X The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) Roger Corman’s Optical Science Fiction Horror

x the man with the x-ray eyes (1963) incredible artwork poster design reynold brown

X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes has to be one of my favorite Roger Corman films and one I revisit on many occasions since I first saw it in 1989.  I know the year because it was shown on British TV as part of director Alex Cox presents Moviedrome series that featured so many classic films. Check out my Moviedrome appreciation post I did a while back to see what it was all about or get a nostalgia fix if like me, you fondly remember the series.

x the man with the x-ray eyes (1963) roger corman ray milland diana van der vlis in the lab

Ray Milland does what Ray Milland does best, play that moody, cantankerous old fella. He goes into the part nice and slowly, working his way up the stages of anger, like the levels of a retro arcade game to reach the boss level. Bit tetchy and irritable moving on to an old grouch curmudgeon with a short-temper leading on to full blown short fuse of anger of the highest proportions. He has real reason to start to lose his cool but the guy does bring it on himself in the name of science and the desire to invent a revolutionary new step in the realms of the physical and material world!

What was that incredible feat in science for, I hear you ask?………. Well to perv at party goers dancing the night away of course! The ability to have X-Ray eyes to see through layers of clothes, through walls and beyond! Well it’s the beyond which becomes a BIG problem for our intrepid inventor.

Tagline – Suddenly he could see through clothes, flesh… and walls!

x the man with the x-ray eyes (1963) roger corman naked dancing jazz jive

Imaging happily smiling away looking at all the lovely ladies walking down the road as you have a sneaky gawk. To be honest the boobs would probably look mighty strange all squished and strapped down by the bra but still, naughty to see. But then you start seeing through the skin, it’s all blood red and veiny. Then the ribcage starts to come into view. Oh god what’s that beginning to appear? That sweet lady with the curves has turned into a horror show. It might be natural but you don’t wanna be seeing the heart quivering to the beat as it pushes and pulses out blood! Suddenly your excitement soon goes limp, lol, this wasn’t a good idea.

x the man with the x-ray eyes (1963) roger corman ray milland diana van der vlis naked

Dr. James Xavier – “You could say I’m seeing you really for the first time? and that’s the most interesting birthmark you have above the third rib on your left side.”
Dr. Diane Fairfax – “But! how do you know that? Ooo you can see me!”
Dr. James Xavier – “Oh and your back bone is a sheer delight but remember I’m a doctor”
Dr. Diane Fairfax – “Well you remember that I’m a woman”
Dr. James Xavier – “I can hardly forget!”

x the man with the x-ray eyes (1963) ray milland harold j. stone eye drops

Dr. James Xavier (Ray Milland) a brilliant scientist happily experimenting in the field of  human eyesight, intending to help increase the scope of human vision. To be able to see further, more detailed, beyond the usual visible spectrum of the eye. After not receiving the results he’d wished for from experimenting on animals, he started testing on himself. Realising the true potential of his creation he tries a bit more. Before he knows it Dr Xavier starts to discover he can see through clothing. His new vision can become the most marvelous tool in the operating theatre. He can see problems within the human body and diagnose medical problems without having to open a patience up or carry out a misdiagnosed procedure. This was a vital new miracle breakthrough for the world of medical science. As Dr Xavier drops a few more doses of his special formula into each eye, surely nothing could go wrong?

x the man with the x-ray eyes (1963) roger corman ray milland dark sunglasses sci-fi

Dr. Diane Fairfax – “What do you see?”
Dr. James Xavier – “The city… as if it were unborn. Rising into the sky with fingers of metal, limbs without flesh, girders without stone. Signs hanging without support. Wires dipping and swaying without poles. A city unborn. Flesh dissolved in an acid of light. A city of the dead.”

x the man with the x-ray eyes (1963) ray milland mind reader trick

It’s a perfect example of experimental science fiction and horror mixed together and fits it superbly with the sixties era. It’s like a colour version of an extended episode of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. X is directed by that man of the B-Movies, Roger Corman on the usual low budget and quick turnaround. Meaning we get a super snappy short run-time and a fast paced story. No time for filling, let’s get down to business. We the viewer experiences the fast decline of our poor panicked protagonist as his life quickly becomes to disastrous consequences. Yes it might be his own thought but you do care for the old scientist and his madding plight.

