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The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly
The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mitsuo Murayama
Produced by Hidemasa Nagata
Written by Hajime Takaiwa
Starring Shizuo Chûjô
Music by Tokujirō Ōkubo
Distributed by Daiei
Released August 25, 1957
Running time 96 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Preceded by Invisible Man Appears

The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly, released in Japan as Invisible Man and Fly Man (透明人間と蝿男,   Tōmei Ningen to Hae Otoko?) is a 1957 Japanese tokusatsu eiga (special effects movie) about an Invisible Man and a Human Fly in Japan. The film is also the second film in Daiei's Invisible Man series both based on a novel by H. G. Wells' called The Invisible Man.


Ryoki Watanabe, the president of Watanabe Construction, is murdered on a Japan Airlines flight. The killing took place in a bathroom none of the stewardesses can recall anyone else entering. None of the passengers interviewed by the police knew him, although one, Doctor Hayakawa, postpones his interview due to a recent heart attack. The police chief suggests a link to two equally unexplained bank robberies that took place in recent months. Chief Inspector Wakabayashi notes that the victims in all three cases offered no apparent resistance, and died in a state of a character. Interviewing Hayakawa and his daughter Akiko, Wakabayashi alarms them by joking that the perpetrator must have been invisible. Working with Doctor Tsukioka, Hayakawa has just recently unlocked the key to invisibility while studying cosmic rays. Their assistant Sugimoto demonstrates their machine by turning a glass invisible but says they've never tested it on anything living.

The bank robber strikes again, with no evidence they even entered the safe save for a matchbox from a nightclub called Asia. The owner, Tatsuya Kuroki, denies all involvement. He introduces Wakabayashi to Hajime, his bartender and a karate hobbyist. Soon after, another murder takes place: a man seems to materialize behind a woman named Noriko Maeda before stabbing her and vanishing. Detective Tada happens to be on the scene and hears a buzzing sound as she points to the sky. Kuroki has an alibi; so does Maeda’s boss, Kusunoki.

Following Hajima as he walks to visit one of Asia’s dancers, Mieko, Wakabayashi watches him bat at what appears to be a fly. He too is fatally attacked after rounding a corner, with Wakabayashi arriving too late to see the murderer. He too hears a buzzing. His fellow investigator Hayama uncovers a connection between Watanabe and several earlier victims: all were assigned to the same secret military project at the end of World War II. After comparing notes with Wakabayashi, Tada brings up the buzzing they both heard. Wakabayashi calls Sugimoto, who considers a shrinking human theoretically possible, but unlikely in practice. Determined to prove that invisibility has practical applications, Sugimoto interrupts the Hayakawas’ dinner wearing an invisible cloak and gloves. The ray only worked on the parts of him less exposed to sunlight, so he needs the accessories to achieve the full effect.

The murderer, a twisted smile on his face, strikes again, stabbing Kuroki. He takes out a vial and releases the gas within, shrinking himself down to diminutive size. Buzzing through the air, he visits Kusunoki next—and the businessman sets down a pool of liquid which restores him to his normal size. Convicted as a war criminal and left stranded on the island where he helped develop the shrinking gas, Kusunoki has been using it to take revenge on his former associates, although he’s almost run out of the ampoules. His hitman, Yamada, has become addicted to it and more sadistic as a result, killing Maeda, Hajima, and Kuroki over his possessiveness of Mieko. His next victim is Hayama, who he outmaneuvers during a nighttime chase.

Tsukioka attempts to develop a machine to cure invisibility, but the ray it emits proves lethal when tested on rabbits. At Asia, Yamada uses another ampoule to lust over Mieko undetected, though it backfires when she mistakes him for a fly and swats him away. Enraged, he kills her just before she walks on stage. Wakabayashi has no luck advancing his human fly theory before the police chief, and with the bodies piling up, he begs Tsukioka to turn him invisible to crack the case. The scientist refuses on moral grounds. As Hayakawa and Sugimoto continue to work on a cure, Yamada infiltrates the lab and kills them both. After the funeral, Tsukioka uses the invisibility ray on himself. He drops in on Yamada and Kusunoki, who are at odds over Yamada’s failure to steal the ray, and hears them plan a second attempt. Once inside the lab again, Yamada dives into a vat of chemicals, killing him instantly. The police discover his remains at normal size, but with no possible mode of entry besides the vents, Wakabayashi deduces that he was the human fly.

