Bijo to Ekitainingen
Tomoyuki Tanaka for Toho
directed by Ishiro Honda
starring Yumi Shirakawa, Kenji Sahara, Akihiko Hirata, Koreya Senda, Makoto Sato, Yoshifumi Tajima, Eitaro Ozawa, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Kamayuki Tsubono, Tadao Nakamaru, Nadao Kirino, Jun Fujio, Hisaya Ito, Toku Ihara, Haruya Kato, Shigeo Kato, Senkichi Omura, Haruo Nakajima, Yasuhiro Shigenobu, Ayumi Sonoda, Martha Miyake (singing voice)
story by Hideo Unagami, screenplay by Takeshi Kimura, music by Masaru Sato, special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya
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Gangster Misaki (Hisaya Ito) disappears into thin air right after being
run over by a car, and now police turn to his girlfriend, nightclub singer
Chikako (Yumi Shirakawa, singing voice by Martha Miyake) to help them
track him down ... but she claims she can't. There is something peculiar
about his disappearance though, because he has left all of his cloths and
belongings behind in the middle of the street and must have made his
escape naked - yet while there are several witneses who confirm they have
seen him being hit by the car, there is noone having seen a naked guy run
While the cops, led by Tominaga (Akihiko Hirata), concentrate
their investigations on Chikako, Tominaga's best friend, scientist Masada
(Kenji Sahara) comes up with another theory, that Misaki has somehow
melted as an after-effect of some nuclear testing. When a second gangster
disappears just the way Misaki did, Masada sees his theory confirmed, but
Tominaga thinks he has gone off the hook and refuses to involve his
theories in his investigations, even if Masada is able to bring more and
more evidence to strengthen his theory. With the police unwilling to help
him, Masada turns to Chikako ...
The truth is of course quite a bit more
disturbing than even Masada's wildest theories, it turns out that some
nuclear test has created a living liquid that doesn't melt people but
transform them into liquid consciousness. And this living liquid has
actually come to Japan from a testing site in the South Pacific because it
has taken over a bunch of Japanese sailors who as a collective
consciousness just wanted to go home. Chaos breaks out when the living
liquid shows up at Chikako's club, liquifying guests and personnel, cops
and gangsters alike. Keiko is only just saved by Masada.
the police force have finally come to the conclusion that Masada's wild
theories are right after all, and they make up plans to lure the living
liquid into the sewers, fill the sewers with oil and then set everything
on fire, this way burning the living liquid. Good plan, but in the
meantime, Uchida (Makoto Sato), a gangster friend of Misaki who has used
the confusion in the night club to fake his own death, has kidnapped
Chikako and taken her down to the sewers ... and only by chance, Masada
learns about it just in time to save her from the gangster as well as from
both the fire used to kill the living liquid and the living liquid itself
- and successfully so, the gangster becomes the living liquid's last
victim while the living liquid breathes its last (so to speak) in a fire
that devours all of Tokyo's sewers and waterways ...
theoretically interesting blend of crime drama and science fiction, The
H-Man unfortunately doesn't really work, mainly because too little
effort is made until late to properly cross the three genres, too much of
botht he gangster and the sci-fi action is presented low key, and too much
running time of the film is wasted to set up the actual plot of the film.
And above that, the finale in the sewers is a little too reminiscentof the
US-American classic Them!. At least
the nightclub massacre is fun though, but hardly enough to save the film.