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Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

If anyone could fill the legendary Claude Rains’ shoes, it is definitely Vincent Price, one of the true masters of horror.  The Invisible Man Returns was Price’s first horror film and he fills the role with both pathos and humor.  It’s a wonderful take on the character and his performance is easily the best of all the sequels.

The story begins when Geoffrey Radcliffe [Price] is scheduled to hang for a murder he did not commit.  After a visit from his friend Dr. Frank Griffin, Radcliffe mysteriously vanishes from prison.  Then the “invisible man” sets out to settle the score while Griffin tries to find an antidote to his friend’s invisibility.

In addition to Price’s first rate performance, John Sutton [The Bat, Return of the Fly] is great as the good doctor and Alan Napier [Alfred from Batman] steals the show as Willie Spears.  His scenes with Price are mischievous and delightful.

This talented cast is in the capable hands of director Joy May who gave Fritz Lang [Metropolis, M] his start in German cinema and fled to America after the Nazi takeover of Germany.  May brings an old world, classic look to The Invisible Man that works very well.  It feels intimately connected to the original which was made in 1933  Milton R. Krasner’s cinematography is first rate and the special effects by David S. Horsley [Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein] and John P. Fulton [Vertigo, Rear Window] hold up well with age.

The Invisible Man is classic horror at its best.  Don’t miss it,

RATING: Excellent.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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