1963’s Roger Corman classic X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes is about Dr. James Xavier, a scientist who thinks he has invented a way to cure blindness and allow the human eye to see beyond the normal spectrum. When his funding his pulled, Dr X turns his experimental drops on himself. And like Dr Jekyll and The Invisible Man before him, he becomes addicted to using his own formula to disastrous results.
This is vintage Roger Corman with silly plot misdirections, crazy scientists and a cheap budget. The thing that makes this movie memorable is actor Ray Milland as Dr X. He is genuinely creepy and the best actor in the movie. You really believe he is going insane and is beyond hope.
I also liked how the film tried to see Dr X’s eyes. The use of crazy photography colors, strategically placed lens and playing with the light spectrum made you believe that the film could overcome its low budget.
Another crazy thing about this movie is extra creepy performance from Don Rickles, who plays a sleazy agent who tries to use DR.X for financial gain. He is mean, creepy, intimidating and the north side of brilliant. Wow never expected anything that good from him. He was so effective.
In March of 2009, MGM claimed they were going to remake this film as a thriller. Not really sure we need a remake of a film this basic. This is purely a nostalgia or a genre watch that’s all. I can’t say I’d recommend anyone seek it out.
2 out 5
So Says the Soothsayer