Ro-Man Holiday: ROBOT MONSTER (Astor Pictures 1953)


cracked rear viewer

My friends at The Film Detective are hosting a Drive-In Monster Movie Party all this month, and asked me to join in on the fun! When I received the list of movies they’re showing, I jumped at the chance to watch and review ROBOT MONSTER, that infamous no-budget classic directed by Phil Tucker, featuring an alien called Ro-Man who looks like a gorilla wearing a diving helmet. And honestly, how can you not love that!!

ROBOT MONSTER consistently makes critics’ all-time worst movie lists, derided for its technical ineptitude, overwrought acting, absurd dialog, and flat-out senselessness. It’s all that, to be certain, but I look at things through a different (some would say “shattered”) lens. First, did I enjoy it? The answer: a resounding yes! The movie may not be on a par with CASABLANCA or THE SEARCHERS , but it didn’t bore me or make me want to shut…

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Horror on the Lens: Robot Monster (dir by Phil Tucker)


Today’s horror film is a true classic of its kind, the 1953 science fiction epic Robot Monster.

Now, I should admit that this is not the first time that I’ve shared Robot Monster in October.  I share it every year and, every year, YouTube seems to pull the video down in November.  That sucks because Robot Monster is one of those weird films that everyone should see.  So, I’m going to share it again.  And, hopefully, YouTube will let the video stay up for a while.

As for what Robot Monster is about…

What happens with the Earth is attacked by aliens?  Well, first off, dinosaurs come back to life.  All of humanity is killed, except for one annoying family.  Finally, the fearsome Ro-Man is sent down to the planet to make sure that it’s ready for colonization.  (Or something like that.  To be honest, Ro-Man’s exact goal remains a bit vague.)

Why is Ro-Man so fearsome?  Well, he lives in a cave for one thing.  He also owns a bubble machine.  And finally, perhaps most horrifically, he’s a gorilla wearing a diver’s helmet.  However, Ro-Man is not just a one-dimensional bad guy.  No, he actually gets to have a monologue about halfway through the film in which he considers the existential issues inherent in being a gorilla wearing a diver’s helmet.

Can humanity defeat Ro-Man?  Will Ro-Man ever get his intergalactic supervisor to appreciate him?  And finally, why are the dinosaurs there?

All of those questions, and more, are cheerfully left unanswered but that’s a large part of this odd, zero-budget film’s considerable charm.  If you’ve never seen it before, you owe it to yourself to set aside an hour and two minutes in order to watch it.

You’ve never see anything like it before.

Enjoy!

Horror on the Lens: Robot Monster (dir by Phil Tucker)


Today’s horror film is a true classic of its kind, the 1953 science fiction epic Robot Monster.

Now, I should admit that this is not the first time that I’ve shared Robot Monster in October.  I share it every year and, every year, YouTube seems to pull the video down in November.  That sucks because Robot Monster is one of those weird films that everyone should see.  So, I’m going to share it again.  And, hopefully, YouTube will let the video stay up for a while.

As for what Robot Monster is about…

What happens with the Earth is attacked by aliens?  Well, first off, dinosaurs come back to life.  All of humanity is killed, except for one annoying family.  Finally, the fearsome Ro-Man is sent down to the planet to make sure that it’s ready for colonization.  (Or something like that.  To be honest, Ro-Man’s exact goal remains a bit vague.)

Why is Ro-Man so fearsome?  Well, he lives in a cave for one thing.  He also owns a bubble machine.  And finally, perhaps most horrifically, he’s a gorilla wearing a diver’s helmet.  However, Ro-Man is not just a one-dimensional bad guy.  No, he actually gets to have a monologue about halfway through the film in which he considers the existential issues inherent in being a gorilla wearing a diver’s helmet.

Can humanity defeat Ro-Man?  Will Ro-Man ever get his intergalactic supervisor to appreciate him?  And finally, why are the dinosaurs there?

All of those questions, and more, are cheerfully left unanswered but that’s a large part of this odd, zero-budget film’s considerable charm.  If you’ve never seen it before, you owe it to yourself to set aside an hour and two minutes in order to watch it.

You’ve never see anything like it before.

Enjoy!

Horror on the Lens: Robot Monster (dir by Phil Tucker)


Hi there and welcome to October!  This is our favorite time of the year here at the Shattered Lens because October is horror month.  For the past three years, we have celebrated every October by reviewing and showing some of our favorite horror movies, shows, books, and music.  That’s a tradition that I’m looking forward to helping to continue this year.

Let’s start things off by watching the 1953 sci-fi “classic,” Robot Monster!

Yes, Robot Monster is the movie where a gorilla wearing a diving helmet terrorizes that last surviving humans on Earth.  It also features some oddly placed dinosaur stock footage.  But, that being said … Robot Monster is a lot of fun.  There are few movies that have truly earned the “so bad that it’s good” label and Robot Monster is one of them.

Add to that, watching Robot Monster in October is kinda of a tradition in these parts!

Enjoy!

Horror on the Lens: Robot Monster (dir by Phil Tucker)


Robot Monster

I realize I shared this last year as well, but hey, it’s Robot Monster!  It’s a movie about what happens when Earth is invaded by a gorilla wearing a diving helmet.  (For some reason, it also causes the dinosaurs to come back to life.)  It’s one of the most compulsively watchable bad movies ever made so how could I be expected to resist the opportunity to share it again?

