Hey kids — don’t go running through any radioactive mists! That’s the message of 1957’s “The Incredible Shrinking Man.” Okay … it’s actually a little more complicated than that. Grant Williams’ titular doomed protagonist was exposed first to insecticides, and then to the mist a couple of weeks later — so it was sort of a one-two toxic punch. (I am linking here, by the way, to the Video Detective channel on Youtube for the trailer below.)
This movie rocked my world when I was a first- or second-grader. It was the sort of thing that aired periodically on weekend television in the early 1980’s. I’ll never forget the awe I felt … along with confusion at the abstract closing narration. What did all that mean? What happens to him next?
I was surprised to learn tonight that this was adapted from a Richard Matheson novel. (He also wrote this screenplay adaptation.)
It’s … actually pretty good! It holds up surprisingly well over time. And the simple special effects are nonetheless effective. (I’ll bet the props and sets people had a lot of fun designing giant objects to make Williams appear progressively smaller by comparison.)