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Robot Monster

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Robot Monster (1953) - one of the worst films ever made!
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Speaking of cheesy monster movies — here’s Robot Monster. Ro-Man, an alien that looks like a gorilla in a diving helmet, has destroyed all but six people on the planet Earth. He spends the film trying to finish them off. Until he falls for the young woman in the group. Love that bubble machine!

Great One: Earth Ro-Man, you violate the laws of plans. To think for yourself is to be like the hu-man.
Ro-Man: Yes! To be like the hu-man! To laugh! Feel! Want! Why are these things not in the plan?
Great One: You are an extension of the Ro-Man, and a Ro-Man you will remain. Now, I set you into motion. One: destroy the girl. Two: destroy the family. Fail, and I will destroy you!

and the dialog gets worse …


  • According to the Medved brothers’ book “The Golden Turkey Awards,” director Phil Tucker attempted suicide after the film was released because critical reaction was so negative. He put a gun next to his head, pulled the trigger, and missed.
  • The scenes on the viewscreen presented by Ro-Man come from a variety of sources. Shots of New York in apocalyptic ruins are matte paintings by Irving Block from Captive Women. Shots of the headquarters of the Great Guidance (a rocket ship in launching position) was originally created for Rocketship X-M, also painted by Block.
  • After the lightning flash, dinosaurs fight, and the footage comes from other films. The large lizards are from One Million B.C. (1940). One brief shot of two stop-motion triceratops fighting is from Lost Continent.
  • Listed among The 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson’s book “The Official Razzie Movie Guide.”
  • This was of the most lucrative movies of its day, with a box office of more than $1 million on a budget of $20,000. 

Editorial Review of Robot Monster courtesy of

Phil Tucker’s Robot Monster has rightfully earned a place in the pantheon of bad movies over the years, and for good reason–it makes anything done by Ed Wood look like an Orson Welles masterpiece. Picture, if you will, a gorilla in a diving helmet (the Ro-Man) who wipes out all of the Earth’s population except for one family (the Hu-Mans), whom he terrorizes through the rest of the film. From his headquarters in a Bronson Canyon cave, he communicates with his superiors via World War II surplus radio gear and a Lawrence Welk-style bubble machine, then shambles around the woods looking for his quarry.

The plot of this post-holocaust sci-fi nonsense is hardly worth going into past that point, except to say that it’s stupendously, staggeringly awful filmmaking. It’s even more incredible when you consider that the writers and director undoubtedly believed that they were making a deep, serious, grave statement about the horrors of nuclear war… and wound up with several reels of celluloid flotsam.

Any self-respecting fan of bad cinema who hasn’t seen this notorious wreck of a movie isn’t worth his or her salt. Poor Phil Tucker–when Robot Monster was released, it received such a thorough shellacking that he tried to commit suicide. Tucker failed, though, and went on to make the even less comprehensible Broadway Jungle and the marginally better Cape Canaveral Monsters–Jerry Renshaw

Cast of characters

  • George Nader (The Female Animal) … Roy
  • Claudia Barrett … Alice
  • Selena Royle (The Fighting Sullivans) … Mother
  • John Mylong (His Kind of Woman) … The Professor
  • Gregory Moffett (Let’s Dance) … Johnny
  • Pamela Paulson … Carla
  • George Barrows … Ro-Man the Monster / Great Guidance
  • John Brown (Abe Lincoln in Illinois) … Ro-Man / Great Guidance (voice)

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