Director(s): Ishirô Honda
IMDB Rating: 6
When a narcotics deal goes sour and a suspect disappears, leaving only his clothes, Tokyo police question his wife and stake out the nightclub where she works. His disappearance stumps the police - until a young scientist appears who claims that H-Bomb tests in the Pacific, evidenced by a ghost ship that has turned up in the harbor, have created radioactive creatures - H-Men - who ooze like slime and dissolve anyone they touch.
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(13 May 2013)
This movie is a well recommended "CLASSIC", from Japan combining 2 destinct styles of film:'the classic monster movie & tough crime drama(Film Noir)'. From the opening scene where the doomed thug(Misaki), fresh from breaking into a postal repository, encountering the monster and being dissolved for his trouble, we are made aware that something quite extrodinary has happened(all that are left is his clothing, and other personal items, the film becomes at first a police mystery, We are introduced to Police Inspector Tominaga as he examines Misaki's personal effects. Of course, this is merely the warm up for what is to come: I.E. standard police fare of checking known criminal associates, some of whom will also end up victims of the H-Man. We are then introduced to the true hero of the film: Dr. Misada. Misada is a close personal friend of Insp. Tominaga, and gives us the solution to Misaki's disappearance, Which is of course viewed with disbelief and skeptisism in the face of hard evidence. Futhermore, a glimpse of a Tokyo newspaper shows more strange disappearances are being reported. A sense of uneasiness begins to build: Chikako Arare(Misaki's Girlfriend) is assaulted in her apartment by another thug looking for Misaki, and who promtly pays for that indiscretion with his life, being attacked and dissolved, after climbing down from Ms Arare's balcony. The shocked look, of the detective keeping Ms. Arare under surveillance is one for the books, as he discovers yet another set of empty clothing in the street below. By this time the numerous disappearances are becoming too much for the police to ignore. Dr. Misada encourages Insp. Tominaga to talk with 2 men who are dying of radiation poisoning in the hospital that he works at. They relate in one of most frightning scenes, of how their ship encountered a strange derelic 'Ghost' ship, How they boarded the deserted ship, finding no signs of life, How they searched the ship finally coming to the captains quarters and discovering the ships log, and how they barely escaped with their lives as the H-Man attacked and dissolved the comrades. This too is viewed with disbelief until a deadly encounter at a bar/ganster hangout with the H-Man changes Tominaga's skeptisim to belief. The police and scientist, then band together to destroy the menace. Production values were kept high, and the eye popping dissolving scenes which frightened me as a child and viewed today are still quite powerful. Casting for all roles in the film are a cut above. And above all is Inoshiro Honda's directing. His skillful use lighting, special effects and backround music, coupled with a good script, and the skillful intercutting of both crime elements and monsterous encounters make this film a highly recommended for late night scarefest's.
Richard Mather (12 May 2013)
I first saw this movie on its theartical release, as a child, and I founditboth riviting and frightening. It hasn't lost any of its charm over theyears and still, in my opinion, stands on its own merits as a quality "B"movie.
pmsusana (17 April 2013)
Be sure to watch for the really creepy flashback sequence wherein thetitlecreature is first discovered by sailors exploring an abandoned ship. Thefilm's photography and special effects deserve a nod also. Those with asoft spot for blob movies are urged to also check out the Steve McQueenfilmof that name (released the same year), as well as Hammer Films' "X theUnknown" (1956).
Kenny Blue (17 April 2013)
The main theme of this film is that of the quite traditional Cold War era sci fi tale: We fear we have opened a Pandora's Box by cracking the atom, unleashing the unknown effects of radioactivity. It is particularly poignant seen from the viewpoint of the only country to have ever been attacked by atomic bombs.Don't even think about THE BLOB without having seen THE H-MAN. I'm not saying one is more nuanced. They are complementary, like SEVEN SAMURAI and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.
