The Human Vapor (1960)
|Transforming Human Series|
Half man... Half beast! Born of woman, re-created by outer space! - Yet, loves like a man!
— English tagline
The Human Vapor (ガス人間㐧1号 Gasu Ningen Daiichigō, lit. "The First Gas Man")[note 1] is a 1960 tokusatsu science fiction film directed by Ishiro Honda and written by Takeshi Kimura based on a story by John Meredyth Lucas, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced by Toho, it is considered to be the third film in the studio's Transforming Human Series, after The H-Man and The Secret of the Telegian. It stars Tatsuya Mihashi, Kaoru Yachigusa, Keiko Sada, Hisaya Ito, Yoshibumi Tajima, Yoshio Kosugi, and Fuyuki Murakami. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 11, 1960. Brenco Pictures Corporation released an edited English-dubbed version of the film to American theaters on May 20, 1964.
The film tells the story of Mizuno, a librarian who has been given the ability to become vapor after a scientist 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. Police Lieutenant Kenji Okamoto and his reporter girlfriend Kyoko (Keiko Sata) work together to solve the criminal case and attempt to bring things to a peaceful conclusion.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Ishiro Honda
- Written by Takeshi Kimura
- Based on a story by John Meredyth Lucas
- Executive producer Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Kunio Miyauchi
- Cinematography by Hajime Koizumi
- Edited by Kazuji Taira
- Production design by Kiyoshi Shimizu
- 1st assistant director Koji Kajita
- Director of special effects Eiji Tsuburaya
- 1st director of special effects Masakatsu Asai (uncredited)
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Tatsuya Mihashi as Detective Okamoto
- Kaoru Yachigusa as Fujichiyo Kasuga
- Yoshio Tsuchiya as Mizuno, the Human Vapor
- Keiko Sada as Kyoko Kono
- Hisaya Ito as Doctor Tamiya
- Yoshibumi Tajima as Sergeant Tabata
- Yoshio Kosugi as Detective Inao
- Fuyuki Murakami as Dr. Sano
- Bokuzen Hidari as Jiya
- Takamaru Sasaki as police chief
- Minosuke Yamada as Official Hayama
- Tatsuo Matsumura as Editor Ikeda
- Yoyo Miyata as bank manager
- Ko Mishima as Detective Fujita
- Kozo Nomura as Kawasaki
- Ren Yamamoto as Nomura, robber
- Somesho Matsumoto as Fujichiyo's teacher
- Yasuhisa Tsutsumi as police officer
- Akira Yamada as man in the library
- Shoichi Hirose as guard
- Tetsu Nakamura as Tobe, journalist
- Toki Shiozawa as Satoyo, wife
- Jiro Kumagai as Kajimoto
- Kamayuki Tsubono as Policeman Ozaki
- Rinsaku Ogata as Policeman Nakatani
- Keiji Sakakida as guard
- Yutaka Oka as audience member
- Keisuke Yamada as police chief
- Yukihiko Gondo as detective
- Akio Kusama as police chief
- Mitsuo Matsumoto as Kamata
- Koichi Sato as audience member
- Hiroshi Akitsu as librarian
- Hideo Shibuya as bank clerk
- Masaaki Tachibana as reporter
- Tadahiko Kuroda as audience member
- Minoru Ito as reporter
- Wataru Omae as reporter
- Ko Hayami as Fujichiyo's driver
- Jiro Suzukawa as deceased bank clerk
- Shinjiro Hirota as man in jail
- Kazuo Imai as reporter (uncredited)
- Takashi Narita as audience member (uncredited)
- Akijiro Mitsu as detective (uncredited)
- Haruo Nakajima as bank patron with black glasses (uncredited)
- Hiroko Terasawa
- Yoshishiro Fujita
- Shotaro Kashiwa
- Kojuro Kineya
- Kyutaro Yoshimura
- Katsushiro Kineya
- Wakisuke Kineya
- Kazushi Kineya
- Kazusaburo Kineya
- Kazunosuke Kineya
- Nobuhide Hosei
- Kishiro Katata
- Kisaburo Katata
- Kisaku Katata
- Hiroshi Fukuhara
- Main article: The Human Vapor/Gallery.
- Main article: The Human Vapor/Soundtrack.
- The First Gas Man (literal Japanese title)
- The Human Vapour (international title)
- A Cloud of Terror (Una nube di terrore; Italy)
- The Secret of the Gas Man (O Segredo do Homem Gasoso; Brazil)
The Human Vapor was released theatrically on the West Coast of the United States in 1964 by Brenco Pictures Corporation as a double feature with Gorath. The two films were later released more widely in the U.S. starting in the late 1960s. The American version re-structured the film from a police procedural to a narrative focused around and narrated by Mizuno. It contains innumerable edits, music and effects alterations, and stock footage and outtakes from the 1955 Samuel Fuller CinemaScope film noir shot entirely in Japan, House of Bamboo. The Human Vapor along with Gorath are part of the Samuel Goldwyn film library owned by MGM. Neither film has ever been made available on DVD or Blu-ray in the United States.
Toho produced a stage adaptation of The Human Vapor in October 2009, with a cast that included Kumi Mizuno. No recording of the show has surfaced, although it was broadcast on NHK on February 26, 2010.
- Main article: Frankenstein vs. The Human Vapor.
After The Human Vapor proved a box office success in both Japan and the United States, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka began to plan for a sequel entitled Frankenstein vs. The Human Vapor. The sequel's premise would revolve around Mizuno, having actually survived the film's climax, seeking out Frankenstein's monster in order to find the secret of his immortality and use it to revive his love interest, who perished in the climax. However, the film never came to pass, although Frankenstein's monster would later appear in Toho's Frankenstein vs. Baragon in 1965.
Toho DVD (2002)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (Mono, 5.1)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special features: Isolated score, audio commentary by actress Kaoru Yachigusa, Japanese theatrical trailer, still galleries of publicity materials, Toho sci-fi props, and actors
- Region: A
- Discs: 2
- Audio: Japanese (Mono, 5.1, isolated score)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special features: Audio commentaries for The H-Man (Kenji Sahara), The Secret of the Telegian (Tadao Nakamaru), and The Human Vapor (Kaoru Yachigusa)
- Notes: Packaged with Invisible Man, The H-Man, and The Secret of the Telegian.
- The surf rock band Man or Astro-man? is named after one of Brenco Pictures' taglines for The Human Vapor.
- In 2009, the film ranked 65th in Kinema Junpo's list of the 200 best Japanese films of all time.
- While The Human Vapor's Japanese title was originally written using the irregular kanji 㐧 (dai), it is sometimes substituted with the more common rendering 第 in modern media, such as in the title of its 2010 stage adaptation or on its Japanese streaming listings. Furthermore, the film's posters and screenplay write its title with the kanji 一 (ichi; "one"). On virtually all other media, including the film's title card and promotional materials, this is replaced by the numeral 1.
This is a list of references for The Human Vapor. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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