The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly

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The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly
The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMitsuo Murayama
Screenplay byHajime Takaiwa
Based onCharacters and concepts created by H. G. Wells for The Invisible Man
Produced byHidemasa Nagata
StarringRyuji Shinagawa
Yoshiro Kitahara
Junko Kano
CinematographyHiroshi Murai
Edited byShigeo Nishida
Music byTokujirō Ōkubo
Running time
96 minutes

The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly[1] (透明人間と蝿男, Tōmei Ningen to Hae Otoko, lit.'The Invisible Man and The Fly Man') is a 1957 Japanese science fiction horror film produced and distributed by Daiei Film. It was Daiei's second film based on H. G. Wells' 1897 The Invisible Man after The Invisible Man Appears. The film is directed by Mitsuo Murayama, with special effects by Tōru Matoba and stars Ryuji Shinagawa, Yoshiro Kitahara, and Junko Kano.


Ryoki Watanabe, the president of Watanabe Construction, is murdered on a Japan Airlines flight. The killing took place in a bathroom none of the stewardesses can recall anyone else entering. Police discover that none of the passengers knew him, although one, Doctor Hayakawa, postponed his interview due to a recent heart attack. In recent months, two equally unexplained bank robberies have occurred. Chief Inspector Wakabayashi notes that all three victims offered no apparent resistance. In an interview with Hayakawa and his daughter Akiko, Wakabayashi jokes that the perpetrator must have been invisible. Hayakawa has just recently unlocked the key to invisibility by studying cosmic rays with Dr. Tsukioka. They have never tested their machine on anything living, says their assistant Sugimoto, who demonstrates it through the making of an invisible glass. The robbers strike again. There is no evidence that they even got into the safe, except for a matchbox taken from Asia, a nightclub in Chicago. Tatsuya Kuroki denies any criminal activity. He introduces Wakabayashi to Hajime, his bartender and karate enthusiast. After this, another murder takes place: a man appears behind Noriko Maeda before stabbing her and vanishing. A buzzing sound is heard by Inspector Tada, who is on the scene and pointing to the sky. Following Hajima as he walks, Wakabayashi watches Hajime bat at something that appears to be a fly as he walks to meet one of Asia's dancers, Mieko. Hajime is fatally attacked after rounding a corner, and Wakabayashi arrives too late to see the killer. Police investigation reveals the connection between Watanabe and several earlier victims: all were assigned to the same secret military project at the end of World War II. After comparing notes with Wakabayashi, Tada brings up the buzzing they both heard. Hayakawa considers a shrinking human theoretically possible, but unlikely in practice. Determined to prove that invisibility has practical applications, Sugimoto interrupts the Hayakawas’ dinner wearing an invisible cloak and gloves. The ray only worked on the parts of him less exposed to sunlight, so he needs the accessories to achieve the full effect. The murderer, with a twisted smile on his face, strikes again, stabbing Kuroki. He takes out a vial and releases the gas within, shrinking himself down to diminutive size. Buzzing through the air, he visits Kusunoki next—and the businessman sets down a pool of liquid which restores him to his normal size. Convicted as a war criminal and left stranded on the island where he helped develop the shrinking gas, Kusunoki has been using it to take revenge on his former associates, although he’s almost run out of the ampoules. His hitman, Yamada, has become addicted to it and more sadistic as a result, killing Maeda, Hajima, and Kuroki over his possessiveness of Mieko. His next victim is Hayama, who he outmaneuvers during a nighttime chase. Tsukioka attempts to develop a machine to cure invisibility, but the ray it emits proves lethal when tested on rabbits. At Asia, Yamada uses another ampoule to lust over Mieko undetected, though it backfires when she mistakes him for a fly and swats him away. Enraged, he kills her just before she walks on stage. Wakabayashi has no luck advancing his human fly theory before the police chief, and with the bodies piling up, he begs Tsukioka to turn him invisible to crack the case. The scientist refuses on moral grounds. As Hayakawa and Sugimoto continue to work on a cure, Yamada infiltrates the lab and kills them both. After the funeral, Tsukioka uses the invisibility ray on himself. He drops in on Yamada and Kusunoki, who are at odds over Yamada’s failure to steal the ray, and hears them plan a second attempt. Once inside the lab again, Yamada dives into a vat of chemicals, killing him instantly. The police discover his remains at normal size, but with no possible mode of entry besides the vents, Wakabayashi deduces that he was the human fly. The detectives charge Kusunoki with the murders, but seem to have no proof until Tsukioka enters the office, offering his testimony. Asking to change in the next room, Kusunoki uncorks an ampoule, shrinks, and escapes into the station. After killing a passerby, Kusunoki calls Wakabayashi and Tsukioka to demand the invisibility ray. Kusunoki plants a bomb beneath a train, killing 790 passengers, and threatens to do it again the following week. Atop the Marunouchi Building, Wakabayashi meets Kusunoki to hand over the device. As the human fly arrives by helicopter, he is able to spot the soldiers surrounding the building. Then he demands that Tsukioka, currently invisible, reveal himself to him. Instead, Tsukioka attacks him during the handoff, foiling his attempts to set off the ampoule, but loses his gun. He reveals, as he flies away, that he planted the bomb on faraway Christmas Island. Moments later, to their surprise, he returns to the helipad, held at gunpoint by Akiko, now invisible. Kusunoki disarms Akiko, and Wakabayashi shoots him off the roof. Tsukioka, having perfected the invisibility cure, agrees to turn over the machine to the government. However, not before he and Akiko use it to evade a group of reporters.


  • Ryuji Shinagawa as Dr. Tsukioka, the Invisible Man
  • Yoshiro Kitahara as Chief Inspector Wakabayashi
  • Junko Kano as Akiko Hayakawa
  • Yoshihiro Hamaguchi as Detective Hayama
  • Shozo Nanbu as Dr. Hayakawa
  • Joji Tsurumi as Sugimoto, Dr. Hayakawa's Assistant
  • Bontaro Miake as Chief of the Metropolitan Police
  • Ichirō Izawa as Kōkichi Kusunoki, the Human Fly
  • Chujo Shizuo as Yamada, the Human Fly
  • Naoko Matsudaira as Noriko Maeda


The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly was released in Japan on August 25, 1957 as a double feature with Suzunosuke Akado: The Vacuum Slash of Asuka and Headbutt and Karate Chop (頭突きと空手チョップ[2]). The film and its precessor were never released outside of Japan until Arrow Video released the film on Blu-ray on March 15, 2021.[1][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Elson, Devon (2021-03-13). "The Invisible Man Appears (1949) | The Invisible Man vs The Human Fly (1957) • Blu-ray [Arrow…". Medium. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  2. ^ "頭突きと空手チョップ : 作品情報". 映画.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  3. ^ The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly (1957), retrieved 2021-04-30

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