Dhawley-2 (09 April 2013)
I saw this film when I was a child, and never forgot it. While somewhatsimilar to films such as 'The Blob' and 'Caltiki, The Immortal Monster'(a Spanish/Italian/Mexican rarity), 'The H-Man' is, as others note, asort of film noir sci-fi/mystery film. Like most Japanese sci-fi &horror films of the 1950s and 60s, there are instances of unintentionalhumor, over-the-top acting and a fixation on the effects ofradioactivity (not surprising). I had almost given up on finding thistitle, when fortuitously I ran into a really nice Japanese DVD withsuperb color and in a widescreen format; no English dubbing, but rathersubtitles in the bottom black bar. It was as if I was seeing the filmfor the very first time! While I have no American version to compare itto, I have no doubt that this version has footage edited from theAmerican release. Interestingly (for me, anyway), the title in Japaneseis 'Beauty and the Liquid Human', an odd but actually more accuratetitle. The H-Man provides some very well-done special effects, creepyatmosphere and a decent amount of suspense. Along with 'Rodan' and 'TheMysterians' (and, I guess, Godzilla), this is among the best of earlyJapanese sci-fi films.
bachware (08 April 2013)
Having been A-bombed, Japan became obsessed with the nuclear-weaponnightmare. When the Matsusei Maru got caught on the fringes of anAmerican H-bomb test and its crew irradiated, it must've triggeredarchetypal Japanese fears, so Ishiro Honda created this creepy movie inwhich people get dissolved by radioactive blob-beings, and there's anedge to it along with a campy atmosphere that comes from theover-the-top acting.There's one of the absolute worst chase scenes in history, but thescenes where the gangster is dragging the beautiful, innocent Chitakothrough the sewer while being stalked by the H-man blobs isfrightening. The '50s Japanese nightclub jazz is awful, and there areall the typical Japanese monster-movie clichÃ©s, which gives the movie alot of unintentional comic relief. The Japanese Jimmy Cagney-likegangster that threatens Chitako is hilarious. The pomposity of Dr. Makiand the police-military characters is wonderful.I saw this movie the year after I immigrated to the U.S., in Chicago,and it terrified me. If you like a great mix of creativemulti-plotting, campy '50s Japanese sci-fi, and something to watch on aweekend night with popcorn and soda, this is it. Unfortunately, thevideo I have isn't closed-captioned, though the dialogue dubbing isvery well done.
(23 March 2013)
There are many, radically different versions of this film. This is the one to get.The one entitled The Human Vapor is not.
Richard Mather (23 March 2013)
I first saw this movie on its theatrical release, as a child, and I founditboth riveting and frightening. It hasn't lost any of its charm over theyears and still, in my opinion, stands on its own merits as a quality "B"movie.
partnerfrance (15 March 2013)
Like many other posters, I saw this film as a young boy and it gave menightmares for weeks (maybe even months)! Luckily, my older brotherfinally convinced me that the "liquid creature" would not survive aswim from Japan to the United States and I was able to sleep again.I suspect that the modern age's Freddies, Jasons and Leatherfaces wouldnot hold a candle to the effect that this film had on an impressionableyouth back then. Perhaps the very fact that the monster had no tangiblequalities and could theoretically be any puddle of water you cameacross was what gave it its fright value.It would certainly be interesting to see how a remake of this wouldplay today.
(14 March 2013)
In the earlie fifties, I saw this movie and I was scared to death...I have never forgotten this movie over all the years. It has taken hollywood many years to equal this kind of scare. however today it is all too familiar. But one of the best I've ever seen.
transient52 (13 March 2013)
I saw this when it was first released in 1958 in Sydney. The theatrewas a very large and cold cinema. The atmosphere of the environs onlyadded to the atmosphere of the film. I was six at the time but I canstill remember it fairly vividly today - nearly forty years later. Itgave me nightmares for weeks. I always thought this was the movie that the Blob was based on althoughthe release dates seem to be fairly close. This by far was the bettermovie of the two. I have seen this once again in my older years and itstill resurrects memories of those childhood nightmares.I would love to be able to obtain a copy of the film but it seems thesedays no-one seems to know of it.
