Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

THE H-MAN

Kenji Sahara and Yumi Shirakawa
THE H-MAN (1958). Director: Ishiro Honda.

When a mob boss disappears with only his clothing left behind, Inspector Tominaga (Akihito Hirata) and Sergeant Mayashita (Eitaro Ozawa) pay a call on the man's unknowing girlfriend, nightclub singer Chikako (Yumi Shirakawa). In the meantime, sailors come across a ghost ship with a greenish glow from which pours a green ooze that completely dissolves the men who board the ship. Professor Masada (Kenji Sahara) tells the police of his theories about exposure to hydrogen bomb tests creating this liquid life form that devours flesh and bone and leaves only clothing behind. (After awhile the shots of collapsing suits and uniforms become unintentionally comical.) Unlike The Blob, which came out the same year, this mass never grows to giant size, for shame. This may have been influenced more by The Creeping Unknown than The Blob in any case. It's a minor but reasonably entertaining Japanese monster flick. Honda directed the original Gojira (Godzilla) and many other creature features from Japan.

Verdict: Empty clothing is never a good sign. **1/2.


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