Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Case Study No. 0459: Mizuno, the Human Vapor

The Human Vapor (1960) - Trailers
Theatrical trailers for Brenco Pictures' 1964 release of THE HUMAN VAPOR.

The original Japanese version of this film (similar to Honda's earlier film, THE H-MAN) starts out as a detective thriller before settling into a science fiction plot. When the film was released in the United States, Brenco Pictures changed the order of many scenes and introduced the Human Vapor character at the very beginning of the film. From there, the story unfolds in a flashback. Much of the original score (by Kunio Miyauchi) was replaced by library music. Star Yoshio Tsuchiya has said that he prefers this version. I can't say I agree with him, though this is far from being the worst Americanization of a Toho movie. Popular Asian-American character actor James Hong (KUNG FU, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA) dubbed Tsuchiya in this movie. Hong also dubbed the Ogata and Serizawa characters in GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! (1956).
Tags: The Human Vapor Toho Ishiro Honda Eiji Tsuburaya Kaiju Horror Sci-Fi Kunio Miyauchi Tomoyuki Tanaka Yoshio Tsuchiya James Hong Lo Pan Gasu ningen dai ichigo monster love crime
Added: 6 months ago
From: CTHimes01
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NARRATOR: The Human Vapor!
[various clips from the movie are shown]
NARRATOR: The strangest science fiction story ever told! About man's deadliest enemy, the Human Vapor! Never before, a power so dangerous! Never before, an enemy so indestructable! Nothing on Earth could stop him, the Human Vapor! Half beast, half man!
[cut to the librarian speaking to some reporters]
MIZUNO: Doctor Sano had said I'd be a superman ... Instead, he had created the Human Vapor!
[cut to another shot of the librarian]
MIZUNO: Now, I should be greatful to our doctor, shouldn't I? He did not do as he intended ... yet he did give me supreme power now. I can have anything I choose. Destroy anyone I care to.
[cut to more clips from the movie]
NARRATOR: No prison bars could keep him in! No door could keep him out! The Human Vapor slips through every crack, through every opening! To terrify, to destroy, to kill! See the Human Vapor transform before your eyes, from human form to vapor nightmare! The Human Vapor brings you a haunting legacy of fear, causing panic and riot and devastation! See this weird story of a superhuman power that menaces the world! Who can kill like an inhuman monster, but loves like a man?
[cut to clips of Doctor Sano's machine, with the librarian inside it]
NARRATOR: Here for the first time, the most dangerous experiment in terror! See the disintegration of a human being into the deadliest vapor killer, borne of woman but recreated by an evil science into an ectoplasmic horror who will stagger your imagination! The Human Vapor will come to life and bring you the most terrifying experience in scientific history! The Human Vapor, is he man or astro-man?
[cut to the film's logo]
NARRATOR: The Human Vapor, in living color on the giant screen! The Human Vapor!



"The Human Vapor," known in Japan as "Gas Person No. 1" ("Gasu Ningen dai Ichigo") is a tokusatsu film produced and released by Toho Studios in 1960. The film was made by Toho's legendary Godzilla directing/special effects/producing team of Ishir? Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, and Tomoyuki Tanaka. Along with Secret of the Telegian and The H-Man, it is often part of Toho's "mutant" trilogy.

The film tells the story of Mizuno (Yoshio Tsuchiya), a librarian at a sanatorium (implicitly for cancer), who has been given the ability to become vapor after a scientist does an experiment on him. Mizuno uses this power to engage in criminal activities, robbing banks to give the money to his dancer girlfriend (Kaoru Yachigusa). Kenji Okamoto (Tatsuya Mihashi) is the police inspector after them.

The film was recut by Brenco Pictures in 1964, changing the premise from mystery to being told from Mizuno's point of view. Even though this version is dubbed, Tsuchiya has stated that he prefers this cut of the film, which he considers to feature his finest performance.

A sequel to this film was planned called Frankenstein vs. the Human Vapor in which the Human Vapor survives the climax and goes to find a doctor who brought Frankenstein's monster to back to life, in hopes of finding a way to bring back his girlfriend who didn't survive the climax leading to battle between the two. This was dropped in favor of Frankenstein vs. Baragon (the 1957 film Tomei-Ningen To Hae-Otoko or Invisible Man vs. Fly Man is available in North America under the title Vapor Man meets the Human Fly but it is not related).



The Human Vapor (1960)
Gasu ningen dai ichigo (original title)

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?

Tatsuya Mihashi ... Detective Okamoto
Kaoru Yachigusa ... Fujichiyo Kasuga
Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Mizuno, the Librarian / The 'Vapor Man'
Keiko Sata ... Reporter Kyoko
Hisaya Ito ... Police Scientist
Yoshifumi Tajima ... Sergeant
Yoshio Kosugi ... Mean Detective
Fuyuki Murakami ... Dr. Sano



(Gas Ningen Daiichigo)

Japan. 1964.
Director – Inoshiro Honda, Screenplay – Takeshi Kimura, Photography – Hajime Koizumi, Music – Kunio Miyauhi, Director of Special Effects – Eiji Tsuburaya. Production Company – Toho.
Yoshio Tatiya (Mizuno), Kaoru Yashibusa (Fujichia Kasaga), Keiko Saha (Kyoko), Tatsuyami Hashi (Detective Okamoto)

Plot: A man, Mizuno, calls a group of journalists to a meeting and explains to him how he became the super-criminal who was hunted by Tokyo police as The Human Vapor. He was a meek librarian before being approached by the scientist Dr Sano who wanted him as a test subject for the space program. Instead, Sano subjected Mizuno to radiation that caused him to become able to transform into mist at will. Mizuno soon realized the power that this held for him and used the ability to effortlessly enter bank vaults and steal money. His intention was to give the money to Fujichia Kasaga, the dancer he loved who had fallen on hard times so that she could stage a comeback. When the police discovered Fujichia was receiving the stolen money, they instead arrested her as the only means of getting to The Human Vapor.

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