Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: 4D Man (1959)

Poster for 4D Man (1959)4D Man (1959) by #IrvinSYeaworthJr
w/#RobertLansing #LeeMeriwether #JamesCongdon #PattyDuke

A scientist discovers a formula enabling him to pass through solid surfaces, but he also rapidly ages, which forces him to kill humans in order to reverse the aging process.

“He Walks Through Walls Of Solid Steel And Stone… Into The 4th Dimension!”

#Horror #SciFi

I was not at all familiar with 4D Man (1959) before I watched it last week. It turns out that it was made by the people who did The Blob (1958) just one year before. The Blob was one of my childhood favourites. I watched it several times on TV back then. I actually haven’t seen it in a long time, but you can bet I’ll be revisiting it very soon.

4D Man (1959) is a much more serious minded sci-fi horror film than many of the others that I watch at the home drive-in. I would say it pretty much works as a serious sci-fi story. That’s not to say that it isn’t fun, or silly at times. But it feels like it’s moving toward a more modern type of sci-fi film, as opposed to a B-movie about a man who turns into a giant beast.

4D Man (1959) is about a man who sort of turns into a beast. But it’s more subtle than a movie like, say, The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), or even Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958). In some ways, it reminded me of David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly (1986) – which, coming from me (as anyone who knows me can attest), is very high praise indeed. 

4D Man (1959) marked the big screen debut of both Lee Meriwether and Robert Lansing. I was a huge fan of The Equalizer (1985-1989) when I was young, so I mainly know Robert Lansing from there. Lee Meriwether starred in The Time Tunnel (1966-67), Barnaby Jones (1973-80) and she played Lily Munster in The Munsters Today (1988-91).

12 year old Patty Duke plays Lee Meriwether’s sister in 4D Man.  She would go on to fame playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), and then star in The Patty Duke Show (1963-66)

4D Man (1959) is a good quality example of #NotQuiteClassicCinema that deserves to be better known than it is. It’s probably not quite as much fun as The Blob, but then again I haven’t seen that movie recently enough to be sure. Either way, it’s worth checking out. And I know that I will certainly be watching it again on some future #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.