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The Human Vapor (1960)
"Gasu ningen dai 1 gô" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  20 May 1964 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 215 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

A librarian is subject to a scientific experiment which goes wrong and transforms him into 'The Human Vapour'. He uses his new ability to rob banks to fund the career of his girlfriend, a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Mihashi ...
Detective Okamoto
Kaoru Yachigusa ...
Fujichiyo Kasuga
Yoshio Tsuchiya ...
Mizuno, the Librarian / The 'Vapor Man'
Keiko Sata ...
Reporter Kyoko
Hisaya Itô ...
Police Scientist
Yoshifumi Tajima ...
Sergeant
Yoshio Kosugi ...
Mean Detective
Fuyuki Murakami ...
Dr. Sano
Bokuzen Hidari ...
Jiya (Fujichiyo's Attendant)
Takamaru Sasaki ...
Police Chief
Minosuke Yamada ...
Official
Tatsuo Matsumura ...
Editor Ikeda
Yôyô Miyata
Kô Mishima ...
Detective Fujita
Kôzô Nomura ...
Kyoko's Fellow Reporter
Edit

Storyline

A librarian is subject to a scientific experiment which goes wrong and transforms him into 'The Human Vapour'. He uses his new ability to rob banks to fund the career of his girlfriend, a beautiful dancer. The Human Vapour is ruthless in his quest for money and kills anyone who stands in his way, especially police. He soon becomes Tokyo's most wanted criminal. Can he be stopped before he kills again? Written by INFOFREAKO

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Is he a demon, or a spawn of space? The Gas Man challenges for the perfect crime! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 May 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Human Vapor  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although conceived as a literary and character driven story, the Japanese version, which contains footage not in the U.S. version, is told for almost the first third as a mystery. The re-edited version from Brenco has these parts of the story told from Mizuno's point of view, which Yoshio Tsuchiya prefers. The American cut replaces all of Kunio Miyauchi's original music, much of it replaced by Paul Sawtell's music from Fly, The (1958), as well as the traditional Noh music for Fujichiyo's dances, which becomes orchestral Kabuki music, a switch that made Yoshio Tsuchiya laugh aloud in the theatre when he saw the American cut for the first time. See more »

Connections

Featured in Movie Macabre: The Human Vapor (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Artist and a Madman
17 June 2011 | by (Portland, OR, United States) – See all my reviews

Ishiro Honda is best known for his Kaiju films, which is rather a shame because he made many other fine and creative movies. This scifi/horror mix a good example of one of his more intimate, darker and multilayered creations and is to be recommended to old-school fans of these genres.

The scifi/monster elements in this film are a variation on H G Wells' Invisible Man, although our protagonist/villain is more complicated and more tragic than Wells'. The protagonist in this film uses his superhuman powers to rob banks and finance the come-back of a Noh dancer who is recovering after a recent stay in a sanitarium, and there are a number of scenes with her dancing and wearing traditional garb...these scenes are in contrast to the eponymous protagonist, who wears a business suit and participates the sordid business of crime. Yet our protagonist loves the dancer and the dancer appears to at least partially reciprocate.

In the hands of a lessor director, this material could become boring and maudlin, yet this film is moody, suspenseful, and there is a haunting sense of impending tragedy that is maintained throughout. Certainly our protagonist has become unhinged, and there are hints that the Noh dancer may also have been at the sanitarium for mental health problems. So then, this film presents us with mix of madness, art and science fiction that is interesting on several levels...not the least of which is the love story between a fragile artist and a homicidal lunatic.

In a strange way, this film has many of the same themes as the 2010 pseudo art house flick, 'Black Swann,' yet is more deft and has more depth.

The FX, while clearly belonging to the world of 1960, are creative and tell the story, and contribute to the coherent mood of this film. The American version has been edited badly, but still conveys the major meanings. I recommend this to fans of old-school horror and scifi, and to those studying the work of Ishiro Honda.


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