Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon, here again to review yet another Universal monster movie. This time I watched The Invisible Man. Or did I? Can you really watch someone who is not visible? Anyway, I watched the movie from 1933 starring Claude Rains. I do intend to do a review of the more current Invisible Man as a compare and contrast but I haven’t watched it yet.
For this movie, it’s from 1933 so I probably don’t need to tell you that there will be spoilers below. But still consider yourself warned. If you get the creepy feeling that someone is the room with you telling you not to read further it’s not me but it could be The Invisible Man.
If you look at the previous Universal films you’ll notice something interesting. Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy have relatively low body counts. Sure, Dracula did kill everyone on a boat and he had terrorized everyone in his home country to the point that everyone was afraid. Frankenstein (well his monster that is) killed a few people and again terrorized his home town relentlessly. Imhotep aka the mummy, brought himself back from the dead and murdered a few people to regain his lost love. But you know what? They were not just regular humans. At one point they may have been but Dracula is thousands of years old. Frankenstein’s monster is more a collection of people than a single man. Imhotep is the closest to being a regular human but he comes from an ancient society with a different set of rules and magic on his side. You know what The Invisible Man had? A bit of science, some bandages, a wig, and a desire to cause a ton of chaos. This guy has a huge body count compared to the other monsters. And he seems to do bad things because he enjoys them.
I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. So the basic plot is that a man discovers a solution that can make you invisible. This man is a scientist and he goes off to an inn to try and work in seclusion and cure his condition. The problem? This solution drives you insane. He decides it would be fun to, you know, murder a bunch of people and by golly he does it. He derails an entire train at one point. A whole town can’t catch him and he enlists partners to help him in his criminal enterprises.
To modern audiences there are a lot of things that seem silly in the movie. A bicycle riding by itself with a voice over, things moving where you can see string if you look close enough, and film tricks like superimposing images so it looks like there is no head on a body. In 1933 these things were fairly innovative and left audiences shocked. What I really found shocking was the gleefully deviant attitude of the main character. I mean, this guy really likes to cause trouble and no one is gonna stop him.
The film is very entertaining if you can get over the older effects and I can see why someone like this would still be scary today. If you have never watched this, do yourself a favor and give it a view.