A gorilla wearing a diving suit helmet attacks earth and destroys humanity with a sweep of its dreaded death ray. Realizing eight humans escaped its human genocide, the monster, dubbed Ro-Man, makes a visit to our now desolate planet to finish the job. Amidst stock footage from a slew of other low budget classics, the bumbling brute proceeds to chase the poor earthlings around Bronson Canyon for a majority of the film’s running time. And you thought THE ROAD WARRIOR’S Lord Humungus was the post-apocalyptic film genre’s most notorious villain.
Filmed on a $16,000 budget by a director (Phil Tucker) who sadly tried to kill himself after the film’s release, ROBOT MONSTER is one of my favorite comedies. It sits up there with MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE (1966) and THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS (1961) as a film that never fails to bring tears to my eyes with its glorious, all encompassing badness. This sucker’s low budget didn’t even allow for a robot costume, thus we get the gorilla outfit, obviously the closest thing to a robot. Almost as funny as the costume is the bubble machine hanging around Ro-Man’s base of operations. Maybe it’s really Lawrence Welk behind the diving helmet…
Shot in 3-D (!) and scored by a young Elmer Bernstein (!), ROBOT MONSTER is….hell, I can’t finish this sentence. The shock of writing Bernstein’s name next to a title called ROBOT MONSTER has stopped all forward thought. Not that I had much more to add to the piece. A film like ROBOT MONSTER doesn’t warrant much of an overview. Anything more might come across as just plain mean. So watch the trailer, laugh for a minute and then go and watch the film and laugh for a little over an hour. And blow some bubbles while you’re at it.
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