X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes is a 1963 Science Fiction Horror film produced and directed by Roger Corman, and starring Ray Milland, as well as Don Rickles in a rare non-comedic role role. Milland plays Dr. James Xavier, a man obsessed with expanding the range of human sight who resorts to experimenting on himself when his research is due to be defunded. His experiment works, and soon, he is able to see far outside the human spectrum, even through matter itself. The problem is, eventually he finds he cannot stop seeing...
This film exhibits the following tropes:
- Accidental Murder: This is what sends Xavier on the run, accidentally knocking Dr. Brant out of a window, and certain that no one will believe him.
- Black Eyes of Evil: While not evil, Xavier's eyes turning black with gold irises demonstrates how inhuman his ability is making him.
- Blessed with Suck: As Dr. Xavier eventually finds out, uncontrollable X-Ray Vision is not good at all. By the final act, Xavier has constant headaches, can't sleep well because he sees right through his eyelids and by the final minutes he's seeing into the fabric of the universe itself (and he doesn't likes what he sees at all) and is in so much despair that he decides to rip off his eyes — and in a wide-spread Urban Legend about the film, it's said that the editors cut out a horrifying final Wham Line: Xavier screaming "I can still see!"
- Comic-Book Adaptation: By Gold Key Comics
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: While "scientist performing experiment, makes him a monster" is a usual sci-fi plot, it's pretty obvious that there's a lot of parallels with drug abuse in Xavier's road to ruin.
- Eldritch Abomination: In the end, Xavier sees so much that he can perceive the eye in the center of the universe that "sees all." The preacher interprets his vision as Satan.
- Eye Scream: At the end of the film, Xavier blinds himself to stop seeing so much.
- The Freakshow: After going on the run, Xavier becomes an attraction in a sideshow as Mentallo, using his x-ray vision to be able to see the contents of the envelopes held by the audience.
- From Bad to Worse: From theoretical physicist and beloved doctor, to being fired for malpraxis when he pulls off a Cowboy Cop act in the surgical room to prevent a doctor from hurting a little girl with his misdiagnosis, to accidental murderer forced to go on the run, to working as a carnival freak to get some money, to being forced to become a Back-Alley Doctor via blackmail... and this not even the worse of it.
- Gone Horribly Right: Xavier's serum ends up working too well. Also, Xavier decides to rip his eyes out when he stumbles into a revival meeting in the last two minutes of the film and the preacher hollers to the crowd to "rip out that which does you harm!" They definitely did not expected that.
- Mundane Utility: Xavier uses his power to see through matter to spot medical problems, to peep at women, and to cheat at cards.
- Naked People Are Funny: One of the few moments of levity in the film is Xavier going to a party and seeing everybody in it naked because of his X-Ray Vision.
- Power Perversion Potential: When Xavier is invited to a party for medical personnel, he starts seeing past everyone's clothes, and he's clearly enjoying watching.
- Professor Guinea Pig: Dr. Xavier is the first (and only) human subject of his experiment.
- X-Ray Vision: This is the primary manifestation of Xavier's powers in the film. He uses it as a doctor, as a voyeur, and to cheat at cards. Eventually, he finds it hard to navigate the world because he can no longer control it, and he cannot see what is in front of him without special glasses.
- Ungrateful Bastard: When Xavier does a Cowboy Cop act to prevent a fellow physician from hurting (or maybe killing) a little girl by operating on the wrong spot, the man immediately tells Xavier after the operation is over that he will have him sued for malpraxis.