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Friday, October 13, 2006


Directed by James Whale

Bringing this H.G. Wells narrative to life took some ingenious special effects and the end result was a milestone of inventive photographic trickery. Universal Studios was creating one ghastly success after another by 1933, but "The Invisible Man" may be the most clever and innovative. In addition to the still impressive camera magic employed to make the man vanish beneath his duds, viewers were also treated to a monumental acting performance. Now, I'm sure you've noticed that there is quite a rogues gallery of mentally unsound characters to be found in the history of horror cinema. There is no shortage of bug-eyed stares, unhinged cackles and psychotic wig outs. This is, after all, a genre well suited for depictions of the disordered mind, beginning with the off kilter madhouse sets of Caligari and threading right through a disorienting succession of rubber rooms along the way. But the performance delivered by Claude Reins in "The Invisible Man" easily distinguishes itself in this crowded asylum. What makes his performance all the more amazing is that it's essentially a vocal performance because he doesn't go completely nutso until he goes completely invisible. Then he babbles and laughs and raves his way right until his snowy demise. At the directorial helm was James Whale and his dry wit is found in full regalia here. I never sit through this movie without laughing out loud. Before moving on I should mention that for a short period of time I had dreams of being invisible obviously inspired by this film. Basically I ran around fucking with people and cackling like Claude Reins. Damn good dreams they were.


Blogger ThePropheticNumber5 said...

You just can't go wrong with Universal Horror. I'm glad you recognize how great all their movies are.

12:29 AM  

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