The Amazing Transparent Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Amazing Transparent Man Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 12, 2017
Again we have an...ahem...amazing movie title with a pretty sweet poster. It looks more like a children's adventure book cover, one of those 'choose your own ending' type books (remember those?). It also has a nice noir-esque/comicbook vibe about it, overall an attractive and imaginative design.

So you could be mistaken for thinking this plot might be a tad similar to the classic 1933 film 'The Invisible Man'. Well you're not too far off but naturally this plot is somewhat different for copyright reasons obviously. Basically a former US army general (Krenner played by James Griffith) wants to take over the world with an army of invisible soldiers. He already has a machine that can make objects invisible (with the help of a stereotypical eastern European scientist type bloke, Dr. Ulof played by Ivan Triesault), but he needs further materials (nuclear) to perfect it. Said materials are rare and the only ones he knows of are under lock and key deep within government facilities. So his plan is to break out a brilliant safecracker (Joey Faust played by Douglas Kennedy) from jail, so he can steal the materials required whilst being invisible.

Of course there's a bit more to this story. The invisibility doesn't hold out for long periods, its a bit shaky, hence the rare nuclear materials needed to perfect the machine. Also Faust doesn't really want to do the job for Krenner but Krenner blackmails him with threats of turning him over to the cops (even though he broke Faust out). There's also Krenner's dame (Marguerite Chapman) who Faust tries to charm into double crossing Krenner, and the fact that Krenner has Dr. Ulof's daughter locked up to keep him in line (although that specific plot device goes nowhere).

So we are talking about an invisible man here, what are the special effects like? Well they're sparse that's for sure, this ain't no special effects bonanza. Much of the film surrounds the various characters planning stuff, we get very little invisibility action. What we do get are some floating items on wires that represent Faust carrying them, and a very brief sequence where Faust becomes visible and invisible again during a bank raid. This optical effect is corny as hell for sure but actually quite effective and decent looking considering this is such a schlocky feature. Although it does raise the simple problem that while Faust is invisible, the item he is carrying is not. So surely people would see this floating item and suspect something...as it floated out the door.

We also see the moments when Faust is turned invisible whilst under the machine (invisibility ray), and the practice runs with a guinea pig which are again nicely done. The little sequence shows the guinea pig slowly losing full visibility one layer at a time, skin, then bone structure, then nothing...invisible. We also see some marvellous acting against nothing, such as fights with an invisible foe, the odd chat with a blank space and doors opening themselves.

I think the main problem with this movie is the lack of action and the lame plot. For a start Krenner wants to conquer the world with an invisible army, but why? and how will he achieve this exactly? Faust could quite easily kill Krenner when he becomes invisible, he does threaten Krenner but for some reason doesn't kill him. Dr. Ulof seems pointless as he's only there to work the machine and dish out scientific exposition. Again Faust could of killed Krenner and used Ulof to assist him with his invisibility issues. Ulof would be happy to help seeing as he hates Krenner for kidnapping his daughter, I'm not really sure why everyone doesn't just bump Krenner off. Krenner's dame Laura also comes across as useless because she does nothing really, I'm not even sure what her character motivation was. She wants money and power clearly, hence she hangs around with Krenner, but she helps Faust go against Krenner so...how does that help her??

Krenner also has a bodyguard (or hired muscle) in the form of a cowboy fella called Red. Apparently Krenner has told Red that his son is imprisoned in Europe and only he can get him out. No idea what his son is supposed to have done, how Krenner knows his son or how Krenner could get him out, I presume another breakout. So Red obeys Krenner like a good little bitch. Of course Krenner is lying and when Red discovers this he does nothing, absolutely nothing, the character merely exits the movie and is never heard from again. No clue why this character was in the movie.

Both Griffith and Kennedy really go for it in this movie that's for sure. Kennedy does actually put in a decent performance as the bad tempered criminal who's only looking out for himself. Griffith is suitably slimy as Krenner, in fact he has a face you just wanna slap. Kennedy was actually quite a big strapping chap in this movie where as Griffith is very slender, so its still odd that Faust never beats this guy to death because he probably could. I'm also pretty sure Griffith (in character) accidentally slaps Chapman across the face at one point in a moment of brutal 1960's misogyny.

This is an odd movie in general. The plot is really patchy and never really goes anywhere with conviction. Most of the characters don't really seem to have a goal. Krenner seems to own this lovely huge house and just wants to take over the world because of reasons. Whilst Faust is just a grumpy bloke who seems ungrateful that Krenner bust him outta jail and doesn't know what to do with his life. The fact that the movie still manages to end with an atomic explosion is also hilarious frankly, its like every movie in this era had to include an atomic explosion (with no consequences) no matter what. To be honest its not totally unlikable, there is a charm to this pulpy nonsense, its just comes across as rushed and not well thought out. But with dialog like...[i]'you know what one of these bullets will do? Rip out your spine and roll it up like a ball of string'[/i], how can you not like to some degree?
October 31, 2015
A low budget rip off of The Invisible Man. It's really the way the film is written, if it would have included a bit of blood and deaths and more action it could have been better but it ain't. Mystery Science Theater 3000 really helped me to get through the film, procuring me with laughter and enjoyment, but one it's own, the film will probably bore you. The acting is okay though, but still, i only recommend it on MST3K.
January 29, 2015
It's not amazing, it's not transparent, and it's not manly.
November 8, 2014
Edgar G. Ulmer directed this entertaining rather gonzo sci-fi film about a mad scientist who develops an invisibility formula and plans to build an invisible army to take over the world. This film is one of Ulmer's last films and is rather disappointing compared to his best films, but it's still worth checking out if you're in the mood for a goofy 50s/60s Saturday Morning serial sort of goofy fun. Just don't expect "The Black Cat" or "Detour."
½ September 20, 2014
The Amazing Transparent Man is one of many rip-offs of The Invisible Man that was in the wake of that movie's success. It's just that simple. It tries its hardest to be a cross between something pulpy and edgy with invisible man effects that are pretty terrible. The plot itself isn't even intriguing: a man escapes from prison and is hired to rob banks while under a cloak of invisibility. None of the actors do any work that stands out at all, and the bullied anti-war message at the end just leaves one angry and unfulfilled. I wouldn't recommend it, except for a great episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Other than that, I'd say that it is just as skippable as it sounds.
July 23, 2014
Short television length b-movie, with arguably a television standard script and plot. It's mildly entertaining but fails to engage its audience for the most part.
April 14, 2014
62%

