I said in an earlier article that if I possessed the power of invisibility, I don’t think I’d be a complete villain. I wouldn’t be criminal, but I sure would scare the hell out of quite a few people. I’d like to be an optimist here and think most of us wouldn’t do anything too bad– some good-natured mischief is always welcome, especially at Halloween. But if the invisibility serum drove us insane, who knows. If you’re a villain to begin with (I’m not, honest), then there’s definitely no way to go but down.
Robert Griffin discovered a diamond in Africa with Sir Jasper and Lady Irene Herrick (I truthfully don’t know if Robbie there is any relation to the original invisible man or not, but he’s played by Jon Hall who starred as the previous invisible agent). They decide to split the find, but the Herricks leave Robert in Africa, believing him dead while on safari. He wasn’t dead, only injured, and after he made it out of the jungle he found himself in a mental institution in Cape Town.
He kills a couple of the hospital’s orderlies to escape and makes his way back home where he tracks down the Herricks. Robert makes it pretty plain he didn’t like being abandoned or double-crossed. Jasper and Irene claim it wasn’t like that at all, it was an unfortunate misunderstanding. Robert doesn’t care, he wants his share of the diamond profits. He then gets really ticked-off when the Herricks inform him that the venture went bust.
This in no way sits well with the murderous mental ward escapee (for future reference, one may want to refrain from relaying bad news to such individuals). The Herricks then offer him co-ownership in some of their real estate. Robert’s not too impressed with their deal and demands they arrange a marriage between himself and their daughter, Julie.
The Herricks, to appease their unwanted visitor, agree to do as Robert has maniacally suggested. Then they drug him and toss him out. He nearly drowns then meets a scientist who has invented an invisibility serum and owns a German Shephard that can really hold a grudge. Robert takes the serum and decides to get some revenge on the Herricks (in all fairness, they did slip him a mickey).
Of all the Invisible films, The Invisible Man’s Revenge may be the craziest. Having gone from the horrors of science run amok to comedy to spy smashing, we end here with a crime/revenge flick (we do still have Abbott and Costello to go, so we’re not completely done with the invisibles yet). No one can say this series didn’t swing for the fences.
After a homerun first entry, any number of franchises will produce some winners and their share of fouls: X-Men, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, even Indiana Jones and James Bond (Octopussy anyone?). I love the original The Invisible Man; the sequels I can take or leave. They are interesting to watch, though, from a horror film fanatic’s point of view. If you love horror, or just film in general, you should know your history to know where you came from and who paved the way.