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Ro-Man, an alien that looks remarkably like a gorilla in a diving helmet, has destroyed all but six people on the planet Earth. He spends the entire film trying to finish off these survivors, but complications arise when he falls for the young woman in the group. Love that bubble machine! Written by
Ray Hamel <email@example.com>
The first time I saw this, in the '60s, I managed to catch clips off of a late night Creature Feature that cut the crap out of the movie to insert commercials. Thus it made little sense. However, the images that I did see never left me and I have been haunted with the desire to see it again in its entirety. Over the years I managed to catch even more clips but never the entire movie. Nevertheless I was still intrigued by a certain something. Finally I just flat out bought the DVD.
I watched it twice in a row and discovered that this is really quite a little gem. When you finally realize what is going on (which I certainly won't tell you) it makes perfect sense in a 1953 flavor. The important thing to remember is that it is from a child's limited experience and point of view. Once that is realized it becomes great fun.
Perhaps the best part is Elmer Bernstein's score. It kind of does for this movie what Max Stein did for 'King Kong'. The mood is set. Things become a bit surreal and eerie. You become unbalanced. This is good because upon first viewing it throws you a curve and suddenly you aren't in Kansas anymore. How did this happen? It isn't explained until the end, but all at once we have stock footage of dinosaurs fighting(both actual lizards and stop-motion animated models) and a large armadillo walking through the scene. Why? It makes no sense....at first. It is certainly a bit upsetting to your reality though.
Then we discover that the entire word's population is gone with the exception of a handful of people because of Ro-man and ensemble taking over the world. As you know Ro-man is a guy in a gorilla suit sans gorilla head which is replaced by a goofy space helmet. He has a bubble machine (for some reason) and a communication device at the entrance of this cave. His mission is to kill off the rest of the remaining humans. Piece o cake? Nope. Crafty humans have accidentally figured a way to cloak their exact location.
The acting is not good but I have the strangest feeling it was completely on purpose to unbalance the viewer. The same holds true for much of the logic. But in the end that is OK when you discover what has really happened. As soon as that is revealed you will groan and wonder what you missed that might have explained this earlier in the film. No, you didn't miss anything. The movie leads you where it wants you to go and reveals nothing until it wants you to know. Then, if you're dedicated, you will watch it again and perhaps enjoy it much more like I did. I also discovered that while it is logically lame it is never flat out stupid. There really is a method to the filmmaker's madness here.
This movie is cheesy and cheap - it probably wouldn't have worked any other way. Because of Bernstein's music and some of the work by the sound department this movie can even raise your sense of unease. This is good! It doesn't try to scare the Hell out of you but tries to convey a story - which is somewhat interesting from a 1953 point of view.
Bottomline: I personally like this movie and will see it again. I think David Lynch should try a remake. It has some of the same qualities as some of his films for developing a sense of the surreal.
I give it a 4.
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