SLAVES OF THE INVISIBLE MONSTER (1966)
Feature Version of Serial
Article 1845 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-3-2006
Posting Date: 8-31-2006
Directed by Fred C. Brannon
Featuring Richard Webb, Aline Towne, Stanley Price
An invisible madman plans to create an invisible army if he can get the necessary equipment and supplies. However, a heroic insurance investigator stands in his way…
I didn’t know invisible monsters had slaves! But then, he’s not really a monster, is he? I do know that they recut serials (in this case, THE INVISIBLE MONSTER) to make features out of them, and this one does such a sloppy, slapdash job of it (with clumsy jumpcuts and skipped plot points), that I don’t think they even tried to make it look like a real feature. In which case, I don’t see why I should be expected to give it a real review.
I will, however, dwell gleefully on our villain (creatively called The Phantom Ruler, a title which must have taken them all of three microseconds to come up with) and his “power”; namely, that he can become invisible if he wears a robe sprayed with a special solution while someone points a spotlight at him. This particular power seems to have severe limitations. So I would like to list several more dubious and compromised powers.
1) The ability to lift huge boulders but only while Ethel Merman is singing.
2) The ability to run at an accelerated speed but only through revolving doors.
3) The ability to be irresistible to the opposite sex but it only works on creatures from other species.
4) The ability to fly while woodpeckers peck out the rhythm to “Tea for Two”.
5) The ability to use X-Ray vision but only at nudist camps.
6) The ability to call all sorts of animals to your aid but only during outdoors bagpipe concerts.
7) The ability to stop time but only when being accosted by “Weird Al” Yankovic.
8) The ability to set things afire with your eyes but only within one hundred yards of a marshmallow factory.
9) The ability to take out a hundred ninjas with one kick of the foot but only after reciting the complete lyrics of “American Pie”.
10) … and finally, the ability to effectively capture supervillains but only during the last episode of a serial.
Actually, I think a lot of heroes have that last one…