The Man Who Wasn't There (1983)
With the refinement of 3-D technology, it's not that surprising that more and more new movies are being released in this format than ever before. In the early 1980s, there was also a brief revival of 3-D but with much less success and, naturally, it died out quickly. As expected, almost all of those movies were either horror flops (Amityville 3-D, Jaws 3-D, Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3-D, Parasite) or sci-fi action clunkers (Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone), but there was also the inept and head-scratching The Man Who Wasn't There.
As can be seen in the poster, this is a movie about an invisibility potion. You know...which makes the characters invisible...which means you can't see them...as in Zero-D. How is it possible to make a good 3-D movie about invisibility? It isn't. At all. In fact, if you took out the 3-D opening credits sequence, you'll see little evidence of any special effects that would benefit from 3-D.
Enough about the useless gimmick, how is the movie itself? Moronic. The Man Who Wasn't There stars Steve Guttenberg as, well, does it matter? Guttenberg essentially gives the same performance in every single movie so it hardly matters who the character is that he's playing. He's a poor schlub who runs into an invisible man during his wedding and winds up in possession of a silver orb that contains vials of a mysterious fluid. Naturally, this orb is desperately wanted by a bewildering array of inept international spies, all dumber than a box of a hair. Now armed with this amazing gift, what does Guttenberg decide to do? Why to invisibly peep into the ladies lockerroom showers, of course.
In fact, embarrassing moments of public nudity are this movie's big running gag. Guttenberg and romantic-interest Lisa Langlois (who, strangely, gets an "Introducing" credit, usually reserved for the film debuts of promising, new talent, even though this was her ninth film) get naked so often, you have to wonder if they got paid a per-buttock or per-boob premium. You see, drinking the invisibility potion makes the person invisible, but not the clothes, so they have to keep shedding their vestments, only to reappear naked when the potion wears off. I dwell on this subject only to underscore the fact that there is nothing else of interest that happens in this overlong and inane trudge. After all, who gets the potion and why makes not a whit of difference.
The Man Who Wasn't There wants to be funny, but isn't; it wants to be exciting, but isn't; it wants to be romantic, but isn't. The only thing the movie had going for it was the apparent fact that showing it in 3-D was supposed to mask the fact that it was hardly in any releasable form. The only thing the 3-D did for the movie was to cause confusion amongst unlucky patrons who paid good money to see something that used the technology to eke out at least a tiny bit of fun, and have them wonder why the heck it was in 3-D in the first place.
This shameless fact, more so than the ineptitude in writing and directing. or the lackluster action, or the lousy performances, or the gratuitous nudity, ultimately makes The Man Who Wasn't There one of the worst examples of the 3-D technology ever released. And if you look at how awful the contemporary films were that were in theatres, you'll know that that's really saying something.