Some aspects of Ulmer's Amazing Transparent Man are, in retrospect, pretty funny. James Griffith's poorly mimed fight with an invisible man, the occasional continuity disasters, and the infrequent technobabble are examples. This is not, however, quite funny enough or cheesy enough to have been good MST3K fodder. Underlying the mediocre special effects, the occasionally overblown dialog, and the uneven performances, the story line presents an interesting take on the invisible man theme.
The heavy, played without much verve by James Griffith, is an ex-Nazi spy who looks and speaks like Mr. Rogers. His plan, involving all manners of extortion, involves forcing refugee German scientist (Ivan Triesault) to use radiation to turn an escaped convict safe-cracker (Douglas Kennedy) invisible. His goal is ostensibly to steal money and radioactive materials to further his experiments. In the role of his co-conspirator and femme fatale we find Marguerite Chapman.
Chapman and Kennedy have some on-screen chemistry which is used to good advantage in the film, but Chapman's performance is below par. Kennedy does well in a role which used his experience well. Griffith's performance, given his credentials, is surprisingly poor. The ancient and experienced Triesault, the class of the acting talent in this film, steals the show to an extent, but is also the only really sympathetic character in the lot.
The movie has a somewhat plodding pace at first, but the character development is good enough to draw the audience in. The Amazing Transparent Man is no action film, but once the action begins, it doesn't really let up until the nicely climactic end. Despite all of the bad press this film has received here on IMDb, this film really isn't a bomb, and I recommend it to sci-fi and low budget b movie buffs.
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