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A car strikes an unseen object; blood spreads from an invisible source which becomes visible as the bleeding man dies. He carries with him a suicide note dedicated to his only friend, who is also an invisible man. An eager young reporter tracks down Takemitsu Nanjo, a war veteran who makes his living visibly, painting his face like a clown's and carrying advertising signs. His favorite neighbor is a little blind girl whose mother is running afoul of local gangsters. The gangsters have been terrorizing the city as "the invisible gang," wrapping themselves up in scarves and trenchcoats so as to be visible to their victims, even though they are supposed to be invisible underneath. Once they discover Nanjo, who is defending his only friends, they beat him and leave him for dead. Written by
Guy Mariner Tucker
In this Oriental rendition of H.G. Wells' Invisible Man, Japan discovers the secret of invisibility near the end of WWII. They also found some eager volunteers to give the transparent treatment. Presumably (I say that because my Japanese isn't what it should be), the intent was for them to wreak unseen havoc against American forces. Fortunately, the A-bombs ended the war. Nine years later, one of the invisible men commits suicide and leaves a note telling the nation that another one is roaming about amongst them. Naturally, this throws Japan into a tizzy.
So, what's an invisible warrior to do when he has no one to fight? Luckily, for viewers, a gang of vicious crooks provide an answer. Dressed up in gauze bandages and trench coats they commit a series of daring robberies and terrorize law-abiding citizens as "The Invisible Gang." Ultimately, the phony invisible men learn the hard way that they are no match for a real one.
The special effects are decent for 1954. The film's lighting is poor at times. I guess to help hide any special effects shortcomings. The pace is sometimes slow as well but I thought the quality of the acting was more than acceptable and a lot better than that in most Japanese horror movies. The story is also not without its share of good moments. Still, one notion struck me as odd. Why create invisible men, then tell them to get lost? An obvious answer might be that the research was taking place in Hiroshima in August 1945. An elusive film (not dubbed in English) worth a look, if you can find it.
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