Ishiro Honda (director)
347 min (length)
16 November 2020 (released)
12 November 2020
Eureka presents two of Japan’s most influential Sci-fi classics from acclaimed director Ishiro Honda on Blu-ray for the first time. The first 2000 copies of this release are available in a Limited O-Card slipcase.
The ISHIRO HONDA DOUBLE FEATURE set contains THE H-MAN (1958) and BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (1959), with the former film a rather unusual mixture of film noir blended with feverish jazz interludes and a heavy dose of science fiction. When a ship suddenly disappears without a trace after a nuclear experiment in the South Pacific, the incident soon has dire consequences… for only a short time later young drug dealer Misaki also disappears without a trace on a rainy night in Tokyo… his clothes seem to be the only thing left of him. Inspector Tominaga (Akihiko Hirata) and his team waste no time with their investigations and first up is nightclub singer Chikako Arai (Yumi Shirakawa) who had a relationship with the vanished man. Unfortunately they don’t get much out of her as she hasn’t seen Misaki in days. After her performance, Chikako receives an unexpected visitor in her dressing room. Dr. Masada (Kenji Sahara) secretly wants to slip her a note but at the very same moment Inspector Tominaga enters the room and arrests the scientist (who’s been on his ‘watch list’ of people entering the cabaret’s premises). At the police station Masada claims that Misakos’ sudden disappearance has something to do with the nuclear experiment now causing people to literally melt away. Of course, the inspector doesn't believe a word, would you? Unfortunately more people 'disappear' or shall we say melt into the ether – or do they? Soon rumors of strange, green-glowing figures circulate and the nightclub in which Chikako is employed is attacked by radioactive blobs of slime, causing utter carnage. Inspector Tominaga is confronted with a race against time if he wants to prevent the residents of Tokyo from melting away and re-emerge as day-glo figures! The ‘H-Man’ is a truly out of this world concept made all the more peculiar thanks to its bold decision to play around with various genres and stereotypes. The result is a Sci-fi adventure which refuses to be categorized.
In the second film BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (set in the future of… 1965) strange occurrences happen all over the world: railway bridges are pulled upward like magnets - culminating in fatal train crashes, a steamer is lifted out of the Panama Canal, devastating floods destroy Venice and so on. No, this is not the evil doing of the Lovecraftian god Cthulhu suddenly emerging from the underwater city of R'lyeh. In fact, the ‘culprit’ in question is an unknown force that lowers the temperature of objects which in turn lowers the Earth’s gravitational pull - messing up the laws of gravity as we know it. Or so goes the theory according to Dr. Richardson (Len Stanford), one of the experts meeting at the Space Research Center in Japan together with Major Katsumiya (Ryo Ikebe) and Professor Adachi (Koreya Senda). When Dr. Ahmed (George Whitman), an Iranian delegate at the meeting, falls prey to what can only be described as an extraterrestrial force the remaining scientists soon find out that planet Earth is in danger of being colonized by an alien planet called Natal. The UN fires two rockets to the moon and the astronauts are supposed to investigate. No prices for guessing it doesn’t take long until the crew finds itself under attack from remote-controlled meteors. In addition, one of the astronauts, Iwamura (Yoshio Tsuchiya), is now controlled by the alien threat like a robot and is forced to sabotage one of the rockets. As the earth prepares for the final conflict a mighty showdown unfolds! Thanks to Eiji Tsuburaya (GODZILLA) impressive special effects this film is another fine example of the many Sci-fi films produced by the famed Toho Studios. It can easily compete with later US Sci-fi series such as STAR TREK, with the miniature sets depicting space probes and rockets particularly convincing for its time.
Bonus material for both films include audio commentary, picture gallery, info booklet and choice between the original Japanese sound (with English subtitles) or the English dubbed version.