Half Human (1958)

Ron Adams from Creepy Classics saved me a copy of Half Human (1957), which I picked up at the 2012 Monster Bash.  This is the shortened 63 minute American cut of the virtually impossible to find “banned film” Jūjin Yuki Otoko (Half Man Half Snowbeast, 1955) directed by Ishiro [Inoshiro] Honda.  See links below.

That film is scarce and hard to find in the U.S. (believe me I have looked and continue to strike out).  The original film runs around 95 minutes. The American cut includes perhaps 30 minutes of reshot diatribe from John Carradine and Morris Ankrum (Earth vs. the Flying Saucer, Invaders from Mars, How to Make a Monster), so I haven’t seen a good hour of Jūjin Yuki Otoko.

I’m a sucker for Yeti-Bigfoot flicks (Hammer’s The Abominable Snowman (1957) is REALLY good) and Half Human should keep most fans of the sub-genre attentive.  The film is told from a flash-back narrative with Carradine in possession of a mummified ape-like hominid.  The flash back sequences of course are derived from the original Japanese print.  I love the design of the snowbeast.  I’m guessing that Eiji Tsuburaya came up with and supervised the creature design.

Several of the scenes remind me of King Kong (1933).  During one sequence a young man is bound and dangled from a cliff, tethered from a rope tied to a tree.  The matte painting really strikes of Kong —looking like something rendered by Kong contributor and conceptual artist Mario Larrinaga.

One scene has the half-human snowbeast rescuing the man dangling on the rope (right image, note arrow where the snowbeast is partially visible).  Compare this to the scene with Kong pulling up Ann Darrow and Jack Driscoll!  Eiji Tsuburaya noted that the movie King Kong inspired him as a technician and filmmaker.

And here’s the snowbeast sequence (below), only the Yeti is just trying to help.  I’m fairly certain Kong would’ve chewed up Driscoll.

Half Human is no classic, but Kaiju and 50’s sci-fi/adventure film enthusiasts will probably like it.  There are a few creepy sequences and overall I like the creature designs.  This is the only Yeti creature in filmdom besides 1987’s Harry and the Hendersons to possess a receding hairline!

S. Galbraith IV, 1994. Japanese Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, McFarland & Co., Inc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banned_films

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_Human

3 Responses to “Half Human (1958)”

  1. Rich Chamberlain Says:

    Watching this right now!

  2. […] The Americanized film Half Human can be found on-line. (See also Monsterminions Half Human (1958) review). This Americanized version included clips of John Carradine interwoven with segments of the […]

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