Friday, July 31, 2015

Film Capsule: Edgar G. Ulmer's The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)


The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer

In the annals of American International Pictures, few films stand as valiantly lame as this shoestring sci-fi drive-in novelty by the virtuoso of no-budget genre productions, Edgar Ulmer. Shot in under a week in the Dallas desert, the film mounts a ludicrous plot concerning a notorious safe-cracker (Douglas Kennedy) sprung from prison and sent to a remote farmhouse where a mad US Army major (James Griffith) conducts invisibility experiments which he plans on utilizing to blackmail the government into enlisting a legion of untraceable minions. With just a few locations and the most primitive of special effects, the cast and crew is able to rather heroically exceed these limitations while pushing past the narrative’s inherent absurdity. Ulmer was, as Andrew Sarris once noted, the unintentional master of the maudit, and this charming oddity, like nearly all of the director’s work, rises impressively from its own ashes. (August 1, 5pm; August 4, 9:15pm at Anthology Film Archive’s AIP tribute) [BK Mag]

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