The Invisible Man vs. the Human Fly (1957)
aka Tomei ningen to hae otoko
Article 5885 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Mitsuo Murayama
Featuring Ryuji Shinagawa, Yoshiro Kitahara, Junko Cano
What it is: Strange Japanese Sci-fi
A rash of murders is being committed in which people are being murdered in broad daylight but no killer is seen. Could they be caused by an invisible man? And if not, will it take an invisible man to solve the case?
One of the theories that serves as a linchpin for this movie is that if a human being is reduced to the size of a fly, he will be able to fly. If you buy into this theory, you’ll have no trouble accepting the rest of the movie without being beset by logic sinkholes; me, I keep asking myself questions like: are there any other animals the size of flies that can’t fly?, or; even if a human the size of a fly could fly, would he necessarily buzz? Granted, given the title of the movie, I didn’t necessarily expect it to be believable going into it; I just wanted it to be entertaining and even a bit silly. Still, I have to admit that when a large part of the movie involves a police investigation (as it does here), I do find myself put in a more logical and skeptical state of mind, and the plot holes and logical errors are a little bit more glaring. On a side note, there are invisibility special effects here, but they’re pretty bare bones, though I don’t buy the moment where one character gets worked over by the invisible man. In the end, the movie is somewhat entertaining, but not as wild or bizarre as the title made me feel it would be.