THE H-MAN
BIJO TO EKITAI NINGEN
1958, Sony Repertory, 79 min, Japan, Dir: Ishiro Honda

A sexy, exotic dancer slinks across the stage, showered in flickering lights. A bebop combo wails, sax and drums riffing like Charlie Parker and Max Roach. Square-jawed gangsters with slick hair and flashy vines smoke, drink and watch, doted on by giggling bar hostesses. Just another night at Cabaret Homura, but the heat’s about to come down on these mobsters - that is, until an even more dangerous villain appears. Ishiro Honda’s genre-blending sci-fi thriller is a mix of detectives, hoods, radioactive goblins and atomic paranoia. Starring genre regulars Kenji Sahara as an idealistic scientist, Hisaya Ito as an evil drug lord and Yumi Shirakawa as a beleaguered cabaret beauty.


BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE
UCHÛ DAISENSÔ
1959, Sony Repertory, 90 min, Japan, Dir: Ishiro Honda

With the space race in full swing, Ishirô Honda and SFX artist Eiji Tsuburaya collaborated on this action-packed, alien-invasion extravaganza. Envisioning Japan as an aerospace leader and reflecting its postwar return to world affairs (the country had recently joined the United Nations), the film shows Tokyo leading an international coalition of America, the Soviet Union and other nations against hostile spacemen from the planet Natal. These pint-sized invaders pack a powerful arsenal that includes nimble flying saucers and a giant mothership with an anti-gravity beam that sucks skyscrapers off the ground! Heroic astronaut Katsumiya (Ryo Ikebe) and his crew are ready for battle - on the moon, and in the skies over Tokyo.


GODZILLA: THE JAPANESE ORIGINAL
GOJIRA
1954, Janus Films, 96 min, Japan, Dir: Ishirô Honda

In the first of countless kaiju (“strange creature”) films from Japan, a nuclear explosion rouses a reptilian monster from the depths of the ocean. As Godzilla crushes Tokyo underfoot, the only weapon that could stop him may be too powerful to use. Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi and Akihiko Hirata star in this seminal sci-fi film, which was later recut with new scenes starring Raymond Burr and released as GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! in America.
Godzilla ®, Gojira and the character design are trademarks of Toho Co., Ltd. © 1954 Toho Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


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