the Franchise Chronicles, a movie-by-movie look at the development and evolution of cinema’s most enduring sagas. I am currently exploring the classic Universal Monsters and this week’s movie is The Invisible Man (1933) directed by James Whale.
Last week, I pointed out that The Mummy used the same narrative structure as Dracula. Well, the first half of The Invisible Man feels very much like Frankenstein. Try this one on for size: A scientist becomes obsessed with a controversial discovery and abandons his colleagues and a beautiful fiancé that deserves better than him to conduct his research in secret. The scientist eventually loses control and his creation terrorizes a village before being hunted down and destroyed. The most crucial difference between the two films is that in this case the doctor and the monster are the same person.
Dr. Griffin’s intelligence and mad lust for power potentially make him the most dangerous villain we have encountered yet. We do not see Rains in the flesh until the final seconds of the film. So he has to build his entire performance out of his voice and gestures. Yet Rains has no difficulty making this character complex, layered and scary. The simple fact that I could not see Griffin made him much more frightening to me and his taunts really built up the tension.
|"Guys, I need an opinion on my make over..."|
|"You can't see my face, but trust me, it's smug."|
|"It's called a Podcast, it's internet radio basically..."|
Edward O’Hare, nickname TBD, has been poking around the deep caverns of pop culture for some years now. His hobbies include making Starfleet org charts and badgering people who haven’t seen the Adventures of Captain Marvel movie serial from 1941. He one day dreams of teaching Bill Simmons that superheroes and pro athletes are not all that different.