The detectives charge Kusunoki with the murders but seem to have no proof until Tsukioka enters the office, offering his testimony. Asking to change in the next room before he goes down to the station, Kusunoki uncorks an ampoule and escapes. With all of Tokyo on alert, Kusunoki kills a passerby, then calls Wakabayashi and Tsukioka to demand the invisibility ray. When Tsukioka refuses, he sets off a bomb beneath a train, killing 790 passengers, and threatens to do it again the following week.

Wakabayashi meets Kusunoki atop the Marunouchi Building to hand over the device. The human fly arrives by helicopter, allowing him to spot the soldiers surrounding the building. He reveals he’s already set the next bomb to explode, then demands Tsukioka reveal himself. Instead, Wakabayashi attacks him during the handoff, foiling his efforts to set off an ampoule, but loses his gun. As he flies away, he reveals that he planted the bomb on faraway Christmas Island. To their surprise, he returns to the helipad moments later, held at gunpoint by Akiko, now invisible herself. He manages to disarm her, but Wakabayashi shoots him off the roof.

Tsukioka, having perfected the invisibility cure, agrees to turn the machine over to the government, but not before using it one last time on himself and Akiko to give a group of reporters the slip.


  • Junko Kano   as   Akiko Hayakawa
  • Yoshiro Kitahara   as   Chief Inspector Wakabayashi
  • Ryuji Shinagawa   as   Doctor Tsukioka, the Invisible Man
  • Ikuko Mori   as   Mieko
  • Joji Tsurumi   as   Sugimoto
  • Yoshihiro Hamaguchi   as   Detective Hayama
  • Shozo Nanbu   as   Doctor Hayakawa
  • Bontaro Miake   as   Chief of the Metropolitan Police
  • Ichiro Izawa   as   Kokichi Kusunoki, Fly Man
  • Shizuo Chujo   as   Yamada, Fly Man
  • Ko Sugita   as   Hajima
  • Tatsuo Hanabu   as   Director Tada
  • Yasuo Harumoto   as   Tatsuya Kuroki
  • Koichi Ito   as   Chief Detective
  • Shoichi Kawashima   as   Detective
  • Kazuko Miyakegawa   as   Policewoman
  • Teppei Endo   as   Doctor
  • Ken Yamaguchi   as   Professor
  • Kyoko Anan   as   Maid
  • Chikayo Matsuo   as   Waitress
  • Kan Takami   as   Old bank custodian
  • Koji Matsuyama   as   Sadanaga, reporter
  • Shinji Takada, Ryuichi Ishi   as   Reporters
  • Toshiko Hashimoto, Kinuko Mochidome   as   Stewardesses
  • Kazuo Sumida, Eiichi Takamura   as   Golfers
  • Toru Konoki   as   Branch manager
  • Saburo Sakai   as   Deranged man

Other Crew[]

  • Production Design by   Taijiro Goto
  • Assistant Directing by   Kiyoshi Ishida
  • Special Effects by   Toru Matoba
  • Based on an idea by   Toshikazu Yamano

Home media[]

  • Arrow Video will release a double feature Blu-ray of The Invisible Man Appears and The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly on March 15, 2021.


  • This film shares part of its Japanese title with the Japanese release of the much better-known 1958 American science fiction film The Fly, which was released in Japan as Fear of the Fly Man (ハエ男の恐怖 Hae Otoko no Kyōfu), though with the 'Fly' in "Fly Man" spelled in katakana rather than kanji characters. While both films feature "fly men," Invisible Man vs. Human Fly actually pre-dates the latter film by almost an entire year.