(13 March 2013)
This movie still haunts me today. I cannot look at a drain in a shower without horror and still fear a damp dark night. When I saw this movie as a child I could not sleep for months. The creepy rainy nights, innocent people dissolving into nothing and the terror of radiation. This is a 50's classic that all Sci Fi lovers would enjoy as a glimpse from the past.
(04 March 2013)
When this movie was first released, during the heyday of the Japanese monster movie dubbed imports, I wasn't allowed to go and see it, but I was in the theater for some really cool previews of the Eastman-Color green blob that could slip through air ducts and then reconstitute into the form of a transparent "man." The best part was the way he dissolved people down to a puddle, leaving their hair and clothes intact. In fact, in the theater lobby in our town there was a display of an "H-Man victim" -- which was a toupee lying on a pile of clothes atop an empty pair of shoes. How neat for a kid my age! Not only that, the first 50 or so attendees at the box office were actually given an H-Man toy -- I never did find out whether that was a glob of Silly Putty or some kind of green "action figure." Anyway, I had to wait until I found it on video many, many years later to see whole thing through. And it is very much as described by the other reviewers -- a nice little movie with a better plot than some other Japanese imports, about a crime wave of dissolved people perpetrated by "things unknown" that leave a mess of "EC-inspired" shoes, clothes and hair. Along with RODAN, THE MYSTERIANS and BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE, this is among the better imports of its day.
Woodyanders (03 March 2013)
The police investigate the disappearance of a drug dealer after a dopedeal goes awry. The cops discover lethal radioactive beings calledH-Men who ooze slime and dissolve everyone they come in contact withwho were created by H-bomb tests in the pacific. Director Ishiro Hondarelates the absorbing story at a steady pace, maintains an admirablyserious tone throughout, does an expert job of creating and sustainingan eerie and unsettling atmosphere (the flashback sequence which takesplace on board an empty abandoned ghost ship is especially spooky andnightmarish), and stages the stirring fiery conclusion withconsiderable brio. Takeshi Kimura's intriguing script cleverly blendshorror and crime thriller elements into an engrossing and entertainingmulti-genre synthesis. This film further benefits from solid acting bya sturdy cast, with stand-out contributions by Yumi Skirakawa as sweetnightclub singer Chikaro Arai, Kenji Sahara as the earnest Dr. Masada,Akihiko Hirata as the skeptical Inspector Tominaga, and Koreya Senda asthe shrewd Dr. Maki. The special effects are quite imaginative andimpressive: The glowing green H-Men are truly scary while the scenes ofpeople disintegrating are freaky and upsetting. Both Hajime Koizuma'scrisp widescreen cinematography and Masaru Sato's rousing score are upto par. A fun fright flick.
poe426 (03 March 2013)
Director Ishiro Honda, whose GOJIRA would go on to become (if you'llpardon the pun) one of the Biggest stars of the post-World War Two era,also gave us this little (gleaming) gem. Part police procedural andpart fright film, THE H-MAN is a taut little thriller with some oftenexceptionally good special effects. (There are one or two of thegelatin-rolling-across-photo "effects" made popular by THE BLOB- thatnifty little fright film from the other side of the world-, but in THEH-MAN, these shots are kept to a minimum.) Unlike all too many frightfilms from ANY age (Atomic or otherwise), THE H-MAN boasts someoutstanding performances by some seasoned veterans: in fact, kick theFantastic Elements to the curb, and what you'd be left with here is adecent little crime drama. One of Honda's finest.
Chung Mo (03 March 2013)
This is one of the legendary Toho sci-fi films that is remembered morethen actually seen. A number of friends fondly recall this film as oneof the best that Honda directed even with the less than stellar Englishdubbing.The film is very well done but with some weak points that detract fromthe overall effect of the production. One aspect that is very good isthe excellent special effect work by Eji Tsuburaya. The scenes ofliquid humans going up walls works and the scenes where the victims areliquefied are still effective. Towards the end we are treated to somegreat miniatures of the Tokyo waterfront and sewer system that arealmost indistinguishable from the life-size sets. The film is filledwith shadows and creepy sets. The story moves along quite well until the times we get to thenightclub were everything stops for dance numbers with bikini cladwomen and two songs (one in English!). The film would be a good fifteenminutes shorter without them and they contribute nothing to the story.Of course you might enjoy these for their own qualities.The ending is a little screwy and there seems to be some budgetaryconstraints as a promised H-Man destruction event never occurs.Overall, a very good horror film that stands up to anything that cameout of the US or Britain at the same time.
