There was something so nostalgic about going to the video store (Blockbuster anyone?) to pick out a new movie to watch. I remember spending many Fridays at the local VHS rental store browsing through walls and shelves of movies to find the perfect flick to watch during a sleepover. Things have since changed; Blockbuster is out of business and Netflix rules supreme in terms of streaming movies. One store on Long Island refuses to give up and still rents out VHS tapes and DVD’s. 112 Video World, located in East Patchogue, has a wide variety of DVD’s, VHS movies, and an impressive collection of old pornography tucked away in a private room. I found myself browsing through collections of old B-List movies I’ve never even heard of. This week I chose a little known film called Half Human.
The director of Half Human, Ishiro Honda, is best known for directing kaiju and tokusatsu films in the 1960’s. His most famous work includes the original Godzilla, and it’s subsequent sequels. Half Human tells the tale of a group of friends who spend the weekend skiing and get more than they bargained for when they cross paths with a snow monster and a remote group of villagers. A group of zoologists enter the picture and attempt to seek out the snowman for scientific purposes, even going so far as to trick the natives in leading them to the beast. The film is from 1958, so needless to say, the special effects are pretty cheesy. The movie attempts to pull on your heart strings, even including a baby snow man, but ultimately leaves you laughing. It has all the fixings of a stereotypical movie of the time: corny dialogue, exaggerated and dramatic sound effects, and a snow man costume that looks something out of a vintage Halloween party. I was surprised to find that this movie had a solid plot line; a lot of movies I’ve picked up from this store had turned out to be some sort of soft-core pornography. The english version of this film features American actors, such as John Carradine, discussing the film as a flashback of events. While this may sound like your typical monster-genre movie; it was taken out of circulation for portraying the native villagers as inbred and uncivilized. While it’s no Godzilla, Half Human is a solid effort by Honda and an all-around decent low-budget monster movie. 7/10