X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963 film)

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Still from X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963 film)...

X: The man with the X-Ray Eyes, AKA The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, X (1963)

Summary

Intent on enhancing mankind's ocular ability, the brilliant Dr. James Xavier invents a formula that allows him to see wavelengths of light outside the normal human spectrum. When his funding is suddenly threatened, Xavier tests the formula on himself despite the protests of his colleague. While the formula proves initially useful in a variety of minor tasks, Xavier soon finds himself able to see things that no man was meant to see.


Details

  • Release Date: 1963
  • Country/Language: US, English
  • Genres/Technical: Science Fiction, Horror
  • Runtime: 1 hr 19 min
  • Starring: Ray Milland, Diana Van der Vlis, Harold J. Stone, John Hoyt, Don Rickles,
  • Director: Roger Corman
  • Writer: Robert Dillon and Ray Russell (screenplay)
  • Producer/Production Co: Alta Vista Productions
  • View Trailer: (link)


Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: PG (mild Violence, horror, and TV-friendly "brief nudity")

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; could be a very loose adaptation)

This film mines some of the same material that Lovecraft's "From Beyond (fiction)" does, with eye drops serving much the same purpose as the Tillinghast Resonator in revealing hidden vistas of horror in the universe around us. By the end of the film, Xavier is able to see outside and beyond time and space into things man was not meant to see, with suitably disastrous results to Xavier's sanity, and some nice body horror besides.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Brian M. Sammons at Innsmouth Free Press, (link) - "...An uneven movie. At times, it can be almost brilliant, but far too often, it’s plain old boring. Well-acted-and-made for the most part, the film does take two of Lovecraft’s main themes and utilizes them well..."


Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

Intent on enhancing mankind's ocular ability, the brilliant Dr. James Xavier invents a formula that allows him to see wavelengths of light outside the normal human spectrum. When his funding is suddenly threatened, Xavier tests the formula on himself despite the protests of his colleague. While the formula proves initially useful in a variety of minor tasks, Xavier soon finds himself able to see things that no man was meant to see.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • Dr. James Xavier: "Saved? No. I've come to tell you what I see. There are great Darknesses, farther than Time itself. And beyond the Darkness... a Light that glows, changes... and in the center of the universe... the Eye that sees us all!"
  • Dr. James Xavier: "The city... as if it were unborn. Rising into the sky with fingers of metal, limbs without flesh, girders without stone. Signs hanging without support. Wires dipping and swaying without poles. A city unborn. Flesh dissolved in an acid of light. A city of the dead."
  • According to rumor, the final line was cut from the complete film, and according to Roger Corman, the idea was discussed, but ultimately rejected:

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
After ripping out his own eyes, Xavier stares in horror with his empty eye sockets and cries, "I CAN STILL SEE!"


Associated Mythos Elements


Keeper Notes

  • This film's premise might make for a prompt for a nice, short Delta Green scenario, set in the 1960s, with a Timothy Leary sort of psychedelic visionary guru character handing out addictive eye-drops to counter-culture types which supposedly "expand consciousness and vision", with predictably horrific consequences....