Since featuring as the protagonist in the H. G. Wells’ novel, first serialised in 1897, the eponymous Invisible Man has been a frequent figure in popular culture. However, the idea of invisibility is a concept which harks back to Greek and Roman legend, and beyond. The fascination with this character or idea is not merely limited to the English-speaking world though. A new release from Arrow Video brings two Japanese films together.
The Invisible Man Appears
Dr. Nakazato (Ryûnosuke Tsukigata) has successfully created an invisibility serum, but it has never been tested on a human. He is kidnapped by thugs who want to use it to steal a precious necklace. One of his students, Shunji Kurokawa (Kanji Koshiba), is duped into testing it out and blackmailed into committing the robbery. Nobuo Adachi’s film plays with the character to create a crime thriller which toys with the notion of invisibility to create a pulpy and clever drama.
The Invisible Man Vs. The Human Fly
The police, led by Chief Inspector Wakabayashi (Yoshirô Kitahara), are puzzled when a series of mysterious murders begin to happen. The only thing connecting them is a buzzing noise. When all else fails it falls to a scientist who has invented an invisibility potion (Ryûji Shinagawa), to uncover the truth. As you’d expect from the premise, there’s a lot of high jinks and 1950s science fiction hoopla, which makes Mitsuo Murayama’s film enjoyably unusual.
Special edition contents:
- High Definition (1080p) transfers of both films on one Blu-ray disc
- Original lossless Japanese mono audio on both films
- Optional English subtitles for both films
- Transparent Terrors, a newly filmed interview with critic and genre scholar Kim Newman on the history of the “Invisible Man” in cinema
- Theatrical trailer for The Invisible Man Appears
- Image galleries for both films
- Reversible sleeve featuring new and original artwork by Graham Humphreys
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Keith Allison, Hayley Scanlon and Tom Vincent
The Invisible Man Appears/The Invisible Man Vs. The Human Fly is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 15 March.