Posted Fri Jun 2, 2023 at 09:51 AM PDT by Matthew Hartman
In collaboration with The Great Guidance, the team at 3-D Film Archive have masterfully and lovingly restored 1953’s ultra-low-budget classic B-Movie Robot Monster to its full 3-D glory - and it’s amazing! Shot on location in Bronson Canyon on a budget of around $16,000 dollars over four days, Phil Tucker’s creation may be one of the silliest films ever made but it was a box office smash and proof that some amazing 3-D photography could be achieved with very very little. I was among one of the fortunate few Hu-Mans to get to see the great and powerful Ro-Man as he was meant to be seen on the big screen.
On May 17th, a gathering of my fellow 3-D enthusiasts caught a double-feature screening of Abbott and Costello’s Jack and the Beanstalk and Robot Monster at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University campus hosted by 3-D Film Archive’s Bob Furmanek and Greg Kitnz. The evening opened with Jack and the Beanstalk which was a marvelous restoration effort (see our Blu-ray review) and it was quite something to see it projected in front of an audience. Before I’d only seen the film at home and I thought it was entertaining, but the humor and child-like fun are best experienced with an audience.
But the main attraction of the night was most certainly Robot Monster. After years of neglect at the hands of a recently departed rights holder, Bob and Greg and the rest of the 3-D Film Archive team were finally able to restore this three-dimensional gem and the results were amazing. Prior to this viewing I’d only been able to experience Robot Monster in 3-D on a terrible Anaglyph tape. On top of the generally bad Anapglyph work, large segments were flat without any dimension at all. Up to that point, the best visual experience I’ve had with the film was thanks to the hilarious spin on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
This restoration was a treat as soon as I popped on my Dolby Cinema 3D Glasses! As anyone out there collecting 3-D Film Archive’s wide range of classic three-dimensional films knows well, Bob Furmanek, Greg Kintz, and the rest of the restoration team are miracle workers. They can take something as abused and neglected as Revenge of the Shogun Women and restore it to something grand. After an amazingly successful Kickstarter campaign, Robot Monster is another amazing achievement. Apparently sourced from the best print elements available, the film has never looked this good in many, many decades. It may be one damned goofy movie but you can now fully appreciate the wide range of techniques and visual tricks Phil Tucker and his crew accomplished in very little shooting time with barely two months of post-production.
Watching George Barrows march around in a hundred-pound gorilla suit in the middle of a hot California summer is one thing, but it’s striking to see it in properly restored 3-D! And thankfully I wasn’t the only one there having a blast. Surveying the audience, everyone there looked and sounded like they were enjoying every goofy minute! I was grateful my calendar suddenly opened up and I could afford the time to trek the three hours into Buckeye territory because it was worth catching both of these films on the big screen with a Hu-Man audience but on July 25th you can bring Ro-Man home!
3-D Film Archive has teamed up with Bay View Entertainment to distribute Robot Monster on Blu-ray July 25th and it's now up for pre-order! The release will come with a standard digital 3-D perfect for your still-surviving 3-D Television or your awesome home theater projector. Now if you don’t have a 3-D TV or projector, a Red/Blue Anaglyph 3D version will be included so you can experience this film as it was meant to be seen on any home theater setup! 2D will be available too, but honestly, 3D is where it’s at. And more big-screen showings are on the way! Keep an eye on 3-D Film Archive’s Facebook Page or if you were a Kickstarter backer, tickets for future screenings will be going up for pre-order soon. We don’t have exact dates, times. or locations but when we do you can make sure we’ll let you all know so you secure your seat to the best show in town!
For an extra bit of fun, if you live in or near Pasadena, California and plan on going to Monsterpaluza, you can meet little Johnny himself! Actor Gregory Moffett will be in attendance signing autographs and taking your Robot Monster Blu-ray orders!
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