Friday, October 25, 2013

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Subliminal Cinema

The legendary Vincent Price in his first horror film!
The Invisible Man Returns
The Invisible Man Returns is the 1940 sequel to 1933's The Invisible Man.  It stars Vincent Price as Geoffrey Radcliffe, a man who has been falsely convicted of the murder of his own brother.  Hours before his execution, he receives a visit from his best friend Dr. Frank Griffin, the brother of John Griffin, the Invisible Man from the first film.  Frank injects  Geoffrey with John Griffin's invisibility serum to help him escape from jail.  What follows is a race against time, as Radcliffe must uncover the real murderer in order to clear his name, and Frank must find a cure for the serum.  The reason for the ticking clock:  like in the original film, the invisibility serum quickly drives anyone who uses it insane!
Vincent Price as The Invisible Man
This film has a lot going for it over the first film   In the first film, John Griffin was insane and cruel from the beginning of the film, so you could never see him all that sympathetically.   In the sequel, Geoffrey Radcliffe is an innocent man, fighting for his life and his freedom.  You want to see him succeed in his plans.   This also makes it much more fascinating to watch as he does begin to go insane, and the line from when the audience should start to root against him is not clear.
Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe Escapes!

The special effects in this film are also superior to the first film, and you see things like the Invisible Man's silhouette in smoke or rain.

The Visible Man
The film is longer than the original, though, and doesn't have the original's humor and energy.  Vincent Price's performance is much more down to earth and human than the over-the-top performance in the first film by Claude Rains, but in this case, I don't think that's a good thing.  Overall, this is still a good film, and a worthy addition to the Universal Monsters series, even if it's not as fun as the first.

More screencaps after the jump...

Radcliffe Manor

Mr. Creepy and the Invisible Man's Girlfriend

Girlfriend looks at the spooky trees outside her window.

Inside the Prison

Doctor Frank Griffin is a Not-So-Mad Scientist

Class: Murder-Maniac

Invisible Man and His Girlfriend

Injecting an Invisible Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig Bones

The Invisible Man Tells Off a Cop

Unwrapping the Bandages

Girlfriend in the Mirror


Mr. Creepy shoots his gun in a wild panic.

A scene from "Fahrenheit 451 2: Electric Boogaloo."

Darth Vader says hello to female Philip Marlowe

Dinner with the Invisible Man

Mr. Creepy is held at invisible gunpoint.

Dr. Griffin finds it difficult to perform surgery when he can't see the patient.

"Dude, I can totally see my hand."


  1. Great post and great still. Fun movie, I love the effects, especially given the time! Didn't he also do the voice of the Invisible Man at the end of the Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein film?

    1. I think so. I'm not really a fan of the Abbot & Costello movies, though. I think they killed off the Universal Monsters, because after Abbot & Costello, audiences couldn't take the monsters seriously. Of course, the later Universal Monster movies were declining in quality anyway, so maybe it would have happened even without the comedians.