THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS
The Invisible Man Returns is a modestly enjoyable little effort. It invariably falls in the shadow of the superior Invisible Man. Director Joe May tries to mimic some of of James Whales sublime droll humour. There is a good deal of broad comic-relief with the gardener and Alan Napiers drunken nightwatchman. Occasional lines like Ill only believe hes invisible when I see him and images of the invisible man stealing a scarecrows clothes hit the mark in attaining some of Whales eccentricity.
Joe May and Curt Siodmak conduct some good setups. There is a good opening with Vincent Price about to be hanged only to make an escape from his cell when John Sutton goes to visit him and injects him with the invisibility serum, he simply walking out once the police think he has vanished. There are some fine scenes during the police manhunt around the house masked bobbies moving through the house spraying smoke only to have the Invisible Man emerge from a door and grab the last one in line and then emerge hidden behind the bobbys clothes and gas mask and walk out in the midst of it all carrying Nan Grey. There is a fine scene with John Sutton and Nan Grey dining with Vincent Price where they suddenly realise that his ideas are becoming increasingly more maniacal and that his mind has been affected by the serum. All in all it is a surprisingly modest and clever little film. The effects where we see a lab animal and human gradually becoming visible from the skeleton to the epidermis predates similar effects on Hollow Man (2000).
The other Universal Invisible Man films are: The Invisible Man (1933), The Invisible Woman (1940), The Invisible Agent (1942), The Invisible Mans Revenge (1944) and Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951).
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