160. The Man From Planet X (C-)
161. The Creature from the Black Lagoon (A-)
162. The Invisible Man (B)
The Man From Planet X
: There's an intriguing idea behind this early '50s sf movie, but a low budget and an ill-advised romantic subplot prevent it from being very well-executed. William Schallert is good in a villainous role, but the rest of the cast is either unmemorable or putting on a supremely awful Scottish accent. I'd say this is a prime candidate for a remake, although even Hollywood isn't in the business of remaking cheapies like this these days.
The Creature from the Black Lagoon
: I had the opportunity to see this on the big screen last night (and in 3D!). I was anticipating a supremely cheesy affair, and although there are moments of that, it really engaged me in a way I hadn't expected. The acting was good throughout, the make-up effects of the Gill Man were well-done, and the underwater photography was superb. It certainly should be considered a prime influence on Spielberg's direction of Jaws
; one or two sequences seem to have been ported over directly to that film.
The Invisible Man
: I also caught this on the big screen, as the bottom half of a double bill with Creature
. I don't think it rates as highly as James Whale's Bride of Frankenstein
, but it's still one of the better Universal horror movies from the '30s. Less a movie at times than an excuse to watch the title character (played brilliantly by Claude Rains, in his first sound role) wreak havoc upon the towns folk with his new-found invisibility, these sequences are executed with a manic exuberance that I've rarely seen on screen (at times, I was reminded of some of John Crichton's more crazy moments on Farscape
). It helps that most of the special and visual effects hold up so well.
Home Video: 99+1