The 4D Man (1959)A man in the fourth dimension is indestructible.


4D Man (1959) Directed by Irvin Shortess Yeaworth Jr. and co-produced by Jack H Harris. Screenplay by Cy Chermak. Starring Robert Lansing, Lee Meriwether, James Congdon, Robert Strauss, and a very young Patty Duke. Earlier on Yeaworth and Harris had collaborated on The Blob(1958). The film has elements of the fantastical vivid coloring used in The Blob that gives this film a very comic book tonality. Actually, Jack Harris had promised the lead to Steve McQueen originally, but Harris thought he was such a pain in the ass from his experience with the actor on The Blob, that he didn’t want to work with him again.

Just for the sake of taking me back to Saturday morning schlocktalcular 50s and 60s mad scientist/science gone awry films that entertained me all through those golden afternoons. I offer yet another guilty pleasure film. The 4D Man.

This little multi-dimensional flick also goes by the name Master of Terror and The Evil Force but I’ve always enjoyed it as the 4D guy who can walk through walls and whenever he touches someone, it drains their life force and they age to dust in seconds.

Yeaworth directed this film with a very frenetic energy. It’s actually a very interesting concept if you consider the power to walk through walls could open up oodles of possibilities if used in the right hands of course.

Robert Lansing is scientist Scott Nelson, and his younger brother Tony played by James Congdon, develops a method of penetrating solid matter.

After he blows up the lab where he’s been experimenting with his theories, he goes to big brother for help. Scott helps Tony by procuring an electric motor that activates brain waves causing the forces of mind over matter to truly break through any barrier. Jack Harris‘ production is very slick while Lansing is literally charged with rays from the fourth dimension.

Unfortunately with all stories about the dangers of delving into areas that perhaps shouldn’t be explored hastily, this process winds up using up Scott’s life force and causes him to age rapidly as well as triggers a maniacal strain of homicidal self-preservation, greed all mixed with a little god complex for good measure.

He starts to feed off other people’s life force and ultimately kills them with his touch. Scott is engaged to Lee Meriwether who eventually convinces him to temporarily stop using his power long enough for them to shoot him.

Chic James is the prostitute who withers away as Scott robs her life force.

A similar film of interest is The Projected Man (1966)

Special Note: Jack Harris came up with the idea for a 4D man over lunch while reading a pamphlet on the fourth dimension and the molecular structure of two foreign pieces of matter. The idea is that these molecules could be allowed to interconnect. So if you could put a pencil through a slab of metal,

like in the film, why couldn’t a person walk through a wall? Walking through walls is a novel idea, but he needed to inject the feeling of menace into the plot. That’s when they decided that Lansing’s character would rapidly age and need to regenerate his life force.


The Unearthly (1957) “Here’s to youth, here’s to eternity” John Carradine the ubiquitous actor

The Unearthly (1957)

The Unearthly was directed by Brooke L Peters (IMDb has the director listed as Boris Petroff) and scripted by Jane Mann and Geoffrey Dennis. The film stars the ubiquitous character actor John Carradine, the sultry Allison Hayes, the mammoth Tor Johnson, Myron Healey, Marilyn Buferd, Arthur Batanides, and Sally Todd.

John Carradine with his characteristic cello-like voice plays Dr. Charles Conway, the archetypal mad scientist who has developed a 17th artificial gland. Conway believes he has discovered the secret to eternal youth and immortality. Dr. Conway revels “I can prolong life for thousands of years, perhaps forever this 17th gland is the secret of youth.”

John Carradine-I am a ham! Part 1

The voluptuous Allison Hayes (Attack of The 50 Foot Woman 1958, The Undead ) plays Grace Thomas, a woman who has suffered a nervous breakdown and is brought to Dr. Conway’s house for a rest cure. Grace has been tricked by her doctor, Dr. Loren Wright (Roy Gordon) who’s been working with Conway, by procuring the victims and ensuring they do not have any living family members who can trace them. Dr. Wright slips up when he doesn’t realize that Grace has a father. The plan is to take her coat and handbag and fake her suicide.

Myron Healy is Mark Houston an undercover cop posing as an escaped convict, that Lobo finds lurking on the grounds. Dr. Conway having heard the description of the man threatens to call the police but offers Mark sanctuary because he is a perfect specimen to experiment on. Houston is purposely posing as the escaped murderer in order to infiltrate Conway’s operation.

Tor Johnson as Lobo once again (Bride of The Monster and Plan 9 From Outer Space) is a giant with the mind of a child who is the caretaker, bodyguard, and overall man-servant to Dr. Conway.

Dr. Conway and his icy assistant Sharon Gilcrest (Marilyn Buferd) are experimenting on these human guinea pigs trying to find the secret of eternal youth.

Also, there is the unfortunate Jedrow, stuck in a cataleptic state, with a huge gash in his neck where the 17th gland was implanted. It’s sweet when Lobo washes his face with a wet rag. He somewhat looks like the Man Who Turned To Stone or an extra from Carnival of Souls.

Dr. Conway’s home is a front for his experiments, seemingly a sanatorium for neurotics. While his guests/patients are Danny Green (Arthur Batanides) an edgy drug addict, and Sally Todd is Natalie Anders suffering from chronic sex appeal?

They all think that Conway is actually trying to help them get over whatever affliction they’re supposedly troubled by. Sharon is drugging their milk and secreting them away for the glandular transplants.

Unfortunately, his operations have failed, only creating monstrous and insane mutants that wind up locked away in his basement dungeon.

Sally reads trashy romance novels and flirts with all the men, even Lobo, who mumbles Pretty Girl like a 2-year-old. Danny is a cranky rageaholic whose temper tantrums are irritating.

Mark and Grace discover that Conway has experimented on Natalie turning her into a horrifically scarred version of herself. Together with Danny, they stop Conway’s experiments, but ultimately as is typical it is one of Dr. Conway’s own creations that kills him. And his assistant Sharon is taken away by the police. Grace and Mark go off into the sunset.

Some memorable quotes:

“In science, there have always been some necessary sacrifices”– Dr. Conway
“The unearthly  In science nothing is taken for granted.”-Dr. Conway
“Here’s to youth, here’s to eternity.”
“Alright I wear a leather jacket and I’m not a midget, so what?” -Mark Houston
“I’m a scientist, thinking is my business.”-Dr. Conway