Tonight on MeTV, we bring back another of the Universal cornerstone of horror from the 1930s- another tale with its basis in classic literature ,featuring amazing special effects for the time period , and a fantastic performance by the great Claude Rains – in the original "The Invisible Man"!
Based on the H G Wells novel- this 1933 classic begins with a scene that may hit home with those who experienced a blast of snow this week- a bundled-up stranger slogs his way through the snowy countryside of Iping, eventually making a dramatic entrance to the Lion's Head Inn that causes the whole place to freeze in stunned silence! He demands a room- even though it's not the renting season-and he wants privacy as well as lodging. The innkeeper and his chatty wife end up bumping heads with this odd visitor, who keeps his face covered with bandages and his eyes covered with dark glasses. His odd behavior and demeanor are the talk of the Inn and the source of all variety of rumors- aided by the landlord and his wife who speculate about what he’s up to-with all sorts of chemicals and beakers in his room. After a while, when the innkeeper demands the overdue rent money that the stranger has not been paying-the mysterious man assaults him and tosses him down the stairs!! The townsmen who frequent the bar call in the police- but a shock is in store for them, when the man reveals that beneath his bandages and clothing- he is invisible! The villagers flee in panic as he runs amok!
We learn that he is actually Jack Griffin- a scientist who has been experimenting with an odd mixture known as monocane- which was used in foreign lands to turn cloth white- but also destroyed the cloth in the process. His fiancee Flora and her father, Griffin's employer, have no idea where he might be- but, in searching his lab, fear the worst when they find a note mentioning monocane- Flora's dad knows that experiments with it on living things have ended in frightening madness and tragedy.
Another assistant to Flora's father, one Dr. Kemp, then finds himself with a surprise visitor one night- the invisible Griffin- who threatens Kemp, and forces him to help him retrieve his notebooks from the inn he escaped from. He arrives as a police inquiry is being held at the inn, and can’t resist getting further revenge on the crowd-as he goes wild, and kills an officer! Kemp tries to enlist Flora and her father to help reason with Griffin- but soon, betrayal and his increasing madness set Griffin on a mission of more murder- as he terrifies the entire countryside, leaving the baffled authorities to attempts to stop a deadly enemy who can't be seen!
This is definitely one of the best of the classic horror films- Claude Rains' incredible voice makes his work in this film totally convincing- and we'll tell a little about him and the other cast members, especially the actress who plays Griffin's fiancee Flora- who you probably know from a role she played in her old age! And, as I mentioned, for the time, the invisible effects are quite remarkable. We’ll explain how they were done in one of our segments- along with bringing you a new song, featuring a musical duet by Doug Graves AND Anita X. Orcist- and- a recent visit with our friend the lovely actress Amanda Wyss- Freddy Krueger’s first on screen victim!
"The Invisible Man" re-appears on MeTV Saturday night at 8pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, or, if unsure of channel or time, check your local listings or at www.metv.com . We had heard that some listing services had posted tonight’s movie as “Invisible Woman” – sorry, that is not the case! Remember that MeTV invites you to join the many fans who live-Tweet on Twitter during the program, using the hashtag #svengoolie .In Chicago, viewers get a second look at "The Mummy’s Ghost" on the U ( in its new channel location, previously the place for the UToo) at 11 am.
The first of four chapters of “Svengoolie Meets the DC Universe” appeared in select DC Comics this past Wednesday- be checking out the books that come out for the next three Wednesdays for more of this amazing story of my standing side-by-side with the Justice League against an incredible menace! Remember- the chapters are in many of the DC comics that are released on these Wednesdays- your comic book shop staff can probably help you locate which ones!
Also- an amazing bit of mega-merchandise has arrived in our store (I have a store?!) The Svengoolie Surprise Fan Box is now available- with TEN exclusive items, including a genuine Sven-signed rubber chicken ( I should know- I had to sign EVERY ONE of them!) and a special 40th anniversary t shirt! Check it out- and order yours today!
Many thanks for the wonderful turnout at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications last Saturday night for the “40 Years as Svengoolie” event. It was a great honor, and we’ll be showing highlights of the evening down the line.
But tonight- keep an eye on any remaining snow on the ground for the sudden appearance of footprints- as the Invisible Man steps up the horror!
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