An eager scientist tests his new formula for invisibility on an escaped fugitive. When the formula works the criminal runs off to terrorize a family he believes cheated him out of a fortune years earlier. Written by
Jeremy Lunt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Generally speaking, the horror films from the "New Universal" period (1937-1946) aren't as good as the ones from the era when Carl Laemmle, Sr. and Jr., were still in control of the studio (though "Son of Dracula," a moody masterpiece, is not only the best in Universal's vampire cycle but the finest vampire film ever made in the U.S.). "The Invisible Man's Revenge" isn't the equal of the peerless 1933 Laemmle-era original, but it's certainly better than the previous run of "New Universal" Invisible Man movies. Jon Hall, relatively dull as the hero in "Invisible Agent," proves surprisingly effective as a full-throated villain (in this version he's a psychotic madman BEFORE becoming invisible); Leon Errol's dry wit is several cuts above the usual un-funny "comic relief" in these films; Lester Matthews and Gale Sondergaard make a nice guilt-ridden couple for the Invisible Man to have his titular revenge on; Alan Curtis and Evelyn Ankers are certainly more than competent as the romantic leads; John Carradine is in good form as the rather dotty scientist with the invisibility formula; and the direction by Ford Beebe, usually a name associated with Universal serials, is convincingly Gothic and well-paced. Universal was on the downgrade as a horror studio by then (and their only further foray into invisible man-dom would be an Abbott and Costello vehicle in 1953) and some of the effects work is sloppy, but on the whole this film is convincing and vividly atmospheric. Incidentally, in "The Face of Marble" from Monogram two years later (another underrated film with a fine sense of atmosphere even though its plot doesn't make a lick of sense even by the meager standards of horror fantasies!), John Carradine also played a mad scientist who had a dog named Brutus.
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