Trailer Terrors: Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

"He kind of plays it fast and loose." 

Call it a guilty pleasure, but there's something about this time of year that puts me in the mood to watch a boatload of Chevy Chase films. Of course there's National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, but more than that I'm talking about Chase's classic fare like Caddyshack, Fletch, Nothing But Trouble, and (yep, you guessed it) Memoirs of an Invisible Man!

As one of the less fondly remembered Universal Monster, the Invisible Man has always had it kind of rough in terms making a lasting impression upon the horror world. Despite being the butt of many a joke, the Invisible Man does manage to work his way back into the Hollywood every so often (Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Hollow Man, several TV series) and in 1992 it just so happened that he fell in the lap of Chevy Chase by way of of John Carpenter. Yes, my friends, that same "master of horror" who brought us Halloween and They Live directed a comedy starring Chevy Chase as an Invisible Man. Can't get better than that, right?

Depends on how you look at it. As a comedy Memoirs of an Invisible Man isn't particularly funny, or rather there's nothing that stands out as being "laugh out loud" funny. What the film does do a great job at is presenting a (semi)realistic depiction of what it might actually be like to become invisible. While Chase never truly reaches the height of characterization playing Nick Halloway as he did with Fletch or as Clark Griswold in the National Lampoon franchise he is still immensely likable in the role. It also doesn't hurt that his leading lady is the smoking hot Daryl Hannah.

The special effects are also pretty impressive given that the film came out a year or so before Jurassic Park put CGI on the map. The scenes with Chase half in make-up and half without are almost just as creepy as Claude Rains original getup, especially in the restaurant where his false face is smeared, exposing his abnormally white teeth like some plastic surgeon's worst nightmare. Another standout sequence is when Chase lights up a smoke and you can see his lungs as they fill with smoke. It's like watching a high school anatomy video, only it's intentionally meant to make you laugh.

If you haven't ever seen this film, or even if it's just been awhile since you last saw it, do yourself a favor and rent, borrow or buy it. It's sure to make a mighty fine addition to your horror-comedy-that's-not-really-horror collection alongside The Burbs, Transylvania 6-5000 and Nothing But Trouble. Guaranteed.


  1. Anonymous said...:

    I totally forgot all about this movie and had no idea that John Carpenter did it! Remarkable

  1. Jeff Allard said...:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  1. Jeff Allard said...:

    Love this movie. It's not one of Carpenter's - or Chase's - very best but it's a light, fun flick that never wears out its welcome with me. Sam Neill is great in this, too.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    What's even funnier is that Wes Craven released "Vampire in Brooklyn" not too long after this with the same mixed fan reaction. Both films are pretty entertaining, but I agree, definitely not their best work.

  1. Paxton said...:

    I agree with you that this movie is a guilty pleasure and that the most fascinating thing about it is the somewhat realistic depiction of invisibility. However, a lot of that came from the original book by HF Saint as well as a script polish by William Goldman. Check out the book, it's better.

    If you want a good movie where Chevy Chase gains super powers, see Modern Problems. It's funnier and quirkier.

    I do still enjoy watching Memoirs though. :-)

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    "Modern Problems," is that the one where he drinks the juice and gets telekinesis... I may be thinking of "Zapped!" Going to have to look that one up for sure, thanks Pax!

  1. Paxton said...:

    Haha. Kind of. In Modern Problems Chevy Chase is doused in chemicals and given telekinesis. In Zapped Scott Baio is caught in a chemical explosion that gives him telekinesis. Zapped Again features a juice made from the chemicals in the first Zapped movie that gives the drinker temporary telekinesis.

    You managed to work in three different movies into your question. That's pretty awesome.


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