Half Human

Half Human

[hyoo-muhn or, often, yoo]

Half Human, originally released in Japan as , is a tokusatsu film produced and released by Toho Film Productions Ltd. in 1955. The film was made by Toho's legendary Godzilla production team of Ishiro Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, and Tomoyuki Tanaka. This was director Honda's second assignment in the kaiju (or monster) genre, after the original Gojira (1954). Reportedly one of Honda's better efforts, the film has been unavailable for public viewing for decades because the film's depiction of a native tribe with similarities to the minority Ainu and burakumin peoples is felt to be offensive by today's standards.

Synopsis

The original Japanese story concerns the discovery of a giant prehistoric snowman in the Japanese Alps. When a traveling circus attempts to capture the monster, they capture the monster's son instead. They use the young snowman as bait for the adult, but the larger snowman attacks the expedition. Eventually both snowmen fall into a crater.

U.S. release

It is assumed that the film was shown in its entirety in the United States, in the Japanese language at Japanese-American ("Chinatown") theaters on the West Coast, as were most other films produced in that country. This release may or may not have included English subtitles. Per se, the film itself received no wider release but principal sequences involving the basic plot structure were used to create an American hybrid entitled Half Human, q.v.

Half Human

The 1958 nationwide U.S. release of this film took sequences of Jujin Yuki Otoko and added extensive new scenes starring John Carradine and featuring Morris Ankrum and two lesser-known American actors, and the entire soundtrack was replaced with American stock music cues, sound-effects, and voice-over narration by Carradine replacing all dialogue in the Japanese scenes.

Toho's costume for the snowman's son was even imported by the new film's makers and used in a scene where the creature has supposedly just been autopsied by Ankrum and is seen lying on an operating table. Including the extensive American footage, this version runs only 63 minutes in toto. The U.S. edition of this film is the only version that has been made available for home video, and all original Japanese prints have been banned since the 1960s for any public display, by Toho themselves for the reason explained above. When "Half Human" was originally released by Rhino VHS in North America, it was in black and white. That video edition is extremely rare, and almost impossible to find because it has long since been Out Of Print. Now the only way to see the film is in "The Restored Color Version" which was released in 1995 by "Haunted Hollywood Home Video".

Cast

US Additional Cast

See also

References

Famous Monsters of Filmland. November 1982 (#189), p.56.

External links

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