HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
   
 
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
   
 
  Invisible Boy, The The Revolt Of The Machine
Year: 1957
Director: Herman Hoffman
Stars: Richard Eyer, Philip Abbott, Diane Brewster, Harold J. Stone, Robert H. Harris, Dennis McCarthy, Andrew Lockwood, John O'Malley, Robby the Robot
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dr Tom Merrinoe (Philip Abbott) is working at the lab one day when he is surprised by a visit from the military: General Swayne (Harold J. Stone) to be exact, and he is looking for answers. After greeting him, Merrinoe takes the General and his aides down nine levels underground to the computer that can give him his answers, a huge mechanical superbrain that is able to solve just about any problem it is faced with. It has been the scientist's pet project for a number of years now, and he believes it is foolproof, so when the inquiries lead to the new, top secret space platform that the United States are planning to launch, the General is not too happy about what it says...

But how does the supercomputer feel? The thought about what he has created has not crossed Merrinoe's mind, and that is his biggest mistake, because he finds himself championing the wrong "child" in this unusual science fiction footnote. This is a footnote because it will always be in the shadow of the other film to feature one of its characters, none other than Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet. Reuptedly because the suit for Robby was so expensive to make, an independent production was put into motion to showcase the child-friendly character, which makes what they do with him rather odd.

There is a vague explanation for how Robby was able to go back in time to exist in the America of the nineteen-fifties, something to do with a time-travelling professor, the previous head of the project who we never see, but at first it looks as if the robot will simply be used as a lighthearted plaything for Merrinoe's son Timmie (Richard Eyer). Timmie is a disappointment to his father, in contrast to the over-achieving computer, and cannot even master the basics of chess, never mind mathematics, but Merrinoe would be better remembering that he should be encouraging the human side of things and not letting machine become the true master, as begins to occur here.

The first hint we get that all is not right is when the computer hypnotises Timmie into being a chess champion, which baffles his dad, but pleases him so much that he allows the boy to put Robby, who at the start of the film is a lot of dismantled parts, back together. Robby is incredibly advanced, and the computer knows it, so while he is enabling Timmie to fly in his own specially designed contraption or turning him invisible, the real power behind him is drawing up plans to exploit the current Cold War. The Soviets will, according to the computer, commence World War Three if they know about the space platform, which turns out to be precisely what it wants.

There are echoes of this film's mechanised menace in HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, in that neither trust the humanity that created them and both believe they know better, to the point that they will kill to complete their missions. In fact, for a supposed children's film there is a share of nastiness here which seems out of place, as if the script by Forbidden Planet's Cyril Hume was trying to teach the little tykes a harsh lesson in behaviour, with the under the evil influence Robby at one point even threatening to pluck out Timmie's eyes. In fact, the level of ambition for a film with a fraction of its predecessor's budget is unexpectedly high, dragging in as many modern for the fifties paranoias as it possibly can, without even bothering to lighten the tone with humour in the grim second half. No masterpiece, then, but better than you might have thought. Music by Les Baxter.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3881 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: