Radium Exit

The Invisible Ray: written by Howard Higgin, Douglas Hodges, and John Colton; directed by Lambert Hillyer; starring Boris Karloff (Dr. Janos Rukh) and Bela Lugosi (Dr. Felix Benet) (1936): Borderline crazy scientist Karloff discovers ‘Radium X’ in Africa, a space-born mineral with both healing and killing powers. Lugosi’s character figures out how to heal people with it; Karloff’s character goes another way. Fun melodrama with some striking visual effects for its time, and strong performances from both Karloff and a refreshingly non-scenery-chewing Lugosi. Bears some resemblance to H.P. Lovecraft’s 1928 story “The Colour Out Of Space.” Recommended.

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