Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I love that there was a Gold Key comic book adaptation of Roger Corman's X - The Man With the X-Ray Eyes (though the actual on-screen title simply calls it 'X'). I re-watched this pulpy, sometimes lurid 1963 sci-fi gem yesterday and forgot there was so much to like about it: Ray Milland's great performance as the dedicated Dr. Xavier (obsessed with increasing the range and depth of human vision), Les Baxter's score (reissued on CD), the impressive (for their time) visual effects used to illustrate Xavier's POV, the scenes where Xavier is on the lam and hides out as a fortune teller in a skid-row carnival (where Don Rickels plays his manager/spruiker!), the swingin' medical party where doctors use syringes to make cocktails and Xavier sees everybody go-go dancing naked, the trip to Vegas to swindle the tables, and of course the potent ending in the desert revival tent meeting - "If thine eyes offend thee, tear them out". Probably my favourite Corman film from one of his most creative and fertile periods as a filmmaker.

The fantastic cover art for the comic book was done by George Wilson, who did seemingly hundreds of Gold Key covers, as well as lots of paperback and pulps. I loved that many of the Gold Key covers looked more like pulp/paperback art than comic books, and Gold Key did some strange but terrific choices for movie adaptations (The Naked Prey is one of my favourites, and they adapted many of the Corman Poe films from that period as well).