The Invisible Man’s Revenge Blu-ray Review

Visible Madness

There is no hero in The Invisible Man’s Revenge. Everyone is struck by greed. The final sequel to the 1933 original wipes everything clean with an angry, bitter finale released at the peak of America’s involvement in World War II. Invisible Man’s Revenge hates the rich, it hates science, it hates everyone; few in Universal’s canon carry so much spite.

Set primarily in a mansion where a fight erupts over diamonds and attempted murder, returning star Jon Hall is soon seeking invisibility to extract revenge on those whole stole his money. Invisible Man’s Revenge is a story better fit for the depression era, not that WWII offered much beyond strife.

It’s a somewhat turgid movie, even beyond the tone. A lengthy stretch is taken up by a darts game, played for laughs, then descending into madness when a bet goes bad. Again, Invisible Man’s Revenge deals only with anger and greed. The script relies on a bevy of contrivances, including a chance meeting with a doctor (John Carradine) who discovered the formula for invisibility. What luck a man seeking vengeance happens upon Carradine’s home on a rainy evening, seeking shelter.

Invisible Man’s Revenge returns to the gothic aura of Universal’s signature horror films

Invisible Man’s Revenge shows no pity for anyone. Each person carries their baggage, whether the financial elite or even a reporter. The latter appears to be the eventual hero, yet publishes questionable stories for a quick buck. Think of him as the National Enquirer of movie reporters. Soon, he suffers for his crimes. Invisible Man’s Revenge loves that stuff. It’s a bit overwhelming though, and plodding in pace.

With some credit, Invisible Man’s Revenge returns to the gothic aura of Universal’s signature horror films – and horror this one is. An opening scene takes place on a foggy dock at night, a powerful dose of atmosphere. The finale too wanders down into a rotting wine cellar. Little light is offered in those book-end moments.

Hall is competent in the lead role, although exhibiting no movement as a character; he’s raving at the outset, and dies screaming. His panic over becoming visible isn’t a stretch for such an already wounded mind. All Hall seeks is money. He has cause – his partners squandered his share of a diamond mine on bad investments – but suffers from narcissistic anger. People try to kill him, he tries (and usually succeeds) to kill them. Back and forth Invisible Man’s Revenge goes, through the motions of this series with slightly less convincing visual tricks.

Video

With a clean source, this 1944 release delivers an attractive Blu-ray. With no fading, Invisible Man’s Revenge brings a notable contrast and wide gray scale. Dense black levels add reasonable shadows, just short of true black until the closing chapter saps nearly all of the light. That’s gorgeous.

The master used shows a modern touch, with pleasing grain and sharpness. Before the finale, a breakfast scene plays out with sun shining in from a picture window. All of the glass dishes shimmer, naturally sharp. Definition only falters with effects scenes, as is the norm given the techniques of the era.

Clean-up takes care of any dirt or scratches on the print. It’s pure.

Audio

High fidelity helps a minor score reach sharp peaks. While there’s not much offered to test bass clarity, the few snippets deliver a solid base to draw from.

Dialog clarity enhances the hollow quality of the stage settings. While slightly tinny, it’s within reason for the period.

Extras

Invisible Man’s Revenge doesn’t earn anything other than being on a double bill with Invisible Agent.

The Invisible Man's Revenge
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  • Audio
  • Extras
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Movie

The last in its line, The Invisible Man’s Revenge is an aggressive and angry entry in the series without anyone to root for.

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