Robot Monster

Day Thirteen of the 2010 Silver Shamrock Happy Halloween Countdown!

Happy Halloween Countdown Day Thirteen!

Robot Monster
Let’s do a creative exercise, shall we?  Close your eyes and imagine a scene from a terrible B movie science fiction/ horror film from the 1950s.  Did your brain conjure up the image of a guy in a gorilla body suit, an old style deep sea diver’s helmet with a TV antenna glued to the top,  staggering around a quarry, maybe carrying an unconscious young woman?  Ever wonder where the heck that came from?  Wonder no more, my little canoodle muffin, it’s a scene straight from the 1953 film Robot Monster.

The plot is simple, the Earth Ro-Man, sent by the Great Guidance Ro-Man from the planet Ro-Man is charged with the mission to kill everyone of the Earth.  The Earth Ro-Man, equipped with a television, some radio cases and wooden table, sets up his headquarter in the mouth of a cave.  He then unleashes a death ray that kills everyone on Earth except a family picnicking at the other end of the canyon from his cave.

So far so good for Ro-Man, right? Wrong. This pesky family has been able to elude him even though they live within easy walking distance of his cave.  The glaring omission of this surviving family wouldn’t be so bad if it made sense in some way, for example, if they were a family of US Army Rangers or Sara Conner was their mother or something, but no, they are a family consisting of two annoying children, a twenty-something daughter, her suitor, a hapless mother and a father or a step-father with some sort of accent.  I’m not sure.  At some point I fell asleep and lost track of what was going on.  To compound the matter, Ro-Man’s boss keeps calling him on the TV to micro-manage and dress him down.

Eventually he captures the twenty-something girls and tries to rip off her top before tying her up with an electrical cable.  Before he can finish tying her up, the Great Guidance again calls of the TV screen to yell at Ro-Man, who not wanting to keep the boss waiting decides that the best course of action is to knock the girl out.

The boss tells Ro-Man to kill the girl.  Ro-Man, who was very, very close to seeing really hot boobies for the first time is understandably conflicted.  He might be an alien  guy in a gorilla suit  and a deep sea diver’s helmet with a TV antenna glued on top, but he’s not gay.  Ro-Man, torn between carrying out his orders from the boss or the orders from his dong poses this, the great question every man must ask himself: At what point on the graph do “must” and “cannot” meet?  At what point, indeed, Ro-man, at what point, indeed.

Horned in at various points in the film there is some great footage of baby alligators, with fins glued to their backs, fighting in a fake jungle environment and some even better bits with stop motion dinosaurs, all of which came from better movies than Robot Monster.

One Response to “Robot Monster”

  • theark:

    It cannot be said that the horror genre has a reputation for exhibiting strong females. As with any genre we can find exceptions, but the public perception, to which I ascribe, is that horror films do not provide positive female role models. Robot Monster is no exception, but moments do arise that stand in contrast to the general perception. Specifically I want to mention that scene in which a WOMAN yields a strikingly large soldering iron as she manipulates the circuits of an advanced piece of technology, with the simpering male forced to the sideline. As women become respected members of our techno/cyberculture (a point no doubt debatable at great length) previously dominated exclusively it would seem by males, this seen seems prescient and powerful, especially when contrasted with the scenes where she is schlepped like a burlap doll.
    Plus, the earliest B movie I remember seeing.

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