"There is a man who has unlocked every door, except the one to his own soul."-Dr Peter Olof (Ivan Triesault)
½ July 17, 2013
While there mare much better invisible man movies, I actually enjoyed this movie more than I should have. Perhaps this was due to the strange mix of a petty bank robber and a villain wanting to build a super-army of invisible soldiers.
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
½ May 10, 2013
From the Mill Creek SciFi Clsddics Collection. The Amazing Transparent Man is very similar to The Invisible Man and one main difference with this movie is that involves the Atomic Age, radiation etc.

A criminal who has escaped from prison is made invisible by a mad scientist and gets him to steal nuclear fuel to help with future experiments. Things go wrong when he robs a bank though as becomes visible and is also dying through radiation poisoning.

This movie has some good special effects considering the low budget. Highlights include the "one man" fights.

The cast includes Douglas Kennedy (The Land Unknown) and Marguerite Chapman (Flight To Mars).

The Amazing Transparent Man is worth watching if you get the chance. A great way to spend just under an hour. 3 1/2 Stars 5-10-13
½ April 4, 2013
Despite it's shortcomings, "The Amazing Transparent Man" is smarter and better than most of the cheap sci-fi films you can find in the bargain bin. It has an interesting premise, original characters and at just under an hour, it moves quickly so you won't be bored. There's some sci-fi mumbo jumbo to explain the invisibility and those special effects are passable, though not great (and in some casses pretty laughable). The ending is where the movie really shines, which is what makes up for the rough spots. If you're at all curious about this one or if you are a fan of these older quickie sci-fi flicks, this is one of the better ones, though if you're not in that mindset you probably won't appreciate it. (Dvd, September 20, 2012)
January 9, 2013
I dare anyone to explain this plot.
November 6, 2012
It has a interesting concept but it's not a new one. The effects are pretty low budget, and the characters aren't too great. Decent MST3K material, but not a decent film.
½ January 31, 2012
Interesting sci-fi drama chiller with a surprisingly deep moral message - and a jarring 4th wall breach ending. Ahead of it's time, really, in several aspects. One had hoped to see more invisibility sequences, of course, and what we got was not that impressive. But then again, that is hardly the purpose of the film.
Super Reviewer
December 15, 2011
While the premise is intriguing (although done way better in The Invisible Man from 1933) the film slowly descends into second rate science fiction slog. The film still had some decent effects for the disappearing act but not much else going for it. There are much better sci-fi films both after and before this one with much greater premises and lasting appeal! Skip it unless your desperate for a sci-fi film and have no better options.
June 18, 2011
A nice, short bit of sci-fi pulp.
½ May 12, 2011
A shame all prints didn't disappear
April 24, 2011
"Detour" director Edgar G. Ulmer's science-fiction, crime thriller "The
Amazing Transparent Man" sounds like utter hokum with its melodramatic
title. Predictably, most critics and viewers have displayed nothing but
contempt for this modest endeavor. Nevertheless, this low-budget but
entertaining epic about an unscuplous former military officer who
blackmails a brilliant foreign scientist and a notorious safecracker so
that he can create an invisible army to do his bidding qualifies as
above-average. Edgar G. Ulmer spent his entire life helming low-budget
features, but these low-budgets didn't mitigate his efforts. A strong
cast headed by B-movie veteran Douglas Kennedy, Marguerite Chapman, and
the ubiquitous James Griffith, solid scripting by "Yank in Vietnam"
Jack Lewis, and solid production values make this speculative saga
worth watching despite its lackluster title. No, this isn't the special
effects extravaganza like "The Amazing Colossal Man" and the science
fiction aspect isn't overblown like the aforementioned title.
Basically, a European scientist has developed a process whereby a man
can be made invisible and the former military man wants to use it to
create an army that will enable him to conquer the world. Indeed, this
is an outlandish, far-fetched film, but at 57-minutes, Ulmer keeps it
clicking with several twists and surprises. This is one of those films
where the research occurs and then the complications set in when the
man chosen to do the villain's bidding turns against him. "The Amazing
Transparent Man" is essentially a laboratory experiment gone awry with
an explosive finale.
½ January 24, 2011
As far as b movies go, this was entertaining enough and the cheese works well. The list scene in the film made me giggle for a few second because the actors were taking it so serious or trying to look it.

The effects used for the invisible scenes were good for their time too.
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2011
I really didn't mind this movie so much. Sure it was one of those 50's drive in kind of movies, that had cheesy lines and effects. I even liked the characters and how they were put together and how it seemed to me anyway, was that the bank robber would have some redemption towards the end. Or maybe I fell asleep and I dreamed the whole thing. It was kind of boring and not a whole lot of suspense, but I think Uwe Boll's and Uli Lommell's movies are much worse than this.
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