Wednesday, October 08, 2008

31 Days of Halloween - Day 8 Movie 2

"The Invisible Man Returns" (1940) Is a fun sequel to the original, and does a nice job of finding an inventive way to continue with the invisibilty potion not only without repeating the plot of the original, but also with dealing with certain aspects of the original in an intelligent manner.

Geoffrey Radcliffe, an industrialist, is about to be executed for the murder of his brother. Naturally, he claims innocence. Just before his scheduled execution his final request is a visit from hi friend and employee, Dr. Frank Griffin, the chemist brother of teh scientist from the original movie. Radcliffe escapes prison in an invisible form and sets out to find the identity of his brother's true murderer before madness caused by the invisibility formula sets in. Griffin also races to beat the clock as he searches for an antidote for the invisibility formula before madness overcomes Geoffrey. This gives the film a nice ticking clock grown naturally out of an element introduced in the original film.

Cecil Kellaway plays an inspector from Scotland Yard searching for the escaped Geoffrey. Unlike other movies which would spend time building up to the revelation that Radcliffe used invisibility as his means of escape, Kellaway is onto it from the start, and the police in the film undertake a series of methods suitable for capturing a man you can't see, which in turn lead to the exhibition of some neat new special effects from John Fulton which suggest the invisible man's form in smoke and rain.

This movie, while not as playful as the original, is lighter in tone. Vincent Price makes for a gentler, more sympathetic Invisible Man than the fear inspiring madman portrayed by Claude Rains in the original, and his character displays some ingenious ways of evading capture.

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