Friday, 23 February 2018

The H-Man

The H-Man
(Bijo To Ekatai-Ningen)

A slow-paced allegory about the effects of radioactivity conveyed via a disconcerting clash of plot elements from both the crime and science fiction genres.

Directed by Ishirō Honda
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Screenplay by Takeshi Kimura
Story by Hideo Kaijo
Music by Masaru Sato
Cinematography: Hajime Koizumi
Edited by Ichiji Taira
Production company: Toho
Distributed by Toho
Release date: 24 June 1958 (Japan)
Running time: 87 minutes
Country: Japan


Yumi Shirakawa as Chikako Arai
Kenji Sahara as Dr. Masada
Akihiko Hirata as Inspector Tominaga
Makoto Satō as Uchida the gangster
Korenari Senda as Dr. Maki
Eitaro Ozawa as Inspector Miyashita
Hisaya Itô as Misaki, the dissolved gangster
Machiko Kitagawa as nightclub hostess
Yoshio Tsuchiya as Detective Taguchi
Naomi Shiraishi as Mineko, Dr.Maki's assistant
Kô Mishima as Kishi, gangster in nightclub
Yoshifumi Tajima as Detective Sakata
Tetsu Nakamura as Mr. Chin, gangster
Haruya Katô as Mattchan the Fisherman
Ayumi Sonoda as Emi, lead exotic dancer

Trailer: Japanese version

Trailer: American version

Read on to find out more........

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A Tribute to Eugène Lourié

A film pioneer of many talents

Eugène Lourié, French film director, art director, production designer, set designer and screenwriter was born in Charkov, Ukraine on April 8, 1903. He was well known for his 1950s science fiction movies, some of which have been featured in this blog.

The Early Days

In 1919, Eugène Lourié worked on an anti-communist film titled Black Crowes. Having fled from the Soviet Union, he made his way to Istanbul where he earned enough money for a fare to Paris, France by painting and drawing movie posters.

Film career

While in Paris, Lourié studied painting and stage design. He designed sets and costumes for various ballet companies before turning his attention to film.

In the 1930s, Eugène Lourié worked as a production designer for the likes of such directors as Jean Renoir, with whom he worked on the French films, La Grande Illusion and La Règle du Jeu. Lourié took over as sole art director for the former film.

In the early 1940s, Lourié moved to Hollywood and worked with such directors as Sam Fuller, Robert Siodmak and Charlie Chaplin. He was art director for Chaplin's last American film, Limelight (1952).

In 1953, he made his directorial debut with The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, the first of three dinosaur films that Lourié would direct and which tended to typecast him as a science fiction film director. For these giant-monster films, Lourié often did the art direction and special effects on them as well.

After his 1961 film, Gorgo, Lourié stopped directing movies because he did not want to direct "the same comic-strip monsters."

He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1969 for best visual effects on the film Krakatoa, East of Java. In this film, Lourié made a non-speaking cameo appearance playing the part of a lighthouse keeper on the coast of Java in 1883 who observes Krakatoa's final cataclysmic explosive eruption and sends news of it to the outside world by telegraph.

In 1980, Lourié designed Clint Eastwood's Bronco Billy, and had an acting part in Richard Gere's 1983 film, Breathless.

Eugène Lourié’s Filmography

Jeanne (1934) 
The Bread Peddler (1934) 
Dark Eyes (1935) 
The Alibi (1937) 
The Messenger (1937) 
Ramuntcho (1938) 
The Lafarge Case (1938) 
Gorgo (1961) 
Flight from Ashiya (1964) 
Crack in the World (1965) 
Krakatoa, East of Java (1969)

DeathLourié died on 26 May 1991 (aged 88) due to a stroke while in the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills. He was survived by his wife Laure and a daughter.

©Chris Christopoulos 2018

Friday, 2 February 2018

The Giant Behemoth (1958)

An entertaining sc-fi film hampered by cheap special effects and a lack of originality

Director/Screenplay – Eugene Lourie.
Produced - Ted Lloyd, David Diamond.
Story - Robert Abel
Screenplay - Daniel James
Edited by Lee Doig
Cinematography – Ken Hodges.
Music – Edwin Astley.
Special Effects – Irving Block, Louis De Witt, Willis O’Brien, Pete Petterson & Jack Rabin.
Makeup – Jimmy Evans.
Art Direction – Harry White.
Production Company – Artists Alliance.
Distributed by Allied Artists
Running time - 80 minutes


Andre Morell as Professor James Bickford
Gene Evans as Dr Steve Karnes
Leigh Madison as Jean Trevatharn
John Tumer as John
Jack MacGowran as Dr Sampson the Palaeontologist
Maurice Kaufmann as Mini Submarine Officer
Henri Vidon as Tom Trevethan
Leonard Sachs as Scientist

Dead fish washing up on the Cornwall coast?
Radioactive fish?
Locals suffering from radiation burns?
Reports of a monster?
A dinosaur revived by atomic radiation?
A behemoth heading towards London, destroying all in its path?


Read on to find out more…..