Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.
It was bad. I knew it would be bad and it was. But I didn’t know it would be THAT bad.
There are spoilers here, but don’t worry – you won’t care.
We kicked off the day with “Robot Monster”. I just went to check the release date (1953) and found this review on IMDB, which says it all:
“Robot Monster is the Citizen Kane of abysmal 1950s science fiction. It has everything modern viewers have come to expect from movies of this genre: a laughable plot line, completely improbable situations, ludicrous acting, unbelievably awful special effects, cheapjack production values, gaffes galore, and examples of how to fail miserably at every major aspect of motion picture production. For good measure it also sports easily the most ridiculous “monster” in the history of film! The plot is so thin that it can’t even be stretched comfortably over the film’s 66-minute running time without generous padding. A family, headed by the requisite German-accented scientist and including a “hot” chick, a “manly” guy, and two cutesy-poo kids wander through the desert after Earth has been annihilated by a guy in a gorilla suit wearing a plastic diving helmet.”
The film was so bad the director attempted suicide shortly after its release. The baddie is, quite literally, a man in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet. He is assisted by an incredibly ominous bubble machine. With this (presumed) weapon, he has already killed all but eight members of the human race. Later on, he strangles both of the cutesie-poo kids, throws the hot guy off a cliff, and attempts to romance the beautiful woman (which is actually sooooo creeepy).
Here are some quotes:
From ro-man’s boss, as he attempts to explain the “funny feeling” the hot chick gives him: “You sound like a hu-man, not a ro-man!”
From the hot guy to the hot girl (because they are having Relationship Difficulties – the type that gets resolved by Earth’s annihilation): “I’m bossy!? You’re so bossy you should be milked before you come home.”
When the hot girl wants to save the world by meeting ro-man for a date (shortly before her dad and boyfriend tie her up): “I know there’s some things good girls just don’t do, but. . .” (Side note: later, ro-man ties her up – presumably to make her feel at home on their date.)
From little miss cutesie-poo just before her death by strangulation (it’s worth noting that ro-man is VERY easy to outrun): “My daddy wouldn’t let you hurt me.” (Side note: Her daddy just (a) let her wander out of their impenetrable fortress (b) to deliver flowers to the young couple as they walk off the celebrate their honeymoon. . . alone, except for ro-man.)
At one stage, the young couple are a-wandering and ro-man appears (oh no!) Instead of both running away, the hot guy picks her up and runs away carrying her. Because good girls (apparently) don’t run. (Or walk quickly.)
After the hot girl is captured, the parents use their remaining child as bait (fyi, he dies). Meanwhile, ro-man attempts to date the hot girl while intercepting phone calls from his boss and the other humans (don’t you hate getting phone calls at innappropriate moments?)
Eventually his boss gets annoyed and releases dinosaurs (which pay no attention to any humans, but attack each other).
And then. . . ta da! It was all a dream!
OR WAS IT???????
The final shot is a shadowy ro-man emerging from his cave.
They liked that shot so much they played it three times – just in case someone missed it the first two times.
For our next film, we watched the 2008 film “Birdemic”.
Yep, that’s the title.
Perhaps the most succinct summary of everything that’s wrong with this film is the tagline: “Why did the birds and eagles attacked?”
1. Birds are eagles.
2. The “attacked” tells us that sometimes, speaking English as a second language really DOESN’T mean that you’ll write the greatest screenplay ever.
3. This whole tagline is a question the filmmakers are begging us to answer after we have seen their opus. The answer (as you’ll pick up twenty or thirty times during the film) is, “Because humans freakin’ deserve it for not looking after our planet.” And perhaps we do deserve to have our throats artfully ripped out by extremely slow-moving cardboard eagles.
But we don’t deserve this film.
The one thing the tagline lacks is some indication of the acting skills demonstrated in the movie, the special effects, and the writer’s odd software engineer fantasy. Believe it or not, the acting is worse in “Birdemic” than in “Robot Monster”. And so are the special effects. I know, I know: you don’t believe me. But don’t worry – it’s all right here:
And guess what? There’s talk of a sequel.
You can’t imagine the pain of the experience of (a) The extremely long lead-up to the first attack, during which time a lot of space is given to software engineers making millions, dating models, and high-fiving one another. (b) The migraine-inducing electronic shriek of the attacking birds, which happens every few minutes for the rest of the film.
One of my friends insisted on watching it to the bitter end. Another was visibly about to turn violent. I had to prep some fondue, STAT.
Anyway, here’s today’s killer robot (in this case a panhandling robot) from geekologie.com: