Installment number 6 in our series of horror-thriller movie write-ups. Written by Gavin A Go Go. This is The Invisible Man. Released in 1933.
The Lions Head Inn is in full swing, all fun and frolics. In walks a stranger, wrapped up head to toe and eyes covered with some peculiar glasses. The place goes quiet. The man demands a room be made up for him. Once shown to his accommodation he insists on absolute privacy.
Months later after falling behind on his rent and damages to the room he is asked to leave the inn. The landlord starts to clear the strangers equipment and this angers the tenant. A struggle develops between the two men resulting in the guest throwing the landlord down the stairs.
A police led mob try to apprehend the stranger but that’s the last straw! He throws his nose at them, then removes the glasses and takes off his bandages revealing that he is invisible. Laughing like a looney he removes all his clothes making him undetectable. The mob try to capture the man, but he easily escapes causing lighthearted chaos through the village.
This man is Jack Griffin, A scientist who months earlier left his hometown leaving only a note behind telling his mentor Dr Cranley, his partner Dr Kemp and his fiancee Flora Cranley that he has skipped town to carry out some experiments. He has gone in to hiding to try and develop an antidote to a previous experiment. An experiment that turned him invisible. This came to fruition while mixing a few simple chemicals, one of which is monocane. While this chemical may be the key to his invisibility, unbeknown to him, it is also making him insane.
Turning up at his former partner Dr Kemps house. Demanding warmth and clothing Griffin goes on to tell Kemp of how he came across his discovery and evil plans for murder and world domination and insists on Kemps partnership in his cause, but first they must return to the village to get Jacks notebooks.
Once Jack has his books, back at the Inn, the police are trying to get to the bottom of what they believe to be a hoax, only to become the subject of ridicule and ultimately death at the hands of Griffin. The doctors then make haste back to Kemps dwellings. Now the law begin to take the village seriously and start a nation wide search for the transparent mad man.
At Kemps house, Griffin retires for the night. Kemp takes this opportunity to go in to his study, lock the door and contact Dr Cranley and the police to let them know where the Invisible man is. During this time Flora learns of Jacks condition and insists on seeing him that very night.
Still in the study Griffin demands that Kemp unlock the door and forces him to go to bed. Passing a window Jack sees a car pull up. Initially thinking it’s the police he soon realises that it is his beloved and mentor. Insisting on seeing Flora alone he goes to prepare himself. While telling her of his motive of the experiment the megalomaniac goes on a rant of power during which he see’s the police approaching the house. Learning of his partners betrayal he promises Kemp that he will meet his maker at 10 o’clock the next night and scarpers.
Under interrogation about the Cranleys involvement in the case the police quickly learn the true identity of their fugitive.
On the run Griffin wreaks havoc of daylight robbery, carnage and an orgy of murder. How will they stop THE INVISIBLE MAN!!!!!!!
Adapted from H.G Wells’ sci-fi novel, Universal Studios released this great piece of cinema in 1933. Boris Karlof was first choice for the lead, but turned it down as he would have very little screen time, so he lost out Brixton born Claude Rains in his first American screen appearance. Rains got the part due to James Whale accidentally hearing Rains screen testing played in another room.
Director James Whale was also the force behind Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. Openly gay, which was virtually unheard of at the time, there is a myth that Whale claims to have The Invisible Man get totally undressed in the mob scene so as to get one over on the censorship comity by having a man fully disrobe on screen.
I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy this film as much as I did/do (I have watched at least 5 times since). It has very high camp factor and at times reminded me of Blackbeard’s Ghost meets Benny Hill, especially the scene where the mob are running around trying to arrest the shirt and the bike.
The effects are truly amazing for the time, hold up extremely well and are often said to have made the film as successful as it was.
The script is fantastic.
We’ll begin with a reign of terror, a few murders here and there, murders of great men, murders of little men – well, just to show we make no distinction. I might even wreck a train or two… just these fingers around a signalman’s throat, that’s all.
Is my personal favourite quote.
The thing I liked about this most was the cast, Everyone from the lead to the Policeman. My favourite would have to be the Landlady, shrill over exaggerated, almost ridiculous at times.
The Invisible Man t-shirt is absolutely perfect, brilliant colour, font and choice of images absolutely nail it. Grab yours now before they disappear!