Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Amazing Transparent Man

In this 1960 thriller, a scientist creates an invisibility formula. It's used for the most obvious of uses -- to create an army of invisible zombies. Duh! Wouldn't everyone do that if they had an invisibility formula?
With this flick, we can add another element to our list of low-budget clichés: badly matched day for night shots. (I've always been convinced that one of the charges levelled at Ed Wood and Plan 9 From Outer Space, that Wood mixed day scenes and night scenes together simply isn't true. Wood shot a lot of his establishing shots and wide angles as day for night. He just wasn't very good at it and those shots don't match very well. But I digress.)
Major Paul Krenner is holding Professor Ulof against his will. Ulof has perfected an invisibility formula, but he needs more radium to complete his work. Krenner breaks a safe-cracker named Faust out of jail to steal more radium and advance Krenner's plan of world domination using AN ARMY OF INVISIBLE ZOMBIES!!!!
Krenner is double-crossed by Faust when he's turned invisible (using some surprisingly effective special effects) and begins pulling bank jobs on his own. (One of the guards has to "fight" the "invisible man" and does a terrific job of pretending to get beaten up.) Faust steals the radium anyway -- he'll need it to stay invisible and keep robbing banks, but this new radium is having strange effects on Faust -- he can't control his invisibility any longer.
Actually, this turned out to be a decent little thriller. Not amazing, but decent.

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