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This film is part sequel to Mandroid and part ripoff of the Invisible Man but neither of these things are necessarily a bad thing.
Whether you enjoy Invisible or not is dependent on a few things. Do you like low budget films?
Do you like your movies to have gore?
Do you like your movies to have nudity?
Do you like your films to have camp?
If you're into b-movies, you probably answered yes to all of the above. Having watched Mandroid (which promised and named the sequel in the end credits) and Invisible, you can clearly see that both films were conceived together and shot back to back. The fact that Mandroid was the key piece in the first one while an invisible guy took back seat only to have them reversed in the sequel shows clear intention.
It's too bad the main villain is only really effective in Mandroid. In Invisible, Drago really doesn't do much of anything except use mental patients to capture young women and have them undress and dance on his dinner table. No, in this film, the Politia are more likely to be considered the main evil doers (even if they're just corrupt and don't do anything near as sinister as Drago).
But the combination, while it doesn't work well for story does work well for two key elements of b-movie success. Drago gives rise to a large amount of nudity (especially compared to the lack of it in the first film) and the Politia give rise to a large amount of action (which was again somewhat lacking in Mandroid).
So if you prefer less story, worse bad guys, and goofy looking mental patients in exchange for having more nudity and more explosions, Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight is the better film when compared to Mandroid... unfortunately, some of us like to have it all and in that sense, Invisible AND Mandroid don't deliver
The end credits to Mandroid promised us a sequel entitled "Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight" and without that promise nobody would ever know this was a sequel to Mandroid from its long title and promotional artwork. It just looks like a Full Moon cheapy knock-off of The Invisible Man, which it is to an extent, but it's also just Mandroid 2 in disguise.
Our film picks up right after mandroid with one of our characters wheelchair bond controlling the metal mongoloid, one character getting out of the hospital after being rendered Invisible, and the other just as eye candy, showing off her ass crack when she's having pity sex with the guy in the wheel chair. Our villain from the first feature Drago is back but he is mostly in the background commanding his homeless minions while the Russian military take center stage to gain our scientists secrets.
Right away one can see that this film has even lower production values than Mandroid but it is a little less talky with a few more action scenes. The acting is again decent for redundant science fiction drivel. The plot again is just a mish mash of other more popular science fiction films and none of the concepts are fully developed. Half the film is about Mandroid and the other half is about Benjamin Knight being invisible. Yes, the guy referenced in the title. The Benjamin Knight character is still only written out to be a secondary character so it is amazing that his name gets into the title. If you're going to call a film "The Chronicles of Blah Blah", you better make sure that "blah blah" is the fucking main character! Can you imagine if The Chronicles of Riddick follow a different character other than Riddick? Also the "invisible" effects are nothing better then what was utilized 60 years before in Universal's classic version.
The unfocused, redundant plot is my main beef with the film. My main beef has to be with the villain Drago. First of all his make-up job must have been the first thing to get axed with a lower budget as his make-up looks even shitter than the last picture. However this again isn't my main problem. The part that gets to me is that he really has no point to the plot. His character takes back stage during the film and spends his time not trying to foil our scientists plans, but having his army of homeless followers kidnap pretty girls to make them dance for entertainment and then raping them. What kind of comic book inspired villain is this? His character is so poorly written that they would have been better off leaving his character out and having our scientists battle the Russian military instead.
Nobody asked for a sequel to Mandroid and after watching Invisible: Yadda Yadda Yadda it proves that Mandroid didn't need one. It's as lifeless as it's metal drone star and a definite low point in the classic era of full moon productions.
Bonus Rant: Since the end credits to Mandroid promised us this sequel, one could be safe to assume the films were filmed back-to-back. I did find it odd that the character Zanna was played by Jane Caldwell in the original and Jennifer Nash in Invisible. I have nothing against either actress as they are both decent and beautiful but one would think that if you're planning a make a sequel right away, wouldn't yet get the actress in the first film to sign an agreement to appear in the sequel? Maybe it's just me.
Two scientists (Cousins and Nash) are working on finding a cure for a friend who was turned invisible during a lab accident (Della Femina) while continuing to develope the futuristic war-robot Mandroid. But their old enemy Dr. Drago (Lowens) is still lurking in the shadows, and a corrupt police commisioner (Impale) has decided he wants the Mandroid for his own purposes.
"Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight" is a Full Moon action extravaganza where the tiny budget is definately visible on the screen. There are several car crashes, car chases with running gun-fights, and two really feiry explosions.
Unfortunately, the explosions are the only fireworks in this film. The film suffers first and foremost from a lack of focus. While the villainous Dr. Drago's perverted lunatic minions are creepy, they don't fit with the tone of the rest of the movie... nor are any of the subplots tied to Drago effectively resolved. A more appropriate villain is the corrupt police chief who decides he wants the Mandroid robot for his own purposes, but not enough time is spent developing him, because Drago and his minions. (The highlight of Drago's involvement in the film is that it leads to him sword-fighting with Zanna, while she is dressed in a skimply bellydancer's outfit. And, yes, it makes about as much sense as you think it does.)
Worse, the Mandroid is a complete waste of time and space in the film. Not only is nothing interesting done with it, but it seems smaller and less bulky than it did in the previous film. I don't know if the guy in the suit is smaller or if they redesigned it, but it's just not as impressive as it was before.
Not nearly enough is done with the concept of Benjamin Knight's invisibility, nor is even that particularly central to most of the story.
In fact, [i]nothing[/i] is particularly central to the story. The film is loose collection of ideas that never really coalese into anything that matters. The end result is a forgettable, empty movie that the only thing you'll remember about is the swordfight... just because it's so out of place. (Well, that and Jennifer Nash looks great in that red bellydancer outfit.)
Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight
Starring: Brian Cousins, Jennifer Nash, Michael Della Femina, Curt Lowens, Aharon Impale and David Kaufman
Director: Jack Ersgaard
So bad that the first film, Mandroid looks damn near like a classic!
[left][font=Courier New][size=2][i]Invisible - The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight[/i] is one of the most misleading titles from Full Moon. I would have been content with a film that explored what happened this side character from [i]Mandroid[/i]. But, this film is essentially a sequel to [i]Mandroid[/i], instead of only focusing on Benjamin Knight. And like I mentioned in my review for [i]Mandroid[/i], both films could have been merged into one movie instead of being two.
Once again Wade (Brian Cousins) and the Mandroid aren't that interesting of characters. And neither was Zanna (now played by Jennifer Nash), nor her relationship with Wade. In fact, the two of them felt awkward together on screen. Especially during that extremely uncomfortable looking love scene between the two of them.
Benjamin seemed like he could have been an appealing character, if the film would have focused more on him. I like the idea of being invisible. And movies that deal with invisibility always fascinate me, even if the majority of them are terrible. The effects used in the invisible scenes were nicely done, but weren't used too often in the film. How can you have a movie called [i]Invisible[/i], and not have that many invisible scenes? And I'm not talking about those scenes were actors pretend like they are getting beat up by someone invisible.
This movie is just as Dull as [i]Mandroid[/i], and yet another disappointing film from this box-set from Full Moon. Nothing in this film or [i]Mandroid[/i] worked for me. I hate to say it, but I think both of these films are the worst that I have seen from Full Moon.[/size][/font]