Robot Monster – 1953
Robot Monster - released June 23, 1953. Directed by Phil Tucker
Legendary low-budget film (shot for a reported $16,000) which then grossed to over a million dollars in box office. Usually listed as one of the "awful" but funny sci-fi films of the 1950s, the story itself actually has a logical (and clever) structure, and Elmer Bernstein's music is not the average sci-fi soundtrack.
Visually the movie rarely can get away from it's low budget origins, and the "monster" is a bizarre deep-sea-diving-helmet-gorilla-suit combo. When the outer space "ro-man" (from the planet Ro-Man) moves about his cave headquarters, a hidden device churns out soap bubbles in the background, perhaps a substitute for a mist or fog machine, but certainly not a visual aid able to achieve the probable desired effect upon an audience.
A unique movie, earnest in the script and in the acting, more than a bit overwrought (in the style of 1950s dramas) and that is not exactly compatible with a Z-level sci-fi film, but all the same, Robot Monster is simply not the average "bad" 50's movie.
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Winner of the 2020 Peter C. Rollins Book Award
Longlisted for the 2020 Moving Image Book Award by the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation
Named a 2019 Richard Wall Memorial Award Finalist by the Theatre Library Association
Original Page July 2021