review of No Name (1/10)
February 03, 2002
The AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN (1960)
"Amazing" this movie is not. What’s truly amazing is that this cheapie was ever made in the first place. Joey Faust (Douglas Kennedy), notorious safecracker and hood, is aided in an escape from prison and joins Laura (Marguerite Chapman), who is waiting nearby in a getaway car. Faust has never seen this woman before and is suspicious, but has no alternative but to go with her. Hours later, Faust and Laura arrive at a secluded Texas ranch, where they are greeted by Major Krenner (James Griffith), a master spy, who tells Faust he has been freed for one reason: To help steal fissionable materials for the experiments of Dr. Ulof (Ivan Triesault), a refugee scientist being held by Krenner. Faust refuses until Krenner threatens to turn him in for the reward--dead. Julian (Red Morgan), the owner of the. ranch, also is under Krenner's control for some unexplained reason and the silly sucker has become a devout servant and bodyguard.
In the lab, Krenner explains that Ulof has developed an invisibility ray. They demonstrate it to Faust and he agrees to be a test subject for the ray. Krenner’s goal is to obtain enough fissionable materials to make an entire army invisible. How he would use or control them goes unexplained. Subjected to the ray, Faust enters a high security area and walks away with radio-active materials. An all-out alarm fails to halt him, convincing him that he can rob a bank in the same way. Among the materials stolen is a new one, "X-13." Krenner orders Ulof to use the X-13 on Faust, against his will. He is fearful of the effects, but since Krenner is holding his teen-age daughter as a hostage, he has little recourse. He soon finds, however, that the excessive radiation poisoning will prove fatal to Faust.
Again invisible and sent out to obtain more of the necessary materials, Faust double-crosses Krenner, and robs a bank instead. As you might guess, the unpredictable X-13 fails and Faust suddenly materializes and is recognized. He and Laura, flee with the police in hot pursuit. Near the ranch, Faust realizes his danger; he must get to Ulof and find out what is the matter with him. Splitting the money, he tries to send Laura on her way, but she has inexplicably fallen in love with him. When he again becomes invisible and goes to the lab to see Ulof, Laura follows.
In his unseen state, Faust locks Krenner in a closet, then tells Ulof he must help him. The doctor agrees only on condition that he help his daughter escape. As they are leaving, Julian tries to stop them, but is told that Krenner cannot help him get his son out of an Iron Curtain prison;. his son has been dead for years. Julian agrees to leave with them. Enroute to the car, Ulof tells Faust that he is to die; that he has only days left. He pleads with the hoodlum to stop Krenner before he can release more "horror" upon the world. Faust agrees and sends them away as he returns to the house.
Laura, who had been locked in the house by Faust, is released and Krenner, who has broken out of the closet, shoots her. Faust goes after the slimy Krenner. They clash in the laboratory and during the battle, the ray is turned on. When it strikes the container-of X-13, an atomic explosion destroys the house, rendering the land around radio-active for miles. Ulof returns to the scene with police to find decontamination crews going over the area. When officials ask what he intends to do with the ray, he looks at the audience and asks what would they do. I know what I’d do but I wont say here!
The special effects aren’t bad considering the minuscule budget. There is little action, dialog, or suspense as the film is only about 60 minutes long. This is an invisible man film that deserves not to be seen.