Saturday, 23 November 2013
The Amazing Transparent Man (1957)
Clocking in at a mere 57 minutes kind of opens this film up for jokes about being 'vanishingly' short. Apart from such puntastic commentary, however, what does it offer us? Well, honestly, not a whole lot. It's a very cheaply made film, and that shows through in the acting and 'effects'. I've definitely seen worse films, though.
The plot revolves around a safecracker named Faust, who gets half bribed, half blackmailed into assisting one Major Kenner in the theft of an experimental radioactive substance named X13. Kenner has kidnapped a scientist's daughter and is using her to blackmail her father into helping him develop a means of turning people invisible via 'super x-rays' (so much better than the regular kind of x-rays!). However, the process is not perfected, and the X-13 is necessary for further research. So they turn Faust invisible so he can go steal stuff so they can ... make more people invisible. It's not the world's best thought out plan really, but apparently Kenner has dreams of conquering the world with an invisible army. So he's not the sanest of employers.
Faust's not too keen on the whole thing, as he'd really rather use his invisibility to steal lots of money and then run off to Mexico with it. The ongoing power struggle between him and Kenner is a major part of the narrative.
Not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but the brevity of the film helps it not outstay its welcome too much.