Thursday, October 11, 2012
Dazzling Kimono of Doom
our annual Halloween film festival so I will tell you a few things about X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES. 1) Before the credits even start there is an eye attached to a stalk kind of wiggling around in a jar of pink fluid, and you will think of Samuel Beckett's novel THE UNNAMABLE. 2) Then the credits appear over a black-and-purple swirling hypno-wheel. Dr. Theresa approved. 3) Suddenly, about halfway through, I guess, it takes an unexpected turn in the general direction of NIGHTMARE ALLEY, with Don Rickles doing a good job as a shady carny seeking to exploit THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES! Don Rickles removes Ray Milland from his carnival-appropriate kimono of dazzling yellow silk and sets him up as a phony "healer." Matters of faith and determinism are addressed! 4) Speaking of which, it all ends on a mystical note, not unlike THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (if nowhere near that level), following its premise through to its cosmic conclusion. THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES sees through everything, he SEES INTO THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, but I won't spoil it for you. 5) I forgot to mention a RAIN MAN-like side trip to Las Vegas. "This movie is all over the place," Dr. Theresa remarked at that point, but she didn't mean it in a bad way.