The Human Vapor
|The Human Vapor|
original Japanese poster
|Directed by||Ishirō Honda|
|Produced by||Tomoyuki Tanaka|
|Written by||Takeshi Kimura|
|Music by||Kunio Miyauchi|
|Edited by||Kazuji Taira|
|December 11, 1960 (Japan)
May 20, 1964 (U.S.)
81 min. (USA)
The Human Vapor, known in Japan as Gas Human No. 1 (ガス人間第一号 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 Ishirō Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, and Tomoyuki Tanaka.
The film was recut by Brenco Pictures in 1964, changing the format from that of a mystery to a narrative being told largely in flashback 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 a battle between the two. This was dropped in favor of Frankenstein Conquers the World (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 film tells the story of Mizuno (Yoshio Tsuchiya), a librarian who has been given the ability to become vapor after a scientist (Fuyuki Murakami) performs an experiment on him. Mizuno uses this power to engage in criminal activities, robbing banks to give the money to his love interest, the dancer Fujichiyo (Kaoru Yachigusa). Police Lieutenant Kenji Okamoto (Tatsuya Mihashi) and his reporter girlfriend Kyoko (Keiko Sata) work together to solve the criminal case and attempt to bring things to a peaceful conclusion.
- Tatsuya Mihashi - Kenji Okamoto, Assistant Inspector
- Kaoru Yachigusa - Fujichiyo Kasuga, dancer Nichibu
- Yoshio Tsuchiya - Mizuno, the Human Vapor
- Keiko Sada - Kyoko Kouno, journalist
- Hisaya Ito - Dr. Tamiya
- Yoshifumi Tajima - Tabata, Inspector
- Yoshio Kosugi - Inao, Detective
- Fuyuki Murakami - Dr. Sano
- Bokuzen Hidari - Old Tsuzumi player
- Takamaru Sasaki - Metropolitan Police Department executive officer A
- Keisuke Yamada - Metropolitan Police Department executive officer B
- Akio Kusama - Metropolitan Police Department executive officer C
- Minosuke Yamada - Hayama
- Tatsuo Matsumura - Ikeda
- Youyou Miyata - Bank manager
- Ko Mishima - Fujita, Detective
- Yukihiko Gondo - Hotta, Detective
- Kamayuki Tsubono - Osaki, Detective
- Kozo Nomura - Kawasaki, journalist
- Ren Yamamoto - Nishiyama
- Somemasu Matsumoto - Mondayu
- Yasuhisa Tsutsumi - Aizawa, policeman
- Rinsaku Ogata - Nakaya, policeman
- Masaaki Tachibana - Journalist
- Keiji Sakakida - Prison guard of a detention center A
- Shoichi Hirose - Prison guard of a detention center B
James Hong provided the voice of the Human Vapor in the dubbed American version. The English-dubbed version was released theatrically in 1964 by Brenco Productions. This version is extensively re-edited. The American distributors created a constant narrative from the title character. The music and sound effects are also toyed with. Despite all these changes, star Yoshio Tsuchiya has stated that this is his preferred version of the film. The American version was released on home video several times throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. MGM, the current rights holder, has yet to release the film on DVD.
- Guy Mariner Tucker. Age of the Gods
- Ragone, August (2007, 2014) Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0-8118-6078-9.
- The Human Vapor at the Internet Movie Database
- Scheib, Richard. THE HUMAN VAPOR (Gas Ningen Daiichigo)
- "ガス人間第一号 (Gasu ningen dai ichigo)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-07-13.