STARRING: Douglas Kennedy, Marguerite Chapman, Carmel Daniel, Norman Smith, Guard
Patrick Cranshaw, Dennis Adams, Jonathan Ledford, James Griffith, Kevin Kelly, Boyd "Red" Morgan, Ivan Triesault

1960, 58 Minutes, Directed by: Edgar G. Ulmer

This B&W 1960 flick is sort of a low, low budget predecessor to Hollow Man (2000).

A notorious bank robber (Douglas Kennedy) is busted from prison as they say by a megalomaniacal ex-military man named Maj. Paul Krenner (James Griffith).

Krenner has co-opted a brilliant, but down-trodden, scientist named Ulof (Ivan Triesault) into inventing a process that turns both guinea pigs and humans invisible. Krenner wants to create an army of invisible (that is, human) soldiers with which to take over the world.  However, so far he hasn’t been particularly successful only managing to cajole a surly security guard (Boyd 'Red' Morgan) and a greedy moll (Laura Matson) into his service, neither of them being particularly loyal.

The bank robber (named Joey Faust – geddit?) isn’t particularly keen on making a deal with Krenner either. The U.S. army needn’t particularly worry about any potential competition from Krenner when it comes to the recruitment stakes here though!

Still, the bank robber agrees to rob a plutonium (or is that uranium?) plant to power the Invisibility machine, and halfway through a bank robbery to alleviate his own cash flow problem he becomes visible again and soon things are going to hell in hand basket. Not just for the onscreen characters that is, but for the audience watching this illogically and unevenly plotted affair too.

There are about two nifty invisibility effects, and that’s all. (Clever effects probably being the main reason why we bother watching “invisible man” movies in the first place.) The rest is a dull slog (even though the movie clocks in at under an hour!) without any real point to it all.

Apparently The Amazing Transparent Man was filmed back-to-back by genre director Edgar G. Ulmer of The Black Cat (1934), Bluebeard (1944) and Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957) “fame” with another movie (Beyond the Time Barrier) over a two-week period. It shows. The Amazing Transparent Man was also featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 – the now defunct TV series that pokes fun at very, very bad movies. That makes sense.

(The Amazing Transparent Man is one of 50 titles on the cheap Science Fiction Classics DVD Collection which retails for about $US30. Yes, it really has 50 movies – the collection consists of 12 double-sided discs. Amazing Transparent Man may be a bore, but the box set does contain some fun B-movie gems such as Wild Women of Wongo, Queen of the Amazons and Teenagers from Space.)

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