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Ford Beebe
Jon Hall, Leon Errol, John Carradine
Writing Credits:
Bertram Millhauser

An eccentric scientist helps a fugitive from the law become invisible, unwittingly giving him the power to exact revenge on his former friends.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 77 min.
Price: $39.98
Release Date: 8/28/18
Available As Part of the “Invisible Man Complete Legacy Collection”

• None


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The Invisible Man's Revenge [Blu-Ray] (1944)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 29, 2019)

With 1944’s The Invisible Man’s Revenge, we get the fourth and final sequel to 1933’s The Invisible Man. Imprisoned as a murderous psychopath, Robert Griffin (Jon Hall) escapes and becomes a fugitive.

As he flees, Robert encounters Dr. Peter Drury (John Carradine), a scientist who invented an invisibility formula. Robert eagerly takes this to facilitate his ability to elude law enforcement and also to get his revenge on the Herrick family, a clan he believes cheated him.

From the 1933 Invisible Man through 1940’s Invisible Man Returns, 1940’s Invisible Woman and 1942’s Invisible Agent, each movie in the series featured a different transparent character – and a different lead actor.

That changes partially with Revenge, as Agent’s Jon Hall returns to play the see-through main role. However, in an odd choice, Revenge places Hall in a new part.

In Agent, Hall played the heroic Frank Raymond, a civilian who used the invisibility formula to battle Nazis. This makes his turn as the criminally insane Robert a pretty radical change, though the surname creates confusion.

Though his Agent role adopted the last name “Raymond”, we learn that he descends from Jack Griffin, the original Invisible Man, and that “Griffin” is his true surname. The decision to make the Revenge role another Griffin seems perplexing, as Robert is no relative to any of the prior films’ Griffins, and neither he nor anyone in his family created the invisibility formula.

If I ignore these odd casting and character name choices, I can appreciate Revenge as one of the more effective entries in the Invisible Man series. While it doesn’t ever quite excel, it brings us an intriguing enough tale to keep us with it.

Though it can feel like a throwback to Return of the Invisible Man. As I noted when I reviewed Agent, the first three sequels each managed to create its own unique story, but Revenge offers more than a few echoes of Return.

Despite these callbacks, I think Revenge manages to form its own tale to a decent degree, and its execution satisfies. Whereas Hall felt stiff and bland in Agent, he manages a bit more personality here, as he brings reasonable life to his morally questionable role.

It comes as a surprise to find a story with few likable characters. How many movies of this sort posit psychopaths as the leads?

Not many, and hardly anyone else in Revenge earns our admiration. We spend our time with various selfish, nasty folks, a turn that gives Revenge a dark spin.

Nothing about Revenge offers real creative innovation, but it still works most of the time. A fairly taut thriller, it wraps up the franchise pretty well.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus F

The Invisible Man’s Revenge appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a highly satisfying presentation.

Overall sharpness worked well, with only a smidgen of softness in a couple of wider shots. Most of the film boasted fine delineation and accuracy.

Neither jaggies nor moiré effects impacted the proceedings, and the presence of light grain meant it seemed unlikely that digital noise reduction came into play. Edge haloes remained absent and I saw no print flaws.

Blacks seemed deep and rich, while contrast gave the movie a fine silvery sheen. Low-light shots brought us nice smoothness and clarity. These Universal monster Blu-rays consistently excel and Revenge follows suit.

I felt the same about the high-quality DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack, as it held up nicely for its age. Music and effects didn’t boast great range or punch, but both came across accurate enough and they lacked distortion or problems.

As usual for older recordings, speech came across as a little tinny, but the lines remained fairly concise and only a few spots of edginess occurred. The mix lacked hiss, noise or other problems. This turned into a more than acceptable mix for its era.

The Blu-ray includes no extras at all.

The final entry in the series, The Invisible Man’s Revenge feels less original than its predecessors. However, it executes its dark tale well and becomes an engaging thriller. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and satisfying audio but it lacks supplements. Revenge becomes a mostly involving story.

As of winter 2019, Invisible Man’s Revenge can’t be purchased on its own. It can be found as part of a six-film “Invisible Man Complete Legacy Collection”. In addition to Revenge, we find The Invisible Man, The Invisible Man Returns, Invisible Woman, Invisible Agent, and Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man.

In addition, Revenge comes in the “Universal Monsters Complete 30-Film Collection”. It actually packages the Invisible Man set mentioned above with similar compilations for six other Universal Monsters.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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