The Invisible Monster

The Invisible Monster is a 1950 Republic film serial, starring Richard Webb and Aline Towne.

The Invisible Monster
Directed byFred C. Brannon
Produced byFranklin Adreon
Written byRonald Davison
StarringRichard Webb
Aline Towne
Lane Bradford
Stanley Price
John Crawford
George Meeker
Music byStanley Wilson
CinematographyEllis W. Carter
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release date
May 10, 1950 (serial)[1]
1966 (TV)[1]
Running time
12 chapters / 167 minutes (serial)[1]
100 minutes (TV)[1]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$153,070 (negative cost: $119,343)[1]

Plot

A would-be dictator and scientist, known only as The Phantom Ruler, has developed a formula which, when sprayed on some solid object, renders that object and everything it contains invisible when exposed to rays emitted by a special lamp, also his own invention. Covered from head to toe in formula-treated cloth, he thus moves about unseen, presently with the objective of stealing enough money and formula components to render an entire army of willing followers invisible. Two henchmen assist him, along with several illegal aliens smuggled into the US by him and used to infiltrate, as employees, possible sites for him to later rob while invisible. When he successfully robs a bank vault, an investigator from the bank's insurer teams up with a woman police detective to solve the mystery of the money which to all outside appearances has just vanished. Tracking clues and interrupting other attempts by the Phantom Ruler to commit crimes, the protagonists round up enough evidence that they are not merely dealing with an ordinary crime ring. Eventually they discover the invisibility fluid and lamp, and the Phantom Ruler is killed when he trips over an open high-power electric cable he had laid on the floor of his den to do in the forces of law and order closing in upon him.

Cast

Production

The Invisible Monster was budgeted at $153,070 although the final negative cost was $152,115 (a $955, or 0.6%, under spend).[1]

It was filmed between March 7 and 30, 1950 under the working title The Phantom Ruler.[1] The serial's production number was 1707.[1]

Stunts

Special effects

Special effects created by the Lydecker brothers.

Release

Theatrical

The Invisible Monster's official release date is May 10, 1950, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.[1]

Television

The Invisible Monster was one of twenty-six Republic serials edited to a uniform runtime of 100 minutes and syndicated directly to television as a package of TV Movies in 1966. The title of this new version was Slaves of the Invisible Monster.[1]

Critical reception

Cline describes this serial as just a "quickie."[3] In Creature Feature, this movie serial was given three out of five stars, stating that the movie villain is incredibly inept and rarely uses his creation intelligently, and that the entire series is naive, but that there was an underlying sense of non stop fun.[4]

Chapters

The Invisible Monster has 12 chapters. The first chapter is 20 minutes long, and each one thereafter is 13 minutes, 20 seconds.[1][5] Chapter 10, "High Voltage Danger", is a recap of all previous episodes.

  1. Slaves of the Phantom
  2. The Acid Clue
  3. The Death Car
  4. Highway Holocaust
  5. Bridge to Eternity
  6. Ordeal by Fire
  7. Murder Train
  8. Window of Peril
  9. Trail to Destruction
  10. High Voltage Danger (clip show)
  11. Death's Highway
  12. The Phantom Meets Justice

See also

References

  1. Mathis, Jack (1995). Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 118–119. ISBN 0-9632878-1-8.
  2. Cline, William C. (1984). "3. The Six Faces of Adventure". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 51. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  3. Cline, William C. (1984). "5. A Cheer for the Champions (The Heroes and Heroines)". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 91. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  4. Stanley, John. 2000. 2nd Edition. "Creature Feature. Berkley Boulevard
  5. Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
Preceded by
Radar Patrol vs Spy King (1949)
Republic Serial
The Invisible Monster (1950)
Succeeded by
Desperadoes of the West (1950)

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