When people think of Toho films or Japanese monster films Godzilla instantly comes to mind. However, people seem to forget that Toho has made more then just Godzilla films. Toho’s produced several other monster films, including the 1955 film Half Human. You could say that this is a cousin film to the Godzilla franchise since it is from Toho, was directed by Ishiro Honda, and featured special effects by Eiji tsubraya. These two were responsible for many of classic kaiju films of the ‘50s and ‘60s, however out of all of Toho’s other monster films, this one is the most overlooked. In 1958 it was released in America in a dubbed and Americanized version, featuring added scenes starring John Carradine. The Japanese version of the film has not been released in America so I will obviously be taking a look at the American version.
The film tells the story of an anthropologist (John Carradine) and is presented in a series of flashbacks as he tells a couple of his colleagues about three skiers in the Alps that have an encounter with the Abominable Snowman. The Abominable Snowman has an offspring as well, but one man tries to capture it, accidentally shooting and killing it. The father becomes enraged at the death of his offspring and goes on a rampage, destroying everything in its path.
Half Human has some elements that make it similar to King Kong and even Cannibal Holocaust. This film is the epitome of hidden horror. Finding a copy of it on VHS or DVD is extremely difficult. I actually own a copy of it and I can tell you that if you do manage get your hands on it you will not be disappointed. It’s a great movie. The American version of the film is probably all you will be able to find, and unfortunately the American version cuts a lot of the Japanese footage out. The Japanese version can’t be found, but some say that the original unadulterated film exists somewhere out there. This is a hard to find horror and thus a totally underrated film that will probably never have its place in horror cinema history but if you can find it you will not be disappointed.
BONUS MUSIC REVIEW- “Slayer: Undisputed Attitude”
When it comes to legendary heavy metal band Slayer classic albums like “Reign in Blood,” “Hell Awaits,” or “Seasons in the Abyss” come to mind. However people forget that Slayer actually did a cover album, one that is extremely underrated to say the least. In 1996 Slayer recorded “Undisputed Attitude,” a follow up to their 1994 album “Divine Intervention,” deciding to do a cover album. At first they were going to cover Judas Priest and other classic bands, but instead decided to cover punk songs instead. Slayer’s a band that was born of heavy metal and punk and they were one of the first bands to combine the speed of punk music with heavy metal.
“Undisputed Attitude” features Slayer covering bands like Minor Threat, D.R.I. and more. They also take the Stooges song “I Want to be Your Dog,” make it heavy, add vulgarity to the lyrics and change the title to “I Want to be Your God” The highlight of the album, however, is the only original Slayer song on the album known as “Gemini.” It is a powerful song that features incredible drum work and musicianship, as well as mood and lyrics that will appeal to any horror movie fan. While not every Slayer album can be a “Reign in Blood” or “Hell Awaits” you can still bet that you are going to get real heavy metal and great musicianship with each of their releases. As long as Slayer is around, you can also bet that heavy metal will be alive. So give “Undisputed Attitude” a shot, it’s a fun listen and entertaining to say the least.