Synopsis: A scientist becomes exposed to strong radiation and, as a result, can kill any living thing with just one touch.
Who’s in it? Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake and Frank Lawton star in this movie.
Review: My oldest daughter and I are huge Karloff/Lugosi fans and were excited to watch a (non-Frankenstein) movie that starred both of them. However, as it turns out, we were actually disappointed The Invisible Ray.
The thing that really surprised the two of us was how dull this film ended up being. The scientist (Karloff) has a radioactive death touch. How cool is that? Yet, for some reason, the film fails to fully capitalize on it. Instead of immediately turning evil or, at very least, being forced to live with his curse for a while, the audience is forced to wait as he is given a way of controlling it (by Lugosi) and doesn’t even think about using his power until late in the film. By the time that happened, to be perfectly honest, we lost interest.
I will say Karloff did an excellent job in the lead role as Dr. Rukh. When we started watching the movie, I was expecting him to be the hero with Lugosi playing the mad scientist character. However, I think Karloff was a much better choice. In fact, had the script been a bit better, I do feel this could have been one of his more memorable roles.
I probably would have said the same about Lugosi too. However, his Dr. Benet character was watered down a bit too much. The relationship he had with Karloff’s character, sometimes a friend, often a rival, was interesting but I don’t think it ever fully developed. Part of the reason is you have Ruhk’s wife (Drake) being stolen by one man (Lawton) and his scientific discovery being “borrowed” by a group that happens to include Benet. It would have been better if Lugosi’s character was solely responsible for everything.
Final Opinion: This film had some potential, especially since Karloff did such a great job. However, the script and overall execution made this movie much duller than it should have been.
My Grade: D