Tagline – HE STRIPPED SOULS AS BARE AS BODIES!

x the man with the x-ray eyes (1963) roger corman ray milland black eyes

There’s some great supporting cast from Diana Van der Vlis who is wonderful as his friend and science partner. Harold J Stone and John Hoyt also appear as scientists. Stand-up comedian Don Rickles plays Crane the deceiving head of a travelling carnival. At time of writing it is up to stream on youtube here

You know what The Man with the X-Ray Eyes has always been my favourite Roger Corman film, well there’s a new contender knocking on the door! It’s still has some multiple veiwings to catch up but with my recent viewing of Not Of This Earth I can safely say it has competition.  And that’s alright with me, the more the merrier. What’s your favourite Roger Corman films by the way? Let me know if you wish.

PS The poster artwork from artist Reynold Brown is absolutely incredible. One day I would love to have my own mini cinema room and if I do that poster is going straight up.

x the man with the x-ray eyes (1963) roger corman ray milland sci-fi horror eyes close up

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Je t’aime, Je t’aime (1968) French Surrealism Experimental Time Travel

Je t'aime, Je t'aime (1968) French time travel film Alain Resnais poster artwork

The French do mind trippy fantastic science fiction surrealism in film with ease. Just check 1965’s Neo Noir sci-fi Alphaville and snappy 1962 time travel short film La Jetee. Amazingly creative, thoughtful science fiction. Here’s another sixties onslaught attack on your precious grey matter cells. From director Alain Resnais and his 1968 film Je t’aime, Je t’aime (I Love You, I Love You). Continue reading “Je t’aime, Je t’aime (1968) French Surrealism Experimental Time Travel”

Obsession (1949) British Politeness, A Hot Water Bottle & A Perfect Murder

Obsession (1949) The Hidden Room Robert Newton Sally Gray poster artwork

Storm Riordan (Sally Gray) is not to be confused with a certain naughty Stormy who turned tricks for a President with bouffant hair in her spare time. Or even be mistaken for that African American lady who causes pandemonium with her weather controlling superpowers when she’s in a bit of a mood. No, this Storm is a pretty normal lass, goes to work, likes the cinema and entertaining friends. She loves her cute little dog, Monty but unfortunately she has fallen out of love with her husband Dr. Clive Riordan (Robert Newton) Continue reading “Obsession (1949) British Politeness, A Hot Water Bottle & A Perfect Murder”

Of Human Bondage (1934) A Sucker For Punishment!

Of Human Bondage (1934) Bette Davis Leslie Howard John Cromwell movie poster

Featuring one of the most scathingly brutal smash downs I’ve seen on screen. Not only do you witness the moment the human spirit breaks inside a poor unfortunate fellow but you the viewers own eternal soul is torn from its tether. The intensity of the fierce, savage beatdown is spat into the face of its victim like erupting molten lava. He stands, shocked, flabbergasted and innocently stupid as he takes his punishment!  But what else would you expect from a movie with a title called Of Human Bondage?

Tagline – The story of a man who burnt up his soul for an idol cold as ice!

Continue reading “Of Human Bondage (1934) A Sucker For Punishment!”

The Naked Jungle (1954) Charlton Hates Ants And Sloppy Seconds!

The Naked Jungle (1954) Eleanor Parker Charlton Heston ants technicolor poster

Christopher (Charlton Heston) is a king kong prat! He’s gifted a beautiful, intelligent, free spirited, buxom, mail order bride with only one real desire, to procreate! And all this moody plonker can worry about is sloppy seconds! He’s not a happy bunny at all, huffing and puffing, this primadonna has mood swings coming out his arse! Temper tantrums, door smashing, perfume throwing and he even proudly announces his skill at reframing from bedding his indigenous workers! He’s a total twonk.

The Naked Jungle (1954) Christopher (Charlton Heston) moody Continue reading “The Naked Jungle (1954) Charlton Hates Ants And Sloppy Seconds!”

The Snake Pit (1948) Olivia de Schizo Journeys The Levels Of Madness!

The Snake Pit (1948) movie poster film artwork olivia de havillandMaybe it’s an insight into my own fractured mind but I do enjoy a good insane asylum film. Traveling into the depths of madness. They do have to be done well and feature deep thoughts on the subject. Films like David and Lisa and Shock Corridor have score high on my wolfy meter. Continue reading “The Snake Pit (1948) Olivia de Schizo Journeys The Levels Of Madness!”

The Petrified Forest (1936) A Waitress, a Hobo and a Bank Robber Walk Into a Bar

The Petrified Forest (1936) Leslie Howard Bette Davis Humphrey Bogart movie poster

There I was sitting giggling to myself, waiting for this hilarious, frightened, petrified woodland to appear only to find out it was just a few rocks in the godforsaken desert. Of course I’m only having a laugh. I found The Petrified Forest a very intriguing title. I knew Humphrey Bogart had a standout role within the film but I wasn’t here this time for him. This viewing was for a certain actress called Bette Davis, which, sit down before I say this, I’d not seen any of her films! Please forgive me, I take myself off on a long walk as penance!

The Petrified Forest (1936) Leslie Howard wandering desert tumbleweed dusty road Continue reading “The Petrified Forest (1936) A Waitress, a Hobo and a Bank Robber Walk Into a Bar”

They Drive by Night (1940) The Magnificent Fabrini Brothers

They Drive By Night (1940) poster movie Raoul Walsh Bogie Raft Lupino

Humphrey Bogart is back again hitting my screen in the wolf lair as the quest to work through his films carries on. This time HB was in supporting role mode in this 1940’s movie called They Drive By Night . Top billing duties went to George Raft who, lets be honest, sounds more like Humphrey than Bogie himself in this. These two native New Yorkers make very believable brothers. Let’s meet the Fabrini Brothers. Continue reading “They Drive by Night (1940) The Magnificent Fabrini Brothers”

In a Lonely Place (1950) Angry Bogie’s Fury And An Alternative Ending

In a Lonely Place (1950) Humphrey Bogart Nicholas Ray movie poster one sheet

Before doing this blog I was blissfully unaware of Humphrey Bogart being bad! I’d only seen a handful of his movies and what with his legendary status following you around since whenever I can remember. Call me naive, I’d always thought he played good guys.  Well rogues or strong willed tough guys with a heart of gold or a cast iron moral code. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong! He was somewhat naughty in The Desperate Hours but I have to say I didn’t expect him to beat his despicable me part in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. So you see I wasn’t ready for Dixon Steele to turn up in In a Lonely Place and not reading anything about it when going in I’d expected him to be another Samuel Spade style PI. Continue reading “In a Lonely Place (1950) Angry Bogie’s Fury And An Alternative Ending”

City That Never Sleeps (1953) Robot Man, Strippers, Magician And A City God!

City That Never Sleeps (1953) poster one sheeet noir gig young mala powers

Voice of Chicago – “The city at night. A million homes, three and a half million people, all different from one another. People lovin’, people hatin’, people stealin’, people prayin’..”

Opening with the voice of Chicago looking down on its citizens, you can kinda guess we’re not in traditional film noir setting. Well actually the underlying story couldn’t be anymore noir but this strange little film has managed to squeeze in a few cheeky little surprises. So what’s going on Wolfie? Continue reading “City That Never Sleeps (1953) Robot Man, Strippers, Magician And A City God!”