Robot Monster (1953)

robot monster poster 1953 movie
1 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10

Classic so-bad-it-is-good movie

Does almost everything wrong

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Robot Monster

Studio:  Three Dimensional Pictures, Inc.

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  June 24, 1953

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

robot monster ro-man great guidance

Feel my powerful lightning bolts from space!

Earth is doomed. An alien race has targeted mankind for extinction and sent Ro-Man to Earth to wipe out the last remaining human enclave. When a professor (John Mylong) creates a cure-all medication that protects himself and his family from Ro-Man’s death ray, he learns that he and his family could be humanity’s only hope. Ro-Man is bent on killing the professor and his family but finds he could have a problem when he falls in love with the professor’s daughter Alice (Claudia Barrett).

Directed by Phil Tucker, Robot Monster (also called Monster from Mars) is a B-Movie science-fiction horror film that was originally presented in 3D. The film was a modest success, but is largely ranked as one of the worst films of all time. The film was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in its second season (MST3K 2-07).

robot monster last humans cast

We’re humanity’s last hope (aka we’re screwed)

Robot Monster is a legendary film. The imagery of the “robot monster” is probably more seen than the actual film. I finally got to see Robot Monster in all its glory…and it is a weird movie.

The movie plays out a lot like Invaders from Mars. You have Johnny (Gregory Moffett) encountering the monster and then the monster slowly picking off members of his family. There are a couple of surprising deaths through the course of the film (like the young girl and the romantic lead), but it’s all ok because it gets the “it was just a dream” ending…with cliché “or is it?!?!” twist.

The cast largely delivers their lines without emotion or emphasis and the scripting doesn’t guide the audience much on its direction. George Nader and Claudia Barrett are the romantic leads while Gregory Moffett is the impish Johnny…but these are largely just cliché roles that the actors don’t live up to. I like of like George Barrows as the confused Ro-Man who seems completely non-threatening since he can barely move in his suit.

robot monster ro-man claudia barrett

I got me a woman!!!

The film was largely shot around the classic Bronson Cave in Los Angeles. In a black-and-white film, the monotone nature of the hills around there don’t necessarily stand out (and makes you question why the family decided to set down camp there). Ro-Man is the star however and his gorilla suit and diving helmet steal the show.

The movie’s failure was the film’s success. If the writer had been smart, he would have written off the bad acting and plot holes using the “it was just a dream” excuse, but he did not and the film is now a legend.  A dispute over the revenue from the movie allegedly pushed the director to attempt suicide and the legend of Robot Monster grew over the years. No, Robot Monster is one of those so-bad-it-is-good type of movies that be watched (quickly) and enjoyed in its awfulness. Beware…the Ro-Man is coming to get you but very, very slowly.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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