Adding new footage to “Americanize” a foreign film rarely works well. One of the exceptions is the 1956 version of Godzilla, which handles the re-edit tactfully and packs a punch that is almost equal to that of the 1954 original. 7/10
A team of Japanese explorers search for a friend kidnapped by the Yeti, while besieged by evil monster hunters and superstitious natives. Visually stunning, Ishiro Honda’s 1955 cult classic suffers from a messy script and shoddy effects. 5/10
An invisible ex-soldier breaks up a mob gang and saves a nightclub singer in Toho’s 1954 SF noir. An interesting premise of war-time test subjects living as outcasts is sadly pushed out by the clichéd gangster plot. Film has its moments, though. 4/10
spite its clumsy rubber monster and the under-developed characters, 1954’s Gojira (Godzilla) is a gripping allegory for Japan’s experiences during WWII, with beautifully grim visuals and intimate focus on the casualties of war. 7/10
The forties was not a good time for SF movies. But the genre sputtered along with mad scientist B-movies turned out by Hollywood. The decade produced none of the immortal classics of the twenties and thirties, but hidden among the low-budget dregg, one can find a few genuine gems worthy of more recognition.
A rare gem, Japan’s earliest preserved science fiction film The Invisible Man Appears is more inspired by Universal’s Invisible Man films than H.G. Wells’ novel. This 1949 crime mystery drama meets tokusatsu film boasts the special effects of the great Eiji Tsuburaya and some good performances. 5/10