This is another little low-budget Roger Corman movie. Roger Corman churned out a ton of low-budget horror flicks in the late 50sw and throughout the 60s. The surprising thing is that most of the movies he made, despite being low-budget and not highly respected, were actually pretty good. this movie is no exception. When I was a kid, I read Stephen King's written treatise on the horror genre, "Danse Macabre," and it mentioned this movie as one of the scariest ever made, so I've wanted to see it for years. This is the first time I got the chance to see it,and I'm glad I finally did, because it is creepy and cool.
This movie is about a doctor who discovers a serum that will allow people to have x-ray vision. He can't get anyone to agree to try it after it kills a lab animal, so he tries it on himself, and at first, it helps him immensely. He can see through the skin of his patients and diagnose problems, and when other doctors don't believe him, he starts to take drastic measures to get them to listen to him. Not only that, the power of the serum is addictive,so he becomes addicted and keeps using it even long after it's clearly getting him to act strangely. Soon, he can't just see through people's clothes and skin,but through their very beings into their souls or their life essence. This appears as a bright light that gets brighter and brighter, and he tries to think of a way to stop seeing the horrible things he's seeing. Unfortunately, at this point, his eyes have turned completely black,and now there's no turning back.
SPOILERS SPOILERS STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED FOR YOU THIS RUINS THE MOVIE STOP IT STOP IT STOP READING NOW.
At the end of the movie, the guy eventually rips his own eyes out so he can stop seeing, and the camera lingers on his bloody eye sockets, which is icky. Stephen King mentions in "Danse Macabre" that there was supposed to be a voice over in this scene screaming "I can still see!" but that this was cut out because it made the movie too disturbing. After watching the movie, I can agree with Stephen King that they should have left this line in, but the ending is creepy anyway. I'm glad I finally watched this movie.