Tonight on MeTV, it seems like an appropriate time- with several parts of the country buried in snow, and with people walking around masked- to bring back a truly impressive Universal horror film of the 1930s- based on classic literature and utilizing amazing special effects for its time period, and a real showcase for the acting talent of the great Claude Rains- especially since, at times, it’s his voice alone taking center stage. It’s the horror of the unseen- the original "The Invisible Man"!
Based on the H G Wells novel- this 1933 classic begins with a scene that should definitely hit home with those who have experienced snow and chilling temperatures recently- as a bundled-up stranger struggles against the wintry blasts, and through the snowy countryside of Iping. He eventually makes a dramatic entrance to the Lion's Head Inn that causes the whole place to freeze in stunned silence! The locals, obviously in a time before our current pandemic, find a masked stranger quite disturbing! This wrapped-up fellow 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 at odds with this bizarre visitor, who always 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 a variety of rumors- as the landlord, his wife, and the boozy bar patrons speculate about why his face is hidden, and what he’s up to-with all sorts of chemicals and beakers in his room. After a period of time in which the stranger has not been paying his overdue rent, the innkeeper demands the money he is owed- only to have the mysterious man pay him back by assaulting him and tossing him down the stairs! The patrons who frequent the bar call in the police- but a shock is in store for them all, when the man reveals that beneath his bandages and clothing- there is nothing! He is invisible! The villagers flee in panic as he runs amok!
We learn that this unseen menace 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 unfortunately, also destroys the cloth in the process. Griffin's employer along with his daughter Flora, who happens to be Griffin’s fiancée, 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 only too well that experiments with it on living things have ended in frightening madness and tragedy.
An assistant to Flora's father, one Dr. Kemp, finds himself with a surprise visitor one night- his former co-worker, the invisible Griffin- who threatens Kemp, and forces him to help him retrieve his notebooks located in the inn from which he was forced to flee. Griffin enters the inn undetected as a police inquiry is being held there, 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, paranoia, and his increasing madness set Griffin on a mission of more murder- as he terrifies the entire countryside, leaving the baffled authorities to attempt to stop a deadly enemy who can't be seen!
This is definitely one of the best of the original classic horror films- Claude Rains' incredible voice makes his work in this film effective and captivating- 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! As I mentioned, for the time, the invisible effects are quite remarkable- and we’ll explain how they were done - along with bringing back a song featuring a duet by Doug Graves AND Anita X. Orcist- and- we again reminisce about the pre-COVID days of horror conventions, bringing back a visit with the lovely actress Amanda Wyss- a dear friend of ours, and Freddy Krueger’s first on- screen victim!
"The Invisible Man" re-appears on MeTV Saturday night at 8pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, or, if you’re unsure of channel or time, check your local listings or at www.metv.com . 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 "Black Scorpion" on our main local station CW26 at 11 am.
MeTV is winding up the second week of their “#LoveSven” event today, showing some of the great items fans of the show have made- be ready for week three- we’ll be posting on social media the next week’s theme! Don’t forget, the special 14% discount on select Sven merchandise items continues, all this month, using the promo code LOVESVEN .You can see the details here on our website. With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, you can order-then, we suggest that you make your own special coupon for your loved one, letting them know they will have a special Sven surprise from you coming soon! Not only that- but the MeTV store has just added some cool Invisible Man shirts in honor of our movie tonight! Check them out here: https://store.metv.com/collections/universal-monsters
We wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow, and thank you for showing your love for our show- but tonight- you might want to keep an eye on any remaining snow on the ground in your area- for the sudden appearance of footprints- it sure won’t be Cupid! ( Hmm- he flies, anyway…)