He walks through walls of solid steel and stone--into the 4th dimension. Scientific whiz Tony Nelson (James Congdon) has made an amazing discovery. He has developed a method of stimulating the molecular structure of object... more »s so that they can be joined or passed through one another. Stumbling upon this incredible secret is Tony's older brother, Scott (Robert Lansing), a fellow scientist who decides to take the experiment one step further. Soon he is able to pass himself through doors and walls. But his newfound freedom of movement has unforeseen side effects, for each time the power is used, Scott ages a bit and only by touching other living beings, thus taking their lives, can he maintain his age. In addition, this incredible force is driving him quite mad...« less
Steven W. Hill | Chicago, IL United States | 05/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What surprised me most about THE 4D MAN was the script. The characters are very well-defined, strong, logical, consistent and nicely developed, and the performers play the parts admirably. Above-average characterization is not usually something you'll find in a minor sci-fi thriller! Director Irvin S Yeaworth Jr is better known for THE BLOB, a movie that also boasts an above-average character in Steve Andrews (Steve McQueen). Perhaps not surprisingly, both films were co-written by Theodore Simonson (his only film credits). It's almost a shame Simonson didn't do more film work.THE PLOT: Tony Nelson (James Congdon), the younger brother of research scientist Scott Nelson (Robert Lansing), is attempting to duplicate a lab accident in which he passed a pencil through a thick plate of steel. The brothers eventually team up but it transpires that the original accident was caused mainly by the influence of abnormally high brainwave activity. Scott's coincidental suffering of headaches induced by powerful brainwave impulses triggers another accident in which his hand passes through a solid plate of a newly-invented impenetrable metal. Soon Scott can pass through anything just by exercising his willpower, but the ability comes with a price. He grows older with each effort, and can only rejuvenate himself by stealing the life from others. Soon people are found dead of extreme old age...even if they were young. It's up to Tony and their mutual girlfriend Linda Davis (Lee Meriwether) to stop Scott who is slowly going mad.The effects are decent for their time. I remember FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine had a contest (or maybe the studio sponsored it) challenging people to duplicate the abilities of the 4D MAN! The acting is good, as I mentioned, but Robert Lansing in the lead role is terrific, his performance is wonderful to watch. It's worth viewing the film just to see Lansing, he really is incredible.For some reason (maybe seeing stills in FAMOUS MONSTERS) I always envisioned this movie was in black and white, but it is in color. The DVD's image quality is very good, perhaps a little grainy but probably normal for its age (the film was released in 1959). There are no extras on the disc; the main menu is the scene selection. The sound is fine, but that brings me to the most unfortunate aspect of the movie - the music. Completely inappropriate, the loud, brash jazzy music is remarkably distracting and thoroughly annoying. I couldn't help thinking how much better the movie would be with a score by someone like Bernard Herrmann or Dimitri Tiomkin instead of Ralph Carmichael!Add this up: a believable story, outstanding acting from the lead, above-average characterization, okay special effects, better makeup effects and terribly inappropriate music. The sum is a high recommendation for THE 4D MAN."
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, DARKLY
D. R. Turgeon | Moore, OK | 03/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am so pleased to finally see this wonderful Sci-Fi film being released after so many years. Years ago it had been announced as a release on LaserDisc, but was subsequently cancelled. It was also available for sale on VHS briefly; later it was only available as a rental, but now...it's going to be on DVD! This is the story of a man's experiments in getting two solid objects to exist in the same space. As his experiments progress, he is changed by the process in ways he did not anticipate. His life and his relationship with his fiancee change dramatically. This film had some interesting special effects for its time, and Robert Lansing, as the scientist who conducts the experiments, does a marvelous job with the material. Lee Merriwether (Catwoman of the Batman TV series fame) also stars as the scientist's fiancee. This has been one of my favorite Sci-Fi films over the years (maybe because of its rare appearances on TV and video). Worth the purchase for Sci-Fi fans!"
4D Man- interesting and thoughtprovoking late 50's sci fi
Matthew Romanchuk | Westwood, N.J. USA | 04/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have always enjoyed this film- I think I saw it for the first time when I was in 5th grade. With a little fine tuning and more money to work with, this film could have been truely great. The
basic plot concerning the ability to walk through objects and be indestructible strikes a chord with most viewers as a desireable
power, but when the bad/tragic side effects are revealed, one feels bad for the misguided scientist. The dvd edition is great for color/clarity, but I was disappointed that there was no extra material. I had hoped for years that there were outtakes or
deleted scenes that might make it into a special edition. I'm not
sure about the music on the soundtrack. Sometimes, depending on the mood you're in, it seems very original and strong. At other
times, very out of place. I agree with a few of the other reviews that a different composer might have added a whole new feeling to the film. The effects, for its' time are good. By present standards they are not. However, with a super 1st rate
performance from Robert Lansing, good character development and
clever "power of suggestion" scenes this is a very good low
budget film. Mr. Lansing is able to develop a character that you like, are afraid of and feel sorry for. This is something only the best actors can do- very hard to achieve. The supporting cast is fine, no problems there. I have thought MANY
times that if only the makers had added extra visuals such as SHOWING Scott Nelson robbing the bank, other attacks on hapless
victims and his point of view while in 4D, the film could have been a real classic. On the other hand, the implied action is not bad and rather disturbing. The best example of this is when
the 4D man apparently is intent on killing a young girl to acquire more life force when the scene changes to a new one. His
slow descent into madness is truely pitiful; you can see he is fighting it, but to no avail. Also, there is a good scene that shows he does not have full control of this new found power- a
foreboding of things to come. Lastly, I met Lee Meriwether who
told me that yes, Valley Forge Productions WAS planning to do a sequel, but that money had been a problem. This means that it is possible that perhaps a rudimentary script/screenplay may have been done. It would be VERY interesting to see how the storyline would have/ could have developed from there. If this film were done today with modern effects, it would be fantastic! Hopefully
someone out there is considering this. In summary, 4D MAN, while
somewhat dated and having a few lapses in logic, is a great sci fi film that makes this dvd well worth many viewings. I look forward to " Return of the 4D Man" and actually have ideas about some scenes that could be filmed."
A Personal Favorite!
Rude Boy 1979 | Today I'm in Ybor City | 08/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"4D Man is to me one cool flick. Just the scene where he is experimenting and gets part of his hand stuck in metal had me freakin squirming! Add to that hot babes, a cool hipster outrageous jazz soundtrack and its done nicely in color, its just one of those semi unknown horror flicks that are cool to watch. Highly recommended."
P. Wiemerslage | Chicago, IL | 06/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a fan of old sci-fi, "cult" movies, or just enjoy a good bit of cheez-whiz with your popcorn, you really can't go wrong with this. This is a fun little bit 'o nasty... the characters really aren't perfect (it's actually difficult to find someone to *like* in this movie!), there's two-timing, revenge, and people crumbling to dust before your eyes! Add to this mix a really jazzy (if somewhat inappropriate to the storyline) score, some eye-popping colors, and some excellent eye candy... this is a lot of fun.
I would have liked to have seen some more extras on the disk (and PLEASE stop using those damn cardboard holders!), otherwise, I would have given this a perfect score.
Fans of MST3K-ish film... you could do a lot worse! (But you probably already know that!)"