John Carpenter -- Halloween, The Thing, In the Mouth of Madness -- is a legend within horror filmmaker circles, with an undeniable reach that has extended beyond the black-clad hordes. In addition to his terrifying titles, he did some more mainstream films. Today, we're going to talk about his big-budget, Hollywood film starrring Chevy Chase and Daryl Hannah, Memoirs of an Invisible Man.
Chevy Chase mostly plays it straight as Nick Holloway, a wealthy stock analyist (and a bit of a sleazy womanizer) who gets zapped one day during some kind of meltdown at a scientific research facility. I'm fuzzy on the science fiction in play here, but there's some sort of nuclear accident wherein the building and Holloway are both rendered invisible. The building has random pieces and bits gone, but structurally still in place, but Holloway is 100% gone to the human eye.
This presents a problem to Holloway, as he had just begun flirting with breathlessly voiced documentary producer played by Daryl Hannah. What's worse -- Sam Neill as a cruel CIA operative who chases Holloway relentlessly with his pack of wild dog government bros. There's lots of slapstick and craft here, and the script is good. Chase is much better than I would have guessed in a "straight" role, and the pioneering visual special effects were on the cutting edge when the film was released in 1992.
There's a fun VFX featurette included in the bonus features, as well as vintage interviews. It's always great to hear Carpenter talk, and if you're a Carpenter fan, you'll get a little more insight into how he works with this release.
Memoirs of an Invisible Man is a fun popcorn movie, never meant to be much else, but of course, Carpenter does throw in a bit of mistrust of the government. Neill is always an awesome villain, and he won't let you down in this film. I'm pretty sure that his performance in this film is the reason he was cast as the protagonist and insurance investigator who has to find a best-selling horror writer --- Sutter Cane --- in Carpenter's awesome In the Mouth of Madness.
Scream Factory is releasing Memoirs of an Invisible Man on Blu-ray here in North America on July 24 (In the Mouth of Madness will still be released on the same date, but the TV movie Someone's Watching Me! has been pushed back to August 7.)
The film looks (and sounds) great with a just a few grainy scenes, which are the exceptions rather than the rule.
Interested? Check out more info and preorder at Scream Factory's site here and watch a clip from the film below.
The official synopsis:
Chevy Chase takes center stage in 1992’s Memoirs of an Invisible Man. Thanks to a nuclear accident, Nick Halloway (Chase) has become invisible. Invisibility makes it easier to spy on agents (particularly chief adversary Sam Neill) who've put him in his predicament. And he can romance a lovely documentary producer (Daryl Hannah) in a way she's never "seen" before. John Carpenter directs and Industrial Light and Magic create eye-opening effects as Nick embarks on his manic quest.