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
- 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
- Hideo Shibuya
- Masaaki Tachibana
- Tadahiko Kuroda as Audience member
- Minoru Ito
- Wataru Omae
- Ko Hayami
- Jiro Suzukawa
- Shinjiro Hirota
- Haruo Nakajima as bank patron with black glasses (uncredited)
- James Hong as Mizuno, the Human Vapor
- 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)
- Japan - December 11, 1960 [view poster]
- United States - May 20, 1964 [view poster]
- Thailand - 1962
The Human Vapor was released theatrically in the United States in 1964 by Brenco Pictures Corporation. It was later re-released on a double feature with Gorath in 1969. The American version re-structured the film from a mystery story to a narrative focused around Mizuno and told from his point of view and cut approximately 11 minutes of footage. Eventually, the rights to the film in the U.S. were acquired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who released it on VHS throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The film is currently unavailable 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
Toho Blu-ray (2021) [Transforming Human Series]
- 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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