The Rainbow Man (1949)

The Rainbow Man (1949)
aka Nijiotoko
Article 5973 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-4-2021
Directed by Kiyohiko Ushihara
Featuring Keiju Kobayashi, Teruko Akatsuki, Katsuko Wakasugi
Country: Japan
What it is: Horror mystery

A dedicated woman reporter comes to the aid of a friend of hers who is under suspicion of murder. It is discovered her family is under a curse; anyone who sees the dreaded Rainbow Man will die a bizarre death.

Since much of the story takes place in a spooky old house and involves a family curse, there is a little horror atmosphere to contend with, even if the fact that it plays out more like a mystery and those little tinglings of deja vu you experience may lead you back to SHE-WOLF OF LONDON. It even has a touch of science fiction in that the plot does involve artificial rainbows. The movie at least realizes that if the visual motif you are relying on is a rainbow, it might be nice to have a bit of color to jazz up a noirish black and white movie. You should be able to figure out on your own one of the plot twists that logically derives from the fact that the identity of the corpse at the beginning of the movie was so disfigured that he could only by identified by the clothes he was wearing. The atmosphere adds to the plus side, but much of the plot unfolds in a rather dull manner and it’s a bit on the slow side. Overall, I found this one a bit disappointing.

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