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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/robot-monster_319.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Our "hero".]]

->''"I cannot - yet I must. How do you calculate that? At what point on the graph do 'must' and 'cannot' meet? Yet I must - but I cannot!"''
-->-- '''Ro-Man [=XJ2=]'''

A 1953 BMovie, released in 3D, by Phil Tucker, ''Robot Monster'' is one of the most famous SoBadItsGood sci-fi films ever made. Simply put, it is about a family having a picnic in California and meeting an evil alien invader: the nefarious Ro-Man, who has used a special DeathRay to destroy all humans. But the family survived by taking [[AppliedPhlebotinum a special serum invented by their scientist dad]].

Using his amazing advanced galaxy-conquering technology -- you can tell, because it emits soap bubbles at moments of high drama -- Ro-Man must find a way around their defenses. The kicker is the Big Guy's also struggling with unforeseen human desires... oh, did we mention the scientist's nubile daughter? Not to mention her hunky lab assistant boyfriend, annoying younger brother and... Yeah, you figured? OK then.

So far, so run-of-the-mill. It could even be argued that hey, as compared to, say, ''[[Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate Manos]]'', this thing has an actual plot (though not a good one), also a soundtrack involving the onscreen actors speaking in their own voices. But no other classic bad movie can boast of [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ro-man2.jpg Ro-Man]], the titular "Robot Monster". Quoth the film's then-twentysomething ''auteur'', recalling the inspiration (and, not incidentally, budget) behind his lead character:

''"...I talked to several people that I knew who had robot suits, but it was just out of the way, money-wise. I thought, ‘Okay, I know George Barrows.’... When they needed a gorilla in a picture they called George, because he owned his own suit... I thought, ‘I know George will work for me for nothing. I’ll get a diving helmet, put it on him, and it’ll work!’"''

Well... no. At least, not in the way he intended.

In his book, ''On Writing'', Creator/StephenKing recalls seeing the movie as a kid, and says that he felt it was "art of quite a high nature"[[note]]In King's other non-fiction essay book, ''Danse Macabre'', King provides an account of the first time he saw the movie while high and "almost laughed [himself] into a hernia."[[/note]]. It was also Creator/JohnCarpenter's favourite film when he was a child.

For the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode see ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S01E07RobotMonster here]]''.
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!!''Robot Monster'' provides examples of:

