X

1963, Movie, NR, 80 mins

Review

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Memorable, viscerally disturbing sci-fi/horror picture with Ray Milland as Dr. Xavier, a medical scientist who develops a serum that gives him X-ray vision. He's able to see through paper, clothes, and skin (a valuable asset to have around the operating room). As his powers grow stronger, he becomes increasingly demented and loses his job, signing up with a sideshow tout (Don Rickles) as a mind reader. His condition now causes him pain so severe that he needs to wear lead glasses. In agony and desperation, Xavier flees, eventually smashing his car and wandering into a revival meeting. There he hears a preacher quoting the Bible: "If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out." At wit's end, Dr. Xavier chooses to interpret the admonition literally. One of Roger Corman's finest directorial efforts, the movie took top honors at the Trieste Science Fiction Film Festival. In his book of casual horror criticism, Danse Macabre, Stephen King claims to have heard of an alternative ending that Corman deemed too horrifying: after tearing out his eyes, Dr. Xavier is supposed to have screamed, "I can still see!" leave a comment

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