Glenn Andreiev (19 February 2013)
During the 1950's, Inoshira Honda, Japan's master director of monstermovies aimed his films for adults (like this one), as opposed to his morekiddie-aimed monster films of the 1960's. The Tokyo police thinktheir most notorious gangster skipped town. A young scientist (KenjiSahara) believes otherwise. He believes the gangster dissolved and turnedinto a liquid monster. The police finally believe him when they encounterthe H-Man at a nightclub (Where some dancers, and cops dissolve) The filmconcludes with a manhunt/rescue in the Tokyo sewers.The H-Man is a colorful, fun combination monster film/film noir.Despite the middle section of the film being dull, (white lab coated doctorsarguing with skeptical detectives) the monster scenes abound in gloriousEastmanColor, excitement and sensuality (Yumi Shirakawa, Inoshira Honda'sleading lady is quite appealing as a sultry nightclub singer caught in theH-Man mess.) The special effects go for a dreamlike surrealism, rather thanrealism.
(18 February 2013)
Its nice to see a movie that you ve never seen before. This oneis pretty interesting, and i would kinda compare it to the Blob movie types...This Japanese science fiction movie hold together pretty goodtill the end. I would recommend it to any fan that likes 50's science fiction movies to add it to their collection.
(15 February 2013)
I saw this movie late one night on Creature Features and it scared me to death. The claustrophobic atmosphere on the deserted ship and the rainy scenes in the city added to the scarey qualities of this movie. I was excited to find it on video and bought 2 copies, 1 for myself and another for a friend.
planktonrules (14 February 2013)
While I am a huge fan of Japanese films, I don't care for giant monsterfilms. While Godzilla and the like have huge followings, seeing a guyrunning around in a rubber monster suit does nothing for me. Because ofthis AND the fact that the film was made by Toho Studios (home of'Zilla) AND the director of many of these films (IshirÃ´ Honda), myexpectations were very low. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded andH-MAN turned out to be a decent film--with an interesting plot anddecent dubbing (though I would have preferred it to be subtitled).The film begins with some drug dealers stealing some drugs. However,unexpectedly, one of the men suddenly vanishes and all that is left ofhim is his clothes!! What happened and where he went was a mystery andso far the film reminded me of THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, where in the townthe people were missing and all that was left were their clothes andsome powder. However, the similarities to this Michael Crichtonfilm/novel seem to end there and it really seems more like a variationon the film THE BLOB (also 1958).The police go on the assumption that the criminal is alive (and naked)somewhere and refuse to consider anything else. So, when a youngscientist insists that he knows what happens, they naturally ignore himcompletely (even though they have no leads). He insists that nucleartesting (THE 1950s cause of all evil in horror films) created a monsterthat could dissolve people almost instantly but is forced to work onhis own. Along the way, he falls for the missing gangster's lady friendand together they both set out to prove it.Eventually, after several folks are dissolved by this evil slime, thecops FINALLY admit that the scientist might just be right! And, in avery radical departure from what they'd been doing, they order thesewers of Tokyo to be flooded with gasoline and ignited to kill thebeasts (which, apparently, isn't all that hard to kill--unlike mostnuclear mutants). But, the girl is kidnapped and carried into thesewers, so it's up to the studly scientist to come to her rescue andsave the city--at the same time (what a guy!!).While a lot of the film is the standard "nuclear slime dissolves themasses" film, it manages to do a good job thanks to better than normaldubbing, a decent story and a monster that isn't nearly as laughable asGodzilla, Rodan or Mothra!! Good old 50s horror entertainment for all.
Review total: 20, showing from 1 to 20