%%* ThreeDMovie
* ActingForTwo: George Barrows as both Ro-Man and Great Guidance. It makes for some pretty cheesy fun, given that both characters have several conversations together but look almost exactly alike and have ''the exact same voice''.
* ActionFigureSpeech: The titular aliens, looking for all the world like a guy in a gorilla suit wearing a space helmet flailed around wildly while speaking.
* AfterTheEnd: It's explained that much of movie takes place after Ro-Man has (almost) completely wiped out human civilization.
%%* AllJustADream
%%* AndYouWereThere
%%* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Carla, Johnny's younger sister.
%%** Johnny himself is this too.
* ApocalypseHow: Starts off as a Class 3a, thanks to the the effect of the Calcinator Death Ray. [[spoiler:Later upgraded to a Class X, as the Great One gets pissed off at Ro-Man's failure to kill the humans and unleashes a "Q-Ray" which completely destroys the planet]].
%%* BMovie: And how!
* BullyingADragon: Johnny taunts Ro-Man from an apparently safe vantage point.
-->'''Johnny''': You look like a pooped-out pinwheel!\\
'''Ro-Man''': I will destroy you!
* DanBrowned: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq9IKsH9BXg The trailer]] claims, "''Robot Monster'' brings you an actual preview of the devestating forces of our future."
* DownerEnding: Disregarding the [[spoiler:AllJustADream]], this is a ''bleak'' movie.
%%* DeusExMachina
* EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs: They're apparently [[{{Slurpasaur}} baby alligators]] with fins glued to their backs. They don't bring much to the plot, as they are StockFootage from ''OneMillionBC''!
%%* EverythingIsBetterWithMonkeys: Well, sort of...
* EvilOverlord: The Great One (who is played and voiced by the same actor who does Ro-Man, except with a slightly different helmet).
* TheFaceless: Stockings, worn over the face and under the helmets, to convey the effect.
* FailOSuckyName: "Wyatt Ordung" was the film's screenwriter. ([[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 The bots]] take his name as a question, and choose "Wyatt".)
%%* FantasticRacism
* FollowTheLeader: ''Invaders From Mars'', released a month earlier.
* FunnyForeigner: It's unknown if the Professor was supposed to be one, but he certainly sounds like it (the actor playing him, John Mylong, was Austro-Hungarian).
* HeelFaceDoorSlam: Ro-Man ''almost'' seems like he's going to stop being a {{Jerkass}} at the end, but the Great One has other plans.
* [[FountainOfExpies Iconic Characters]]: Ro-Man: ''the'' classic BMovie monster of all time.
%%* IdiotBall
%%* InfantImmortality: Averted. Twice.
* InNameOnly: Ro-Man is supposed to be short for 'robot man'.
%%* {{Jerkass}}: Ro-Man. Seriously.
* KickTheDog: Ro-Man shows the family the destruction of humanity on their video screen. Why? Oh, ''just to make them feel shitty''.
%%* KidHero
* KillAllHumans: Eight are left at the start and it goes down from there.
%%* LogicBomb
* MadnessMantra: "I must... but I cannot..."
* MarsNeedsWomen: Actually justified in a weird way - Ro-Man has no idea why he wants to get into Alice's pants, and while he's struggling with it Great Guidance orders him to kill her, so he goes into the MadnessMantra.
* MechanisticAlienCulture: The film features Ro-Man... Appearing as a man in a gorilla suit with a deep sea diver's helmet, the alien invader's exact morphology is elusive. It seems to be a cyborg, it comes from an advanced civilization, it is able to resist radiation, and speaks in a typical [[RoboSpeak robotic]] [[CreepyMonotone style monotone]] [[{{Zeerust}} popular at the time in B-movies]]. However they are not simply constructs or tools, as we learn in the scene where the earth stationed Ro-Man contacts the leader of the Ro-Men, who is a similar diving helmeted gorilla-bodied biped.
* MomentKiller: The Great Guidance calls up Ro-Man at the most ''inopportune'' times....
* NamesTheSame: Ro-Man [=XJ2=] should not be confused with XJ-2, one of [[MyLifeAsATeenageRobot Jenny's]] older sisters.
%%* NiceHat: Ro-man's helmet.
%%* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Right there in the title.
%%* NotableOriginalMusic: By ElmerBernstein, of all people.
* OrWasItADream: [[spoiler: While it may have been Bobby's dream, it seems it could have been a clairvoyant dream.]]
* [[PeopleInRubberSuits People In Ape Suits And Diving Helmets]]
%%* TheProfessor: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin ...The Professor.]]
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Ro-Man has a gorilla body because there was no money for a robot costume, and the actor playing him already owned his own gorilla suit.
%%* RidiculouslyHumanRobots
* RobotAntennae: The villain Ro-Man's head is a space helmet with antennae sticking out of it.
%%* RobotNames
* RuleOfThree: The end? Nope, [[spoiler:Ro-Man comes out of a cave stretching his arms at the viewer!]] The end? [[spoiler:Put that funky shot again, boy!]] The end? [[spoiler:[[BeamMeUpScotty Play it again, Sam!]]]]
* ShaggyDogStory: The ending essentially renders the rest of the movie a moot point.
%%* ShirtlessScene
%%* SpockSpeak
%%* StockFootage
* {{Technobabble}}
--> '''Ro-Man''': I am ordered to kill you. I must do it with my hands.\\
'''Alice''': How is it you're so strong, Ro-Man? It seems impossible.\\
'''Ro-Man''': We Ro-Mans obtain our strength from the planet Ro-Man, relayed from individual energizers.
%%* TinMan
%%* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters
* VideoPhone: Ro-Man uses a video linkup to communicate with Great Guidance on the planet Ro-Man.
* VillainProtagonist: Technically, 'Villain is the Only Character Who Isn't a Trite Cliche', but close enough.
%%* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove
* YouAreNumberSix: The main Ro-Man differentiates from the others by his codename, [=XJ2=].
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