HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boys from County Hell
All Hands On Deck
Teddy
Beasts Clawing at Straws
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Windom's Way
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  H-Man, The The Slime People
Year: 1958
Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Yumi Shirakawa, Kenji Sahara, Akihiko Hirata, Eitaro Ozawa, Koreya Senda, Makoto Sato, Machiko Kitagawa, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Naomi Shiraishi, Ko Mishima, Yoshifumi Tajima, Tetsu Nakimura, Haruya Kato, Ayumi Sonoda
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Atomic testing in the Pacific has recently led to a Japanese ship going missing, or so it appears, but aside from some headlines there does not seem to be any follow up. That is until shortly afterwards when a policeman is patrolling on foot in Tokyo and notices a man sitting in a car, and goes over to investigate. Finding nothing too suspicious, he moves on, but the man is a gangster who is there to pick up a stash of drugs, and when his contact arrives he is all set to go - however the contact contorts his body as he reaches the car, and the hoodlum panics and takes off, leaving his cohort to be run over - and completely vanish.

Well, he leaves his clothes behind, which has investigating Inspector Tominaga (Akihiko Hirata) and his team baffled in time-honoured tradition. It took a while for what was happening to become apparent, though we in the audience nevertheless remained one step ahead of the characters, but The H-Man, or Bijo to ekitai ningen (Beauty and the Liquid People) as it was known in Japan, certainly made an impression on the Baby Boomers of the late fifties. Indeed, many would recall being absolutely terrified of this movie as youngsters, even though in its export version it was released in an edited form - the Japanese had the full strength one.

In Japan, of course, this was a film aimed at an adult audience, while in the United States it was relegated to kiddie matinees, for in the West in that decade science fiction was presented as a rather juvenile pursuit, at least in the movies. But that potentially inappropriate material was given to the kids anyway, passing into legend as one of those reminiscences of scary pop culture for a wide range of unsuspecting filmgoers, though whether it would have the same effect these days would be more debatable. There was a distinct similarity between this as the American nightmare fuel of the fifties The Blob, even down to the same sort of special effects used for their monsters.

They look to all intents and purposes to have been produced simultaneously, so it was not a case of one going ahead and copying the other, maybe one of those ideas whose time had come (in 1958), but if you know The Blob has been referenced you will be aware of what to expect here: people being dissolved by a mass of oozing slime. That is down to the Inspector teaming up with a scientist, Dr Masada (Kenji Sahara) to work out that the crew of the boat affected by radiation from the H-bomb tests have been transformed into shapeless entities which may or may not have intelligence, it's never clear, but are definitely hungry. The partner of the first victim we saw is a nightclub singer, Chikako Arai (Yumi Shirakawa), and she is drawn into this as well.

After all, the cops believe this to be connected to a drug bust they were planning, but the gangsters are just as confounded as they are as to what it going on. Our director was Ishirô Honda, Toho Studios' golden boy for helming the international hit Godzilla, and the shadow of the American bombing during World War II similarly influenced The H-Man, as it did many a Japanese movie for decades following. Don't delve into the science too far, it did not make any sense, simply accept that the all-powerful radiation could inflict a dramatic effect on matter so as to make monsters: it was all very representational, but the domestic as well as foreign market would get what was being referred to immediately. As a science fiction movie, this was too bogged down in the police procedurals, and the nightclub acts merely added for sex appeal, but when this got freaky, it was truly memorable, as those children discovered way back then. Music by Masaru Sato.

[Eureka release The H-Man and Battle in Outer Space on a Blu-ray set with these features:

Limited Edition O-Card Slipcase (First Print Run of 2000 copies ONLY) featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling
Includes both Japanese and English versions of each film, presented across two Blu-ray discs
Original mono audio presentations
English subtitles (for Japanese versions) and English SDH (for English versions)
The H-Man: Brand new audio commentary with authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
The H-Man: Brand new audio commentary with film historian and writer David Kalat
Battle in Outer Space: Audio commentary with authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
Battle in Outer Space: Brand new audio commentary with film historian and writer David Kalat
Stills Galleries
PLUS: A collector's booklet featuring essays by Christopher Stewardson and Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp (Midnight Eye).]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 453 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: