ROBOT MONSTER (1953)
Article #474 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 7-2-2002
Posting date: 11-25-2002
Ro-man of the planet Ro-man devastates the Earth with his calcitronic death ray.
This is one of the most ludicrously awful movies ever made; it’s also one of the most interesting bad movies I’ve ever seen. It’s not a movie that is merely boring; it’s a combination of INVADERS FROM MARS-style boy’s nightmare (though why this boy’s dream spends so much time on his sister’s honeymoon may leave you scratching your head a little), extreme cheapness (tons of stock footage, Bronson canyon exteriors, and of course, the gorilla-in-diving-helmet robot), and truly eccentric dialogue (Ro-man’s dialogue does indeed sound like an English translation of some obscure difficult language with a bent towards technological idioms) gives this movie the feel of a surreal carnival ride, though one that is less likely to inspire chills and thrills than a rather giddy nausea. Yet there are definite ideas here, especially in Ro-man’s dialogue; as laughable as his “I must, but I cannot!” speech is, one can see the grains of an attempt at real emotion and conflict. One can only wonder what this movie would have been like had it achieved coherence. And, of course, I find it impossible to entirely dislike any movie that gives the spotlight to my old slurpasaur friends Rumsford and Ignatz, who this time are given two scenes to recreate their famous battle amid stock footage from LOST CONTINENT. I’d rather watch this than either SATELLITE IN THE SKY or THE INCREDIBLE PETRIFIED WORLD.