The Invisible Man (1933)
Directed by: James Whale. Written by: R.C. Sherriff, based on the novel by H.G. Wells.
Plot: Like the title would imply - there’s a man, he’s invisible, holy shit. It is based on an H.G. Wells novel so not too thick on the plot... A mad scientist type (Claude Rains, though we only see him for like three seconds at the end) invents a serum that causes invisibility, which he uses on himself. Little does he know, one of the ingredients is known to cause insanity and he basically turns into a mega asshole (actually a lot like an invisible Jekyll and Hyde). The other thing he forgot to do was come up with a way to make himself visible again, which turns him into even more of an asshole. But, you know, he enjoys it while it lasts. Running around England (or wherever - I think I remember English accents though maybe it was just Una O'Connor) and robbing banks and trying to take over the world. Admit it, that’s what you would do.
Review: Like I said, this movie isn’t terribly heavy on the plot. Most of it involves the titular character wandering around alternately mumbling about how much it sucks to be invisible and screaming about global domination (or whatever). So, he’s sort of a fun character. In the meantime, his colleagues try to find some way to make him visible and his girlfriend (Gloria Stuart, who is a total babe) tries to talk him out of killing people and robbing banks.
But the plot and all that is not what makes this movie the shit. It’s the special effects. I hate to be one of those people who likes a movie only because of it’s FX (and this movie does have other merits - like… Claude Rains! Claude Rains is awesome. And Una O’Connor), but the FX in this movie kick some major fuckin ass. Think about it.
I haven’t really watched that many ‘making of’ documentaries (I find them tedious) but the newer ones I have seen usually go on and on about the great CGI they did or whatever. You know, “we brought the Hulk to life” and shit like that, and I really get the sense that these people are extremely impressed by all the crap they can do with computer graphics. How far movie FX have come.
This movie was made in 1933, and the FX are vastly superior to any CG I have seen ever. Don’t believe me? Go watch fuckin Hollow Man. That movie sucked so much ass and so did the FX. Invisible Man schools Hollow Man. God. I hate CG so fuckin much. The only things that look good are hair and robots. Everything else looks like shit. And ya know what, I couldn't give two craps about Avatar. James Cameron basically lost my support by making one too many documentaries about the Titanic (okay, he only made two and one of them was actually about the Bismarck, but whatever). Like, come on. Yeah, it's interesting but not that interesting.And furthermore... I'm just not that stoked. Yes, I thought Aliens and The Terminator were good movies, but everything I hear about Avatar leaves me pretty cold.
(EDIT: I watched Avatar and hated it, so... there you go)
But enough about that. This film also has that special James Whale charm, that sort of obnoxious but endearing sense of humour (not overdoing it quite as much as in, say, Bride of Frankenstein, but almost), which makes it all the more enjoyable. Mmyep. This movie is pretty cool.
Favourite Part: The invisible man rides a bicycle. Very cool. All we see are his trousers. I found this neat, although it did remind me of that creepy Dr. Seuss story about the pale green pants with nobody inside them (what really creeped me out the most about that story is that the pants can talk. How can pants talk? Seriously. I need fucking answers here! I am still immensely disturbed by that. I'm pretty sure Dr. Suess really fucked me up. Just sayin.).
Other versions: There are a couple although the only one I’m really familiar with is the aforementioned pile of shit known as Hollow Man, which doesn’t even credit the novel out of shame. The shame!
Sequels: The Invisible Man Returns (exactly the same as this movie only the guy is Vincent Price and he doesn’t die at the end), The Invisible Woman (as stupid as it sounds), The Invisible Agent (stupider than it sounds) and The Invisible Man’s Revenge (actually pretty good)
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