A wrongfully convicted man escapes prison using a drug that makes him invisible, but will drive him insane if he doesn't cure himself in time.
The Invisible Man Returns (1940)
Directed by Joe May
Written by Lester Cole and Curt Siodmak
Starring Vincent Price, Cedric Hardwicke, Nan Grey,
John Sutton, Cecil Kellaway, Alan Napier, Forrester Harvey
Sequel to 1933's The Invisible Man
Based on characters created by H.G. Wells
Oscar Nominations - Best Visual Effects
I have not yet seen The Invisible Man, so I can't speak to the film's success as a worthy sequel. However, as a standalone film, it's not half bad, thanks mostly to Vincent Price's strong vocal performance as the invisible Geoffrey Radcliffe. The film does have a serious pacing problem, as it tends to drag during some heavy expository scenes. But the visual effects are remarkably good for 1940, which is probably why this sequel still somewhat holds up. It adds to the tried and true formula of invisibility driving you insane, and Price really helps sell the insanity.
Price plays Geoffrey Radcliffe, a socialite who is wrongfully convicted of killing his brother, and on the eve of his execution, he escapes with the help of his friend Dr. Frank Griffin (John Sutton), brother of Dr. Jack Griffin from the first film. Griffin makes Geoffrey invisible, but he does not yet have the cure. While Geoffrey waits for the cure to be developed, he slips into madness when he discovers his brother's murderer. It's a decent story that has a serviceable climax, but getting there is such a bore at times. This was a problem with a lot of films in early Hollywood. They felt the need to spoon feed the audience every last detail.
The Invisible Man Returns was Vincent Price's very first horror film, though it would later be House of Wax that typecast him into the genre for good. However, he might never have gotten there if it hadn't been for this film. And it's a decent watch for the most part, if you can stay awake during the lulls.