Dr. Cyclops


Adventure / Drama / Horror / Sci-Fi

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 79%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 56%
IMDb Rating 6.4 10 2675

Plot summary

March 01, 2023 at 07:44 PM


Ernest B. Schoedsack

Top cast

Paul Fix as Dr. Mendoza
705.97 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 16 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bsmith5552 7 / 10

Great Special Effects!

"Dr. Cyclops" was an unusual horror film for its time. It did not use any major stars and was shot in glorious technicolor (unheard of for a film of this type). The plot is a typical "B" movie plot but the special effects and the color photography are what really sets this film apart.

The story involves "Mad Scientist" Dr. Thorkel (Albert Dekker) who summons three scientists (Thomas Coley, Janice Logan, Charles Halton) to his remote South American laboratory to seek their advice on his secret project. Along the way they are forced to bring muleskinner (Victor Kilian) along.

It turns out that the evil doctor has discovered the secret of miniaturization. To prevent them from cashing in on his discovery Thorkel shrinks the three scientists, the muleskinner and nosey local Pedro (Frank Yaconelli) to miniscule size. The rest of the film chronicles their efforts to escape.

The real star of the film are its special effects. Accomplished through a combination of split-screen, rear projection, miniatures and over sized props, the effects are quite convincing for the time. One shot I thought was quite well done was a scene where the evil doctor picks up one of his victims in his hand.

Because most of the budget was spent on color and effects, the quality of the acting suffers. Dekker does OK as the title character (a name given him by his victims because of his failing eyesight). The others are just barely adequate. Veteran Paul Fix, who could have raised the acting up a level, appeared briefly in the opening reel as Thorkel's sceptical assistant.

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 8 / 10

Keep an eye out for this one.

Partially sighted molecular biologist Dr. Alexander Thorkel (Albert Dekker) invites a team of fellow scientists to help him with his work at his laboratory deep in the Amazon jungle; within hours of their arrival, the problem that Thorkel has been struggling with has been resolved, and the surprised boffins are immediately given their marching orders, none the wiser about the precise nature of their ungrateful host's experiments.

Eager to learn more, the curious group sneaks into Thorkel's room to take a peek at his notes, but discover more than they bargained for when they become the guinea pigs in the secretive genius's next experiment: bundled into a room, they are exposed to a heavy dose of radiation that reduces them to a fraction of their original size.

Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack, one of the team responsible for bringing King Kong to the screen in 1933, Dr. Cyclops is a fairly routine mad-scientist sci-fi/horror potboiler, but one that benefits immensely from a incredible array of groundbreaking special effects and sumptuous Technicolor photography. Technically, this film is way ahead of its time, looking more like a product of the mid 1950s than the early 40s, and for this reason alone it should be a priority for all fans of fantastic cinema.

Utilising a combination of careful camera placement (low shots to make Thorkel appear huge; high shots to make his victims appear small), detailed over-sized sets and props, rear projection, split screen and mattes, Schoedsack and his effects team create scene after scene of memorable movie magic. Take into account that this movie is now over 70 years old and it cannot fail to impress.

On the downside, the score is extremely heavy handed and some of the performances are less than stellar (Dekker is excellent, but the exaggerated mannerisms adopted by the pint-sized profs are embarrassingly trite). Thankfully, these are minor quibbles when measured against the film's massive technical accomplishments and the film remains a consistently entertaining experience nonetheless.

7.5 out 10, rounded up to 8 for the sight of yummy egghead Dr. Mary Robinson (Janice Logan) in her sexy makeshift toga: she might be reduced to a foot in height, but she's certainly no shrinking violet.

Reviewed by Doylenf 6 / 10

Unusual Paramount film from the '40s in gorgeous Technicolor...

ALBERT DEKKER is the crazed DR. CYCLOPS who wants to protect his radium discovery by miniaturizing scientists who want to take advantage of his pet project. What's odd is that material that would ordinarily be found in a B-film, with a cast of unknowns aside from Dekker, was turned into a Technicolor A feature by Paramount, with its marvelous special effects (quaint by today's standards) even nominated for Best Special Effects.

Escape from Dr. Cyclops becomes the theme of the film once he has successfully miniaturized the frightened team of scientists. ALBERT DEKKER is fine in the title role.

And, thankfully, as weird as it sounds on paper, it turns out to be not only original, but an entertaining little film that enables any lover of sci-fi to enjoy its tale of a desperate attempt at escape in the Peruvian jungle as they try to elude the clutches of Dr. Cyclops.

Fun to watch--and fun to marvel at--considering it was done in the early '40s without the aid of today's over-used CGI.

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