we watched Forbidden Planet last night. I’d never seen it!
It is a very cheaply made film. It takes place mostly on a sound stage in front of a couple of different trippy paintings and it has one of the most poorly designed robots in film history. If you could build a robot that could instantly synthesize any material, including 400 pints of kentucky bourbon, and who could speak 180 languages why would you make him basically an unwieldy bulky man-size thing who can barely walk and whose arms are too short to carry things with two hands? Also why would you name it “Robby.”
1950s sci-fi is so conservative. The premise of this film is these earth dudes, led by a shockingly hunky Leslie Nielsen, fly 100 billion light years or whatever to go check on these scientists who were sent to colonize “an earth-like planet” 20 years before (much like in “Interstellar,” the timing of the film’s plot doesn’t quite add up if you ask me). The crew of the ship appears to be 20 hunky white dudes and one horny cook who is obsessed with dames and who is inexplicably in every scene, wearing his stained apron. Like he’s one of the first people to step out of the spaceship and set foot on this alien world. The cook, in his stained apron. “What kinda nutty joint is this” etc. etc. And when the robot turns up to invite them to dinner, the cook is like “180 languages my foot, what I want to know is, ARE YOU A MAN OR A WOMAN????” This is what the robot looks like
The cook will later cause some hijinks involving kentucky bourbon, due to being mired in the existential angst of sexual repression. Several men will die
Speaking of sexual repression, and spoiler alert, it turns out that the entire central conflict of the film is that this one scientist ill-advisedly “doubled his intellectual capacity,” which somehow had the effect of unleashing his Id, which became a massive invisible creature that killed everyone else on the planet. The dreaded Id, noooo!!!!!! Is there anything worse to the 1950s than the Id?
Speaking of Id, it turns out this mysterious scientist whose Id killed everyone has a daughter, and it’s just been the two of them living on this planet for 20 years. Here is what the daughter looks like in every scene
except in one scene where she’s naked in a swimming pool and Leslie Nielsen sees her and quickly turns his back and says “Oh, MURDER.”
The men are enraged by her flimsily-clad body and all try to kiss her. She is completely uninhibited by culture because of living on this weird planet with her dad her whole life so she lets anyone kiss her who wants to. This further enrages everybody, especially Leslie Nielsen, who delivers this weird rant at her about how she deserves to get raped if that’s what she’s going to prance around wearing all the time. How dare she tease these good men? She’s like “dude this is my planet, I designed these clothes myself, what are you even talking about” and he’s like “THESE MEN HAVEN’T SEEN A WOMAN IN OVER A YEAR”
Somebody’s Id is about to kill a bunch of people! Just kidding that’s not what happens, but wouldn’t it be amazing if it did??
The daughter is barefoot in every scene, even when clomping along over rocks and grit, and she has the never-explained ability to tame wild creatures, including some very standard earth deer and earth tigers. So she is basically everything the 1950s was most violently trying to expunge from itself: uninhibited female sexuality, and a closeness with nature. Later Leslie Neilsen will kill her pet tiger with a blaster gun
Soon she will return to earth with him and finally attain her dream of sitting inside a house all day listening to the washing machine and wondering what orgasms are
The movie gets pretty psychedelic
It turns out there was this race of super-enlightened beings that lived on this planet two thousand centuries ago. The phrase “two thousand centuries” is repeated many, many times. “Two thousand centuries.” “Two….THOUSAND….centuries???” etc. Even though they lived two thousand centuries ago a bunch of their machines still work and so this scientist has been using them to try to learn about this wonderful race, which all died violently and all at once, two thousand centuries ago (unclear how he knows this). What happened to them? It turns out, after a series of extraordinarily long expository monologues during which I basically went into a trance state and came to a lot of good conclusions about how to revise the fourth chapter of my book, that this race of wondrous beings who lived two thousand centuries before had actually let their brain capacity get TOO high, which unleashed THEIR Ids!! Which killed them all instantly! How nice to know that no matter where you go in the universe, everyone you meet is struggling with the exact same inner sexual conflicts that Freud diagnosed as being unique to Western European culture, specifically because of Christianity. Oh well!
Anyway then the dad dies and the girl declares herself “united body and soul” with Leslie Nielsen (because if there’s one thing 1950s movies teach us it’s that the first man to scream at a woman that she ought to get raped will end up married to her) and so everything works out. They take the robot back to earth with them and the robot gets to fly the spaceship and is stoked. And nobody’s Id ever troubled them again!
Here is the cook seeing the 400 pints of Kentucky Bourbon the robot made for him. Id city! Somebody’s about to get DRUNK AS HELL and jeopardize everyone’s safety! JUST LIKE FREUD SAID