April 5, 2017

X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes

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And, once again, we find ourselves looking another movie right in the piehole...

This week, however, it wasn't such a chore. Derek chose the 1963 Roger Corman classic starring Ray Milland, X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes.

Milland is Dr. James Xavier, a scientists whose weird obsession with eyes has moved into his work, and he is working on developing a serum that will allow humans to use all of the available spectrum, instead of the limited "most of the available spectrum" that has clearly held humans back for so long.

Yeah, that's...that's way better.
While working on his serum, he is introduced to a new colleague, Dr. Diane Fairfax (Diana Van der Vlis), who will help him retain funding from the foundation for which he works. In order to impress her, he forces some drops into a monkey's eyes so it can see through things. (No, really. That's his plan.)

This...does not feel like the kind of thing that should be done.
He then tosses the monkey in a cage and puts a stack of cards in front of it, and the monkey, which has been trained to turn lights on that correspond to the color it see, turns on the lights in the correct order he stacked them before putting it in a black sleeve at the front of the cage.

Bright lights confound her, but delight him.
Convinced that his serum works, despite the annoying little detail that it causes the monkey's heart to fail, possibly because of what it saw, Xavier decides that human trials need to happen, but his other coworker, Dr. Sam Brant (Harold J. Stone), feels that maybe "a little monkey death" is a good enough reason to put human trials on hold. Undaunted, Xavier decides to apply the drops to himself.

Instantly, he starts seeing things no human should see...The invisible spectrum...the insides of people. It's really kind of trippy. But then he passes out and has to be taken to the hospital, so Diane has to meet with the board to secure further funding.

Unfortunately, the board is not keen on allowing further research in this field, and they fire Xavier, who goes back to being a regular old medical doctor.

Somewhere in there, this happens. And it's more
upsetting than anything else in the movie.
His first move once he's back at a hospital is to argue with another doctor (John Hoyt) about that doctor's prognosis of a young patient, and when the doctor disagrees with him, Xavier feels he has no other choice than to cut that guy with a scalpel to keep him from doing bad surgery.

Meanwhile, Xavier continues to administer the drops to his own eyes, despite its inconsistency, and Dr. Sam and Dr. Diane are against him continuing. When Sam confronts him, Xavier sort of pushes him out a window to his death.

Diane gets Xavier out of town, and he goes off to join the circus for some reason, where he becomes a "fortune teller". He does this by reading cards people fill out through the weird, Karate Kid-style headband he wears. Most people are convinced it's some sort of scam, but the guy who runs the show, Crane (played with pure creepy awesomeness by Don Rickles), believes him, and offers a new sort of business plan to Xavier: Become a fake sort of doctor who can tell people what's wrong with them. Don't charge, but ask for donations of anything they can afford.

I said NO proctology exams!
All is going well until Diane finds Xavier again, and when she goes tos ee him, Crane overhears and realizes who Xavier is. He threatens Xavier, who is still wanted for the accidental murder of Sam, with turning him over to the police. Xavier, whose only move appears to just be a lot of shoving, acts out against Crane, and he and Diane get out of town.

Now the plan is to go to Las Vegas, hit the casinos, clean them out by reading the cards, and then...we dunno...fucking off to somewhere warm but dark, so it doesn't hurt his eyes. Unfortunately, the plan goes right down the crapper when Xavier, who can't keep his goddamn mouth shut, reveals to everyone, including a cop and the pit boss at the casino, how he is cleaning them out. When the cop moves to detain him, Xavier hits him with a very small handful of money, and runs. He steals a car, leaving Diane behind, and heads toward California...

What would make you think I'm cheating?
Will he make it? Will he be able to make more of the serum? Will Diane ever find a hairstyle that doesn't accentuate her giant forehead? Will Crane realize his dream of being a skeevy, even dirtier scumbag? Tune in to find out!

Derek was pleased that, despite not having seen this film in over twenty years, it was just as fun and entertaining as the first time around. He is, however, very disturbed by Ray Milland's dancing.

Larry was super excited to see this, and was not disappointed. Oh, sure, he giggled at Ray's dancing, too, but otherwise he enjoyed it. He also has plans for a reboot cast that would be awesome.

Jake also had not seen this, and was duly surprised at how good it was. Oh, sure there were some goofy parts with overly flowery dialogue, but it was worth it.

So put on your shades, put in your eyedrops, and listen to this week's episode!