Monday, January 11, 2021

THE INVISIBLE RAY / Beware The Luminous Man! - 1936

This is a favorite movie I used to watch in the fifties on Friday nights on channel 47 out of Fresno. In this tale, visionary scientist Dr. Janos Rukh has proof that an ancient meteorite of great significance landed in Africa, and wants to put together an expedition of associates to go there and find the cosmic prize...

The stars are Boris (THE BLACK CAT) Karloff, Bela (THE RAVEN) Lugosi, Frances (MAD LOVE) Drake, Frank (THE DEVIL DOLL -1936) Lawton, Violet Kemble (THE INVISIBLE MAN) Cooper, Walter (GHOST CATCHERS) Kingsford and Beulah (THE SNAKE PIT) Bondi.

It all starts here, at the observatory of  Dr. Janos Rukh, he's asked a few of his associates to come and behold his uncanny discovery.

He has captured light emanating from the Andromeda Galaxy, and with it, he can explore space, travelling faster that the speed of light! 

And here's the kicker, he can see into the past.. He shows the spectators where a special meteorite fell to Earth in Africa eons ago, and the location for the expedition he proposes to them. They all agree to participate.

The doctor locates the meteorite (shades of Lovecraft) and is busy mining for the unnatural elements to further his experiments.

But, he's starting to change and his sadistic side rears its ugly head. He shows the natives working with him what his ray can do, melt rocks!! Then he tells them that if they try and leave, well, that is what will happen to them!

That night, the horrible truth becomes clear, he has been poisoned by his handling of the unpredictable elements he's mining. And, anyone he touches, dies!

Rakh goes to see Dr. Benet, who also came on the expedition. Benet comes up with a serum to make Janos normal, but he has to use it on a daily basis, for the rest of his life! Benet gives him the formula for the serum and an injection kit.

So, everyone comes back from Africa, Janos tries to cure his mother's blindness with a special ray he's developed. And, it works!

Janos is losing his mind. He now thinks that he must murder all the people that were on the expedition, including his wife Diana! So, he finds this guy and fools him into thinking he has a job, but becomes the mutilated corpse of Dr. Rukh. He has faked his death so that he couldn't be tied to the killings he's about to commit.

This expedition member is the first to go. But Dr. Benet is suspicious and takes some photos of the face of the deceased man...

Upon inspection of a close up of the man's eye, he sees that Dr. Rukh was responsible!

And after a few more deaths, this weird article appears in The Paris Herald.

So, knowing that Dr. Rukh is alive (but not well), Dr. Benet and others plan a mock get together with invited science community members. The plan is to lure the doctor to the house and at a certain moment, turn the lights out to reveal the luminous maniac who's touch can kill. And if they have to, gun him down!

Dr. Rukh has just killed a scientist to get his admittance card required to enter the premises. He goes to the back door and surprises Dr. Benet inside, and after a few words, Janos reaches out and kills his old friend with a touch. Now here's the part that really makes me angry, Dr. Benet is the Best Guy in the whole world, why in the Hell did he have to die!! F U!

He goes to his ex and threatens to kill her (she remarried after Janos supposedly died). But, he just can't do it...

Whoa boy!.. The glowing Janos is surprised when his mother shows up and puts him in his place. She takes her cane and knocks his medical kit out of his hands and it lies broken on the floor! She tells him, my son, you have broken the first law of science! He starts smoldering and replies, yes mother, I have!..

He runs to a window and jumps through it, and before he hits the ground he's just a ball of flames!! What a waste.

So, here's another great poster from this wild movie, from us to you!

1 comment:

EG-Markus said...

An ambitious movie. Too bad the limited budget had many things happen off-screen. Very good SFX. And one of the few roles where Lugosi didn't ham it up.

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