Monster of the Day, #4 Updated on April 12, 2010 By Ken Begg 23 Comments So, where does ‘must’ and ‘cannot’ meet on the graph? UPDATE: Sandy Petersen provides the answer: Tweet Pin It Related PostsMonster of the Day 1589 (Jun 22, 2017) Monster of the Day #1588 (Jun 21, 2017) Monster of the Day #1587 (Jun 20, 2017) Monster of the Day #1586 (Jun 19, 2017) Monster of the Day #1585 (Jun 16, 2017) By Ken Begg http://jabootu.net Ericb The lady looks like she’s laughing. I bet it was hot in that getup. Ken Begg Dude, clearly that’s a rictus of pure terror. I always feel sorry for George Barrows when I watch that movie; huffing up and down all those hills in his gorilla suit, topped with a helmet. It must have been horrible, and he basically did it as a favor to Phil Tucker. On the other hand, the film has given him immortality, of a sort. Dr. Whiggs Well, this got silly in a hurry. Mr. Rational Poor Ro-Man. He looks like a pooped-out pinwheel. BeckoningChasm I would imagine that Mr. Barrows is probably better known for this film than for any other he appeared in. In fact, I couldn’t name one of his other films off the top of my head. monoceros4 The graph has a singularity at x = ‘negative, negative, negative.’ GalaxyJane “Gorilla at Large” Is it sad that I knew that off the top of my head? In my questionable defense, GAL was the first flick I ever saw in 3-D, I suspect hosted by Count Gore de Vol on DC 20. BeckoningChasm I actually transcribed the entire “Robot Monster” script. Tork_110 They have to milk her before she comes home at night. Mr. Rational BC: You’re a brave man/wo-man/Ro-Man to risk that sort of mental damage. If you don’t mind my inquiring, why on earth did you do such a crazy thing? Ken Begg Jane — No, because Gorilla at Large is a very fun film, and the DVD presentation of it is GORGEOUS. cavalier When people get pretentious about movies, I like to trot out my pet/play theory on Robot Monster. Since it’s the boy’s dream, it can all be symbolic and we can write off plot flaws as mistakes in the dream itself. So we are really dealing with a boy’s budding heterosexuality causing a war between his emotional and rational sides. Ro-Man symbolizes this as he is both emotional (shown by the gorilla body) and rational (shown by the space helmet). It goes on from there, and it can go pretty far afield, but it’s fun when folks talk up movies as having ‘subtle metaphors’ or ‘layers of meaning’ that the rest of us ‘just don’t get.’ Rock Baker I would’ve thought Barrows’ would be best known for Konga. Even today, when I see him pop up in something like, oh, Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, I still think of the gorilla as being ‘the Konga suit.’ BeckoningChasm Mr. Rational: “Robot Monster” was on the first, out of print version of “50 Sci Fi Classics.” Since I didn’t really think I could add anything original to the various discussions on the film (it, like Plan 9, Casablanca and Citizen Kane is pretty well talked-out), I decided I’d just transcribe what’s on screen. If you’d like to read, it’s here http://beckoningchasm.com/words/robotmonsterscript.html Ericb “So we are really dealing with a boy’s budding heterosexuality causing a war between his emotional and rational sides. Ro-Man symbolizes this as he is both emotional (shown by the gorilla body) and rational (shown by the space helmet).” A budding heterosexuality focused on his sister … Sandy Petersen To think, to feel, why are these not part of the Plan? roger h So when Ro-man kills his little sister, Johnny is actually killing the more feminine side of his androgynous-child personality. fascinating Ken Begg “Since it’s the boy’s dream, it can all be symbolic and we can write off plot flaws as mistakes in the dream itself.” Yeah, I didn’t take it that far, but I did note that in my review that the dream element did mean the film, arguably, isn’t nearly as dumb as it appears on face value. Rock Baker Looking at it as a comic book influenced dream of a hyper little kid, I watched the film again and it did come off as SLIGHTLY less moronic. Not much, but slightly. I’d be interested in knowing if Ro-man showed up in any other films besides Lobster Man From Mars and Looney Toons: Back in Action. Anyone know of any? I can’t really be sure of this, but it seems like there might’ve been a Ro-man gag in a Pinky and The Brain cartoon…. Luke Blanchard A Robot Monster homage appeared in Fantastic Four #137 from 1973. There’s a Scott Shaw column on the issue at http://www.oddballcomics.com/article.php?story=archive2001-07-11 . cavalier The sister presents domestication of the male spirit. The opening exchange sums it up nicely (hat tip to Beckoning Chasm): Carla: Am I dead? Johnny: You’re disintegrated! Carla: Good, does that mean we can play house now? Also note that both Roy and Ro-man have initial hostility towards Alice yet both end up falling for her, very different results. The consequences of rejection hang heavy upon little Johnny. Are the similar names ‘Roy’ and ‘Ro-Man’ intentional? What this all really means is you can subscribe meaning to a movie if you work at it a bit. It also mean I need to get a job in an academic library. It’s bad when Robot Monster is your thought exercise. Mr. Rational Oh, Lord. People are PARSING “Robot Monster.” Chasm, I’m impressed. Mightily scared, but impressed. I bow before you. sandra I’d say Ro-Man is in the three-way tie with the bird from The Giant Claw and the guy in the wetsuit with pin-pong balls eyes from It’s Alive for the title of Lamest Monster In The History of F Cinema.