After sleeping in ’til about 9 o’clock, having 2 cups of coffee and checking my sad, lonely, ad-filled GMail I surfed around Hulu Live to see if anything could grab my attention and knock off about an hour or so of another long, pandemic-fueled day of empty monotony. Much to my delight I stumbled upon an old Kevin Bacon film. No, not Friday The 13th or Quicksilver or She’s Having a Baby, but the 2000 take on the Invisible Man story Hallow Man.
Directed by Paul Verhoeven who dazzled 1987 audiences with RoboCop, Hallow Man is the 21st Century’s first crack at the popular horror story of yesteryear. I believe I saw Hallow Man in the theatre back in late summer of 2000, probably to escape for two hours from another stress filled playoff push by the Red Sox. I dug Hallow Man, but it didn’t go over that great with American audiences even though it did garner an Oscar nod for Best Visual Effects. With a $95 million budget the film barely eclipsed three-quarters of that in U.S. & Canadian box office sales combined, yet like many American action films it nearly doubled it’s budget worldwide at the box office. Now that we covered the fact that in the end Columbia Pictures was able to pay everyone, cover production costs and throw a huge ass wrap party let’s get to the film itself.
Bacon(Footloose, Mystic River, Stir of Echoes) plays super talented and very fit scientist Sebastian Caine who along with his lab staff are working on a secret government project to make living beings invisible. Joining him in the lab is a rather star studded cast although I can’t speak for their individual scientific acumen. Elisabeth Shue(Karate Kid, Adventures In Babystitting, Leaving Las Vegas) plays Bacon’s scientific counterpart and former lover while her character’s current lover who’s also in the lab is played by a still budding Josh Brolin(No Country For Old Men, Sicario, Milk, W., Avengers: End Game). Rounding out the lab crew, which makes up pretty much the entire cast, is a super cute Kim Dickens(Deadwood, Gone Girl), Greg Grunberg(Felicity, Alias), Joey Slotnick(Twister, Alias, Nip/Tuck), who I always think was in 30Something but isn’t, and Mary Randle(Phone Booth). The main cast is topped off by longtime acting favorite William Devane(Knots Landing, Marathon Man). Interesting William Devane tidbit…his father was once FDR’s chauffeur. Also, if you want to see a solid collection of attractive, classy looking women from the 80s/early 90s watch Knots Landing. You’ve got Donna Mills, Michele Lee, Joan Van Arc, Nicollette Sheridan, Lisa Hartman and Michelle Phillips. You’re welcome.
Hallow Man is driven by some really cool special effects, especially for its time. Remember, it did get a visual effects Oscar nomination along with other technical awards and nominations from a variety of film organizations. When they show the animals and eventually Bacon go in and out of invisibility the special effects are front and center as they do a great and very detailed job of showing all the muscles, organs, tissue and skeleton under the skin. They even go as far as showing gorilla and Kevin Bacon penis in muscle & tissue form which I’m sure is a kink for some sector of the population, so to those it applies to…enjoy!
In a nutshell, Bacon’s character goes crazy after they can’t get him back to being visible and then some cool special effects aid an around the lab hide-and-seek as the staff tries to catch the invisible Dr. Caine. It is rated R so you do get some good gruesomeness as well as a splash of erotica here and there. And of course less we forget the computer generated male genital organs.
I’m a huge Kevin Bacon fan, have been since Footloose, so combined with the cool special effects it wasn’t that hard for me to buy in and enjoy Hallow Man. Personally, I think its better than John Carpenter’s Memoirs of an Invisible Man(1992) which stars Chevy Chase in the lead role but hey, my last name isn’t Siskel nor Ebert. After watching Hallow Man if you’re hankerin’ for a more modern take on this classic horror/suspense story I can definitely recommend last year’s The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss. Moss is best known for her lead role in, as my friend Jak Brown calls it “that crazy ass show with all the chics in red”, The Handmaid’s Tale. Apparently there’s a Hallow Man 2 starring Christian Slater but one is enough for me so if you peep the sequel that’s on you Dawg.
Hallow Man can currently be seen on STARZ. Enjoy!