Illustrated Man, The
- 1H 43M
Studio:Warner Bros/Seven Arts
Video Company:Warner Home Video
Writer(s):Howard B. Kreitsek
Cast:Rod Steiger, Claire Bloom, Robert Drivas, Jason Evers and Tim Weldon
Country Of Origin:USA
We look to science fiction to glimpse the future.
And no science-fiction writer has a more gripping — or disturbing — ability to make the future real than Ray Bradbury, the author whose works like Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes qualify him as one of the genre’s supreme shapers. The Illustrated Man brings to the screen one of Bradbury’s most terrifyingly imaginative visions — the story of a man whose very body paints pictures of horrors to come.
Rod Steiger stars as Carl, a carnival roustabout and master weaver of tales whose skin has been almost entirely “illustrated” with freakishly vivid tattoos. There is a space on his torso, however, that remains untouched. Yet if one looks there long enough, the most powerful of all the illustrations appears: the future.
Weaving stories within stories, The Illustrated Man begins when a young drifter (Robert Drivas) meets Carl and becomes fixated by his multicolored tattoos to a degree that becomes alarming — for they reveal dark secrets of the part…and three shocking depictions of the future. Two playful children use a most ingenious toy to conjure up a surprise for their unsuspecting parents. Then, Carl becomes the lone survivor of an astronaut crew shipwrecked on a planet of eternal rain. Finally, as the end of the world approaches, parents plan for their own children’s destruction.
When the young man returns from his forays into the future, he finds that the most nightmarish vision of all is yet to be seen. It is his own destiny — about to unfold in a lethal future all too near.
The Illustrated Man ingeniously heralds the multi-episode format that has once again proved irresistible in popular TV programs like Amazing Stories and The Twilight Zone. With remarkable performances from Steiger and Claire Bloom and the awesome originality of Bradbury’s genius, it will hold your attention as powerfully as its hero’s “illustrations.”