CineSavant Column

Saturday November 19, 2022



A few weeks back I whined to a couple of my closer associates (co-conspirators) that it was over a year ago (July 27, ’21 to be exact) that the Kickstarter campaign to restore Phil Tucker’s immortal Robot Monster in 3-D was announced. Not being content with two recent major 3-D releases (I, the Jury and The Diamond Wizard), we of course thought, where’s Ro-Man?  No Ro-Man under the Christmas tree this year?  Frankly, we’ll be happy if The Martian Intelligence pays us a visit before New Years’ Eve. That miracle disc may become a ‘best-of’ item for 2023, who knows?

No, 2022 won’t be The Year of the Automatic Billion Bubble Machine. That’s not a complaint, as this kind of work can’t be rushed. Earlier in the year a rumor went around that a raw scan from a good film source was taking its sweet time, and we’d rather see a final 3-D Archive restoration that’s uncompromised. A couple of this year’s special editions of vintage ’50s sci-fi have been a little wanting — for every gem remastered from an original film element, there’s a disc with a less desirable pedigree. We’re collectors, so we want them all.

Bob Furmanek just sent a press release out to his Kickstarter subscribers, a status report on the progress of the Herculean Robot Monster 3-D project. Bob now expects the disc to ship in Spring of ’23. Instead of waiting in a holding pattern, they’ve finally received the ‘master files.’ Their expert “Greg Kintz is now in the home stretch on his shot-by-shot stereoscopic panel-matching and alignment. He is currently in the process of getting master files of the first several reels out to Thad Komorowski for his digital clean-up expertise.”

We take Phil Tucker’s movie seriously at CineSavant — it’s one of the most entertaining oddities in ’50s filmmaking, and a milestone in the 3-D boom. I’m told that its 3-D illusions are excellent — although I’m curious to see what those weird stock shot montages are going to look like. This is going to be a real treat.

We’re grateful that the Archive gives us the occasional inside story on a favorite picture they’ve restored, like last July’s non- 3-D Jack and the Beanstalk, the Abbott and Costello musical. My only wish for Furmanek & Co. — update your excellent website!



A new batch of Viavision [Imprint] titles just came in. We’re already got one in the review hopper. But also just announced is the company’s February 2023 lineup, spine numbers 198 through 203.

Some of the special editions were released a number of years ago by Olive Films, but there are a couple of surprises as well: Edward Dmytryk’s The Mountain , George Stevens’ Something to Live For, William Wyler’s Carrie, John Berry’s The Bad News Bears Go to Japan, Otto Preminger’s Hurry Sundown, and Daniel Petrie’s Resurrection.

I’ll definitely be asking to review several of these.



I was just going to swipe this graphic from a post on the This Isn’t Happiness page, just because I liked the funny message. Then I checked out the blog it came from, The Fabulous Fifties. The blog is in its tenth year. I’m not sure, but the  author’s name could be Ger Apeldoorn.

The Fabulous Fifties appears to be 100% concerned with Comics and Comic Strips. The panel taken comes from the November 13 entry, which is concerned with an old strip from 1954-’55 called The Lone Spaceman.

I checked out some the blog’s earlier entries — there are a lot of comics to be seen here and Mr. Appledorn’s comments seem informed and thoughtful … one page about artist Wallace Wood is packed with bizarre parodies of famous cartoon strips (scroll down to Feb. 21, 2012).

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson