“Nothing can stop him… A man in the fourth dimension is indestructible!”
A scientist (James Congdon) experiments with an amplifier that would allow objects to pass through solid matter into the “fourth dimension”; but when his scientist brother (Robert Lansing) discovers that he possesses this “lifeforce” power himself, dire consequences ensue.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Science Fiction
- Supernatural Powers
Irvin Yeaworth is best known for directing The Blob (1958), a low-budget surprise hit which gave Steve McQueen his first leading role. Yeaworth’s next film was this equally engaging sci-fi horror flick, which — in its treatment of mad scientists, megalomania, and dual personalities — evokes numerous other classic genre films, most notably The Invisible Man and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The storyline, while occasionally cliched and overwrought, is mostly compelling, primarily thanks to the fact that the screenwriters take their time establishing the film’s central characters: first we’re introduced to “wild child” James Congdon’s relentless pursuit of his scientific passion:
which brings him to his more “established” older brother’s laboratories.
Next, a potentially rocky love triangle emerges between Congdon and feisty Lee Meriwether (Lansing’s assistant, who he’s about to propose to).
Finally, the story shifts to its central premise — the surprise powers possessed by Lansing, who becomes the film’s conflicted protagonist. By the time Lansing begins to experiment with his “4D” abilities (the film’s special effects are low-budget but effective):
and discovers the hideous truth that he is sapping his own “lifeforce” at an astonishing rate, we care about him as an individual, and feel sorry for the inevitable mess he’s gotten himself into.
For a much more detailed analysis of the film (giving away additional plot spoilers), see DVD Savant’s thorough review.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Robert Lansing as Scott Nelson
- Fun visual effects
No, but it’s recommended, and definitely must-see for sci-fi fans.