X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes is hardly a masterpiece of science fiction. But it is worthy of your time and consideration. The ideas it evokes are something not to be forgotten for some time after you view the film. A big reason for this is the fairly straight performance turned in by its leads Ray Milland and Diana Van der Vlis. It would be easy to bog this somewhat challenging B movie down to its fast and cheap roots by overacting or simply phoning it in. But this production has somewhat complex characters that are played by their actors with a nuance and deftness that you won’t see this side of any other 60s sci-fi. Yes, it has problems. It’s pace is terrible, and that can only be attributed to its 79 minute runtime, an horrifyingly short amount of time for a film that is as thought provoking as this one. Even Don Rickles, Mr. Warmth himself gets in on the act, doing double duty as…well, Don Rickles, and as a scheming carnie who can’t WAIT to turn over on Ray Milland. The ending of this movie has become something of a longstanding Hollywood legend as there are several rumors as to whether or not an alternative ending actually exists. (Director Roger Corman says no. Stephen King probably rewrote the ending in his nonfiction book Danse Macabre. King swears he saw an alternate ending and Roger Corman says that King’s ending as shot doesn’t even exist. Corman does say that the ending King imagines is better than the end of his film…and he’s right.)
Do yourself a favor and find X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes. It’s not that hard to find, as we explain in the podcast. Of course, if you could see better, it’d be easier to find. No need to experiment on yourself, though.