THE H MAN / BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE BLU RAY REVIEW

If you went back to the late 1950s, you could see where the fear of the atom stemmed from. Japan lead the world in the rejection of nuclear weapons, simply because it had faced the brunt of the device and knew its evils. Director ISHIRO HONDO directs two films that underscore this in equally brilliant and equally interesting ways.

The first is body horror classic THE H MAN. When science goes wrong and innocents are consumed by a glowing vaper and bubbling ooze, well its not going to be great. When this seems to replicate, this could mean the end of life as we know it. In BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE, Aliens have some how been interfering with us. Attacking us and enjoying it. Now humanity must fight back!

I adore the soft glow of technicolour cinema. I also adore 50s sci fi. Japan excelled at great cinema and great genre cinema. These two films are probably up there as some of the best (and in truth), most inclusive of the output. You can clearly see inspirations from this in so much of the films of the new wave and even in modern film. Both drawing on the use of body horror in THE H MAN and the use of alien foreground (though some of this is clearly riffing off American cinema of the period).

DISC

Both films look exquisite. No texture loss, no colour bloom and no intensity on the luminous sequences. What a wonderful thing to behold. Great work and well done EUREKA.

EXTRAS

Frankly everything on here is excellent. Jasper Sharp’s essay is the top of the tree. Followed close by the David Kalat commentary on BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE. Then David Kalat commentary on THE H MAN. Each are informative and energetic.

BLU-RAY EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Limited Edition O-Card Slipcase (First Print Run of 2000 copies ONLY) featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling
  • Includes both Japanese and English versions of each film, presented across two Blu-ray discs
  • Original mono audio presentations
  • English subtitles (for Japanese versions) and English SDH (for English versions)
  • The H-Man: Brand new audio commentary with authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
  • The H-Man: Brand new audio commentary with film historian and writer David Kalat
  • Battle in Outer Space: Audio commentary with authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
  • Battle in Outer Space: Brand new audio commentary with film historian and writer David Kalat
  • Stills Galleries
  • PLUS: A collector s booklet featuring essays by Christopher Stewardson and Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp (Midnight Eye)

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