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The Invisible Ray Reviews

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cody f

Super Reviewer

February 11, 2008
Interesting story and I loved Lugosi as Karloff's sidekick.
Karloff's sidekick? FUCK YOU!
kenscheck
May 8, 2012
Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi teamed up again for Universal in this science fiction film (it is actually not really a horror film, despite it's two leads). Karloff plays a scientist who has invented a heat ray (and some kind of looking back in time device), who travels to Africa to search for something he had seen crash on Earth eons ago in his little past device. But while in Africa he starts to glow due to exposure to radium...and goes mad as a result. It is a fairly solid science fiction movie of its time, with a few elements of horror, as is to be expected of Universal in this time period. Decent, but not terrific.
Brody M

Super Reviewer

January 30, 2011
An OK movie but I really didn't start getting into it until Karloff started suffering from the effects of the radiation poisoning
December 7, 2010
A little something out of a Bela Lugosi set I own, this pits him against our lead Karloff, who has accidentally acquired the power to kill via a meteorite.

Fun fro what it is, may not be for all tastes if you're not a fan of classic sci-fi thrillers. Personally, I was amused but not enthralled, hence the middle of the road rating.

Worth a rental.
January 7, 2008
Good thriller with both Karloff and Lugosi. Lugosi is kinda cool as the "good" guy. Kinda unique story too!
October 23, 2013
Dr. Janos Rukh (Boris Karloff) is an unorthodox scientist who discovers an African meteor containing an alien element. His colleague (Bela Lugosi) harnesses this element for the good of mankind, but the radiation gives Rukh a poisonous touch, an inhuman glow, and a diseased mind. These factors turn into a killing spree when Rukh's perpetually-ignored wife (Frances Drake) abandons him. The Invisible Ray isn't exactly a masterpiece, but it's worth checking out if one likes the Universal horror films of the 1930's. However, if one is new to Karloff/Lugosi pairings, I'd recommend the far superior Black Cat.
Don G.
January 23, 2013
Why isn't Maria Ouspenskaya's name on the cast list? She played Janos's (Karloff) mother ("Yan-noosh, my son"). The Karloff character in this film and his ray reminds me for some reason of Nicola Tesla who reportedly was into something similar in real life. I saw this film many years ago but remember it as holding my attention and fascinating me with it's pseudo-science; sets and period capture.
November 14, 2012
A rather entertaining Karloff/Lugosi sci-fi vehicle....
SteveMiller
January 25, 2006
The Invisible Ray
Starring: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Frances Drake
Director: Lambert Hillyer


Scientific genius Janos Rukh (Karloff) discovers an amazing new radioactive element, but accidentially becomes poisoned by it. His equally bright collegue Dr. Benet (Lugosi) devises a serum that surpresses the deadly effects, but the chemicals and radioactivity drive the already mentally unstable Rukh over the edge, and he soon starts using his new radioactive powers to kill everyone he feels as wronged him. Will the kindly Benet and the police stop manage to stop Rukh's murderous rampage in time to save Rukh's ex-wife (Drake)?

"The Invisible Ray" has all the makings of a cool little Science Gone Mad film (complete with Karloff delivering the "they called me mad" speech!), but it is sabotaged by pedestrian direction, some of the tinniest dialogue ever put on film, and a too slow build-up before the killings start. Throughout the film, I saw glimmers of what it COULD have been if someone had written decent dialogue for the actors to deliver, but as "The Invisible Ray" currently exists, it's not until the action move to Paris and Rukh goes on his mad rampage that the film becomes entertaining. (There's enough going on at that point that the bad dialogue is no longer such an irritant.)

I think the only reason to watch the movie is for seeing Lugosi play a role that's almost entirely unlike any other part he's played; everyone else appearing doesn't really deliver performances that are noteworthy for being good or bad... they're just in the movie. Lugosi, however, is not only the film's indisputable hero (even if Dr. Benet is just about Rukh's equal when it comes to Mad Science... but he uses the WonderTech and crazy discoveries for good!), but for once he isn't over the top and chewing on the scenery. He is intense, but he's not as outrageous as is typical.
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