Thursday, 24 March 2011
Las Vegas Through X-Ray Eyes
The first film I ended up watching after I got back from a week long family trip to Las Vegas last week was Roger Corman's 1963 "X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes". It's been near the top of my list for eons and I finally received the disc from zip.ca just before we left on our trip. We had a great time in Vegas (not a dime towards gambling - just seeing the sights and basking in some spot on perfect weather), but I'll admit that I was pretty glad to cozy up to the film the evening we returned.
It's goofy in so very many ways, but also really well constructed as it moves from Dr. James Xavier's (Ray Milland) early experiences testing eye drops that can increase the spectrum of viewable wavelengths through his x-ray capabilities that get him in trouble at his hospital to being on the run in a carnival sideshow.
But your past always catches up...So after fleeing yet again, Xavier decides to build a new lab and continue his experiments. Where to get the money though? Well, with his new found abilities, games of chance become sure things, so he sets off for...wait for it...Las Vegas! His entry into the city is a kaleidoscope of colours filtered through warped vision:
Though almost 50 years removed from my recent stroll through The Strip, Xavier's distorted view of the gambling halls and hotels is not that far removed from the sensory experience of being on that boulevard at 9:30PM. On St. Patrick's Day. It's a remarkable oasis of fun and fake in the middle of a desert. Horrible and wonderful at the same time.
Blue Man Group were awesome though.
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On the DVD commentary, director Corman talks about how he and a skeleton crew drove around Vegas getting the shots--and then went and had themselves a good time (it's almost like the movie was an excuse to visit Las Vegas).
Hi Ivan, sorry for the delay in responding...
I didn't get a chance to listen to the commentary - it sounds like it would be worth a rental just to hear it. I'm about halfway through Corman's book "How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime", so I'm looking forward to him covering this film...
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