Seriously, it’s Robot Monster!

Horror on The Lens: Robot Monster (dir by Phil Tucker)


Robot Monster

Today’s horror film is a true classic of its kind, the 1953 science fiction epic Robot Monster.

What happens with the Earth is attacked by aliens?  Well, first off, dinosaurs come back to life.  All of humanity is killed, except for one annoying family.  Finally, the fearsome Ro-Man is sent down to the planet to make sure that it’s ready for colonization.  (Or something like that.  To be honest, Ro-Man’s exact goal remains a bit vague.)

Why is Ro-Man so fearsome?  Well, he lives in a cave for one thing.  He also owns a bubble machine.  And finally, perhaps most horrifically, he’s a gorilla wearing a diver’s helmet.  However, Ro-Man is not just a one-dimensional bad guy.  No, he actually gets to have a monologue about halfway through the film in which he considers the existential issues inherent in being a gorilla wearing a diver’s helmet.

Can humanity defeat Ro-Man?  Will Ro-Man ever get his intergalactic supervisor to appreciate him?  And finally, why are the dinosaurs there?

All of those questions, and more, are cheerfully left unanswered but that’s a large part of this odd, zero-budget film’s considerable charm.  If you’ve never seen it before, you owe it to yourself to set aside an hour and two minutes in order to watch it.

You’ve never see anything like it before.

Enjoy!

Book Review: The Eurospy Guide by Matt Blake and David Deal


Sometimes, believe it or not, I feel very insecure when I come on here to talk about movies because, unlike most of my fellow writers and the site’s readers, I’m actually pretty new to the world of pop culture and cult films.  Up until 8 years ago, ballet was my only obsession.  It was only after I lost that dream that I came to realize that I could feel that same passion for other subjects like history and writing and movies.  In those 8 years, I think I’ve done a fairly good job educating myself but there’s still quite a bit that I don’t know and, at times, I’m almost overwhelmed by all the movies that I’ve read so much about but have yet to actually see.  And don’t even get me started on anime because, honestly, my ignorance would simply astound you.  What I know about anime — beyond Hello Kitty — is pretty much limited to what I’ve read and seen on this site.  (I do know what a yandere is, however.  Mostly because Arleigh explained it to me on twitter.  I still don’t quite understand why my friend Mori kept using that as her own personal nickname for me back during my sophomore year of college but that’s a whole other story…)

The reason I started soul searching here is because I’m about to review a book — The Eurospy Guide by Matt Blake and David Deal — that came out in 2004 and I’m about to review it as if it came out yesterday.  For all I know, everyone reading this already has a copy of The Eurospy Guide in their personal collection.  You’ve probably already spent 6 years thumbing through this book and reading informative, lively reviews of obscure movies.  You may already know what I’ve just discovered.  Well, so be it.  My education is a work in progress and The Eurospy Guide has become one of my favorite textbooks.

The Eurospy Guide is an overview of a unique genre of films that started in the mid-60s and ended with the decade.  These were low-budget rip-offs — the majority of which were made in Italy, Germany, and France — of the Sean Connery-era James Bond films.  These were films with titles like Code Name: Jaguar, Secret Agent Super Dragon, More Deadly Than The Male, and Death In a Red Jaguar.  For the most part, they starred actors like George Nader, Richard Harrison, and Eddie Constantine who had found the stardom in exploitation cinema that the mainstream had never been willing to give to them.  They featured beautiful and underappreciated actresses like Marilu Tolo and Erika Blac and exotic, over-the-top villainy from the likes of Klaus Kinski and Adolfo Celi.  Many of these films — especially the Italian ones — were directed by the same men who would later make a name for themselves during the cannibal and zombie boom of the early 80s.  Jess Franco did a few (but what genre hasn’t Jess Franco experimented with) and even Lucio Fulci dabbled in the genre.  Their stories were frequently incoherent and, just as frequently, that brought them an undeniably surreal charm. 

And then again, some of them were just films like Operation Kid Brother, starring Sean Connery’s younger brother, Neil.  (Operation Kid Brother was an Italian film, naturally.)

Well, all of the films — from the good to the bad (and no, I’m not going to add the ugly) — are covered and thoroughly reviewed in The Eurospy Guide.  Blake and Deal obviously not only love these films but they prove themselves to be grindhouse aficionados after my own heart.  Regardless of whether they’re reviewing the sublime or the ludicrous, they approach each film with the same enthusiasm for the potential of pure cinema run amuck.  It’s rare to find reviewers who are willing to pay the same respect to a film like The Devil’s Man that they would give to a sanctioned classic like The Deadly Affair.

Along with reviewing a countless number of films, Deal and Blake also include two great appendices in which they detail the review some of the film franchises that came out of the genre and provide biographies of some of the more prominent stars of the eurospy films.

The highest compliment I can pay to The Eurospy Guide is that, even with all the various films guides I own (and I own a lot), I found films reviewed and considered in this book that I haven’t found anywhere else.  Everytime I open this book, I learn something that, at least to me, is new.  The book was an obvious labor of love for Blake and Deal and I love the results of their labor.

So, if you already own a copy, you rock. 

And if you don’t, order it.