This week’s Svengoolie movie is the 1936 Universal Pictures film “The Invisible Ray” staring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Lugosi and Karloff are household names for most horror fans; however, for those a bit unsure Lugosi is famous for the role of Dracula in the original 1931 film among others, and Karloff’s portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster in films from 1931, 1935, and 1939 made him a household name. The movie also stars Frances Drake, Frank Lawton, Walter Kingsford, and Beulah Bondi. The film is directed by Lambert Hillyer who directed over 160 films during his career including “Dracula’s Daughter” (1936) and “Batman” (1943) which is the first filmed appearance of the famous caped crusader.
The movie centers on Dr. Rukh (Karloff) and Dr. Benet (Lugosi). Dr. Rukh discovers a way to see into the past, and a group of doctors use the device to witness a meteor hit the earth thousands of years ago. Dr. Rukh organizes an expedition to Africa to locate the meteor. Once found both Dr. Rukh and Dr. Benet are affected by the radiation, Radium X, that is coming from the meteor. Dr. Rukh is slowly going mad from the affects of the radiation while Dr. Benet simply took a piece of the rock and is using the radiation to heal people. Dr. Rukh’s condition intensifies once he discovers that his wife was unfaithful while on the trip to Africa, so he then goes on a rampage to kill all the members of the expedition using the radiation poisoning. Will he catch up with his wife and lover to exact his revenge or will Dr. Benet’s antidote cure him? Watch Svengoolie Saturday night to find out the exciting conclusion!