The Invisible Man
I realized recently that a lot of the movies I've been doing have been pretty recent. I've also noticed those seem to be the reviews that get the most eyeballs as well! But I like getting variety in what I watch and review and I feel like I've neglected some of the classics so far this year. Let's hit the wayback machine and check out one from the Universal collection...
The Invisible Man (1933)
I love the Universal Monsters. Dear and I have gone as different ones on two separate occasions, and President Baby was the cutest Wolfman ever one year. Movies with talking were still in their infancy and they were forced to do less with more. Because of that you get incredible atmosphere and sets. You watch these movies and they all set such a better mood than most of what you see today. With everything done by computers now, it just doesn't feel the same as when you watch the older movies.
We open with a man traveling through a snowy English countryside. He comes to a lively tavern that goes dead once he walks in. The merriment ends and everyone stares at the stranger bundled up from the cold. He doesn't so much as demand a room and other accommodations. As time goes by the proprietors of the inn start to get fed up with the man's outbursts, messiness and the fact that he's fallen behind on rent. He gets loses it up after the police are called and he strips off his clothes to reveal he's invisible. From there he descends completely into madness.
This is easily the funniest Universal Monsters movie I've seen and it's not close. A lot of it is slapstick and stuff that was common for the time, but man, Claude Rains as the Invisible Man is hilarious and it's stunning how fast he turns into a raving monster. After he feels he's been betrayed he just goes on a rampage. The way he narrates while tossing two men off a cliff is so morbidly funny. Then to further show how insane he is, he ends up derailing a train killing 100 people for no reason! Seriously, his body count is like 122 people!
It's also funny how confident he is. The beginning of the movie he's doing experiments to try and find an antidote, but once he's kicked out of the inn he's staying in, he immediately switches focus towards world domination. It's such a fast and fun turn, plus watching the whole thing play out, you end up rooting for him because he's so entertaining despite being an absolute monster.
Plus, it's also fun watching the police try and figure this whole thing out. There's only a brief moment where police don't believe there's an invisible man. This upsets our baddie so he makes it a point that police know he's there and kills the head inspector for no other reason than to prove a point. I also enjoyed the different ways the police tried to catch him. I mean, how exactly do you arrest a man you cannot see?
That's one of the best aspects of the movie, the creativity. I mean, this was before the time of infrared cameras so while the police are befuddled, so is the audience. When they try something you think, "Hey, that's a pretty good idea, I wonder how he'll get away!" And you get to watch the baddie effortlessly evade and taunt them at the same time.
It's a blast to watch. Plus, it's only around 85 minutes so the time just flies by. It's very different from the more broody Universal movie takes, but it's easily the most fun.