15 user 4 critic

The Human Vapor (1960)

Gasu ningen dai 1 gô (original title)
Not Rated | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 20 May 1964 (USA)
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 »


Ishirô Honda


Takeshi Kimura


Learn more

More Like This 

The H-Man (1958)
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Yumi Shirakawa, Kenji Sahara, Akihiko Hirata
Matango (1963)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Shipwrecked survivors slowly transform into mushrooms.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Hiroshi Koizumi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The nations of the Earth unite in a common cause to fight off an invader from outer space.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Ryô Ikebe, Kyôko Anzai, Minoru Takada
Space Amoeba (1970)
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A space probe is infiltrated by alien beings and then crashes on a remote Pacific atoll. A group planning to build a resort hotel land on the island and discover it to be inhabited by giant... See full summary »

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Kubo, Atsuko Takahashi, Yukiko Kobayashi
Latitude Zero (1969)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A journalist is saved by a giant submarine captained by a 200 year old man who takes him to an underwater paradise city where no one ages. That's when monsters and mutants sent by the captain's rival, a 200 year old scientist, attack.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Joseph Cotten, Cesar Romero, Akira Takarada
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A yeti terrorizes people on top of Mount Fuji.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Takarada, Akemi Negishi, Momoko Kôchi
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

During WWII, a human heart taken from a certain lab in Europe (Dr. Frankenstein's) is kept in a Japanese lab, when it gets exposed to the radiation of the bombing of Hiroshima. The heart ... See full summary »

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Tadao Takashima, Nick Adams, Kumi Mizuno
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The Earth is attacked by a giant jellyfish monster from outer space that, for some reason, has a sweet tooth for diamonds.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Yôsuke Natsuki, Yôko Fujiyama, Hiroshi Koizumi
Mothra (1961)
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A giant, ancient moth begins to attack Japan when coming to the rescue of it's two, foot-tall worshippers who were taken by shipwreck survivors.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Furankî Sakai, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kyôko Kagawa
Densô ningen (1960)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Men are being murdered by a psycho called "The Telegian," who uses a matter-transmitting device to locate his victims.

Director: Jun Fukuda
Stars: Kôji Tsuruta, Yumi Shirakawa, Seizaburô Kawazu
Nippon tanjô (1959)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The legend of the birth of Shintoism. In Fourth Century Japan, the Emperor Keikoh's son Ouso expects to succeed his father on the throne, but Otomo, the Emperor's vassal, prefers Ouso's ... See full summary »

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Tsukasa, Akihiko Hirata
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After a meteorite unleashes a three-headed beast upon Tokyo, Mothra tries to unite with Godzilla and Rodan to battle the extraterrestrial threat.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Yôsuke Natsuki, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi


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


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


Half Human! Half Beast! It Destroys! It Kills! See more »


Sci-Fi | Thriller


Not Rated






Release Date:

20 May 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Human Vapor See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Cult music group Man or Astroman? took their name from a line in the film's trailer. See more »


Follows The H-Man (1958) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The story behind the crime
9 August 2002 | by KuRt-33See all my reviews

"At first I could not understand the terror in Dr Sano's eyes. Then I knew: I had been transformed into something terrifying. Something repellant...."

Maybe not necessarily repellant, but the sight of someone's body vaporizing till he becomes invisible... well, I've seen prettier things.

The second feature of this double bill is The Human Vapor and was directed by Ishirô Honda, the man who also gave you Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla) and countless sequels with the rubber-suited monster. Honda worked for Toho Studios who, apart from Godzilla and Samurai films, made four movies about humans who could change the state of their bodies. The Human Vapor, released in 1960, was the last of these four films.

No monster in Gasu Ningen Daiichigo (1960) or The Human Vapor, but a librarian who agrees to be a test subject for a scientific study. Little did librarian Mizuno know the other test subjects had died during the test. He discovers he can vaporize his body and kills the professor (by asphyxiation). Mizuno might want to turn his back to humanity, but he's also madly in love with a beautiful dancer who's been saving for her comeback performance. He decides to help her by robbing the bank. Maybe not such a bad idea, but it's a crime my friendly neighbourhood officer tells me. The police pursue his trail (he might be invisible, but his car isn't) to the place where Vapor-Man abandons his car. Smart move, if it weren't for the fact that there's only one house nearby. That's where She lives and when She suddenly appears to have enough money for her comeback and can't/won't reveal any information on her maecenas, she's arrested.

This makes Mizuno so angry he becomes even madder than he was before (it seems like the test affected both his visibility and his sanity) and he wants revenge for the imprisonment of his beloved dancer. More banks are robbed and more people get killed. That's as far as I'll go because, who knows, you might want to check this movie out and as the saying goes, there's no crying over spilt endings. The movie is very decent and a remarkable ending.

The bad news is The Human Vapor isn't just the American title of the film, it's also the American version and sadly a lot went lost in the translation.

First and foremost, Gasu Ningen Daiichigo was a mystery and in The Human Vapor the anti-hero tells his story in a long flashback. This would've been only half so horrible if the narration had been more interesting and if it hadn't replaced the dialogue in quite a lot of scenes (which leaves us with the "I told him and then he said" effect). The jerking effect of the re-edited version is also not really a plus side. Even the soundtrack was changed. If you can't remember why the soundtrack seems so familiar, you must have seen The Fly (1958).

Crappy editing, dialogue and Americanized dubbing (Japanese characters are less credible with sentences like "Ah, go peddle your papers!") aside, nothing can keep us from knowing this is a terrific movie. Even if it falls from 10/10 to 8/10, an eight is still better than most things you're subjected to. The Human Vapor still has enormous amounts of tragedy and pathos, an anti-hero who can't control his limitless powers and an enchanting but painful love story. What it lacks as a crime story, it wins as a character study. It's fascinating to see how Mizuno evolves from a friendly lab rat into a psychotic megalomaniac. We also wonder about the role of the dancer Fujichiyo.

Does she know where the money came from? Does she also love Mizuno? Her personality is quite different from the other female character in the film, the reporter Kyoko. Traditional versus modern.

Mizuno's acts are beyond redemption, but still you feel some sort of sympathy for the Human Vapor and most of that comes from his unconditional love for Fujichiyo. (Not unlike the Phantom of the Opera's love for Christine Daaé.) True, the special effects are minimal, but who needs special effects in a sci-fi movie when you've got a story?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed