Escapists Sci-Fi film is a term that aptly labels sci-fi films of the thirties. Movies during the 1930s were largely impacted by the advent of sound and dialogue, and by the effects of the Great Depression that began in 1929. Audiences began to pursue films with more escapist themes, leading to a decline in serious speculative films. Studios were reluctant to finance the expensive futuristic sets necessary for many sci-fi stories. Instead, the decade saw the rise of film serials: low-budget, quickly-produced shorts depicting futuristic, heroic adventures, melodramatic plots, and gadgetry.
They continued to use science fiction elements like space travel, high-tech gadgets, plots for world domination, and mad scientists. Other elements of science fiction were carried into the burgeoning horror genre, driven by the massive success of the Universal Studios' Frankenstein and its sequel Bride of Frankenstein. Many Universal Horror films, such as The Invisible Man and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde prominently featured mad scientists and experiments gone wrong.