Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Invisible Dead (1971) Pierre Chevalier - vhs on Wizard Video

I've got the Wizard Video edition of this movie that originally came in the big oversized box, though my copy's cover is cut to fit a smaller plastic case. It's got the same artwork on it as this tape I've got pictured here - though I can't be 100% certain that this is the Wizard version that I'm showing you. There is a DVD available now as Orloff and the Invisible Man as part of the EuroShock Collection. Director, Pierre Chevalier, has not made very many well known films. The Invisible Dead is often though of as the Jesus Franco film that Franco never made so as you can imagine it is not a masterpiece of European art cinema, but something more thrown together and padded with some sleazy material. Frequent Franco star, Howard Vernon, plays Dr. Orloff, a character he often played in Franco movie, even as late as Faceless in 1988. I also recognized the overweight and mustached Fernando Sancho, who played a funny investigator in The Swamp of the Ravens.

To make this here Wizard tape they did not bother with the pan n' scan to make up for the change in aspect ratio from very wide to televisions size. We get lots of shots where faces are cut off by the side of the TV, sometimes even a face on either side! This is especially noticeable since this is a very slow and sluggish picture with not a lot of cuts, so the shots tend to hold for a while. There are quite a few weird cutaways in the movie where the camera moves to an inanimate object (like the fire place) after the dialogue stops and holds on it for a seconds before the cut.

This movie was marketed as a zombie pic with it's Invisible Dead name, but really it is more of a traditional gothic horror with the villain being an invisible man. It's not awful, but it is slow as I mentioned before. Surely it is most notable for it's full frontal nudity where the camera gives you much more than a moments peek and one of the three females is subjected to a lengthy rape at the hands of the invisible man. Since he is completely transparent, the female being raped in the dungeon on a pile of hay is completely exposed for what seemed like several awkward, but very memorable, minutes.

Effects are decent, with objects being moved about be barely detectable strings when the invisible man is up to no good. Unfortunately, one effect, where a wall is meant to be closing in on a character, but is in reality just being zoomed in on slowly by the camera, does not work at all. A sound effect, a zoom, and a close up of a face in pain, do not, a closing wall trap make.

Cub Speaks this week contains spoilers about the nature of the invisible man in this movie, but it's worth a read anyway in my opinion.

Cub, I think that the scene where the invisible man raped the girl for sooo long shocked you? Didn't it?

The rape scene certainly shocked me. And you though "i spit on your grave" was brutal... just cause this time it was an invisible ape raping doesn't make it any less messed up cub.

Cub, you know when we saw the invisible man, and it was an ape-type man? Dr. Orloff said he had created a superior race to rule over mankind. Cub, is ape superior? As I have often hinted at this, there may be some truth. Was I right all along and humanity will fall?

I am still not convinced that the ape is a superior race, well maybe Kong was, but the invisible ape comes nowhere close.

Why, Cub, why did you not fall in love with the invisible 'man' - when it was ape - like so many people fell for King Kong in the Peter Jackson movie. Are some apes, it seems, more equal than others? Please tell me that you are still obsessed with fairness, among man and ape.

Kong is in fact an ape one can fall in love with, he's sweet, cute, sensitive, strong, and kicks ever other male's butt to show off for his woman (what else could a girl possibly ask for?)Kong is certainly superior to all other apes, cub, sorry but it's true.


Blogger John said...

God help us if they rise again!
I love that tagline,maybe if I find it I'll check it out. I would love to start seeking out rare,and hard to find VHS movies but most of the time I don't even know where to begin to look.Sounds like an interesting movie,and I gotta watch that wall closing in scene.hah.

2:05 AM  
Blogger warrenzone said...

for rare tapes on ebay, good search terms are "rare horror" or "oop horror" - I buy in bulk, so put in "rare horror lot" - but I have sworn to stop making purchases for a while due to having hundreds of unwatched tapes.

7:51 AM  
Blogger John said...

Yeah, I'll do that. One of these days I'll nab a rare movie.I have seen basket case and its sequel...but dont think thats 'rare rare'.Speaking of which I just read your archived article on Troll 2,and those other goblin type movies. I have that troll double sided dvd,but have been reluctant to watch the sequel.On the other hand I like to watch bad movies just for the shit to poke fun at.

4:58 PM  
Blogger warrenzone said...

watch the sequel!

9:08 PM  

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