by the legendary Elmer Bernstein. But when the music is the best thing about a movie, you know that movie sucks.
This is film is complete trash, so avoid it like the plague.
Robot Monster gets a zero out of five: DREADFUL.