|RODAN (SORA NO DAIKAIJU) (director: Ishiro Honda; screenwriters: Takeo Murata/Takeshi Kimura/story by Ken Kuronuma/English version by Dave Duncan; cinematographer: Isamu Ashida; editor: Robert Eisen, English version/Kôichi Iwashita; music: Akira Ifukube; cast: Kenji Sahara (colliery engineer, Shigeru Kawamura), Yumi Shirakawa (Kiyo), Akihiko Hirata (Professor Kyuichiro Kashiwagi, biologist), Akio Kobori (Police Chief Nishimura); Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: King Brothers, USA version/Tomoyuki Tanaka ; Entertainment Rights; 1956-Japan-dubbed in English)|
|"There's a soft spot in my heart
for the comic book style of the film."
by Dennis Schwartz
Toho Studio horror film follows in their usual monster
formula. This was Toho's third giant monster
movie, and the first one to be filmed in color.
Prolific horror film director Ishiro Honda ("Godzilla"/"The
Mysterians"/"Destroy All Monsters") deftly handles the
monster story authored by Ken Kuronuma and
written by Takeo Murata and Takeshi
pic opens with a narration (David Duncan) lecturing us
about the bad after-effects of testing the nuclear
bombs by the Americans in the Pacific islands.
then tells of two rival coal miners, Goro and
Yoshi, in the mountainous Japanese village
of Kitamatsu, mysteriously disappearing deep inside
shaft number 8. Yoshi soon turns up dead.
Therefore it's believed Goro is the killer. In the
search for the men, 3 policemen are killed. The chief
safety officer engineer, Shigeru (Kenji Sahara),
no longer believes the killer was human because of the
similar brutal lacerations on all the corpses and
tells this to Goro's concerned sister (Yumi Shirakawa),
who is Shigeru's girlfriend. We
learn that the monsters are brought about from the
larvae that appears because the mine was dug too deep
and that caused a volcano to erupt where they were
nesting. This allowed for the hatching of the
2 eggs that contained
the super-powerful giant flying prehistoric
reptiles--the male and female Rodan.
male colossal Rodan, the bug-eating pterodactyl, whose
birth is laid to atomic testing providing the larvae,
emerges from the mine and leaves his mate underground.
Flying at supersonic speed, the monster causes
typhoons and tidal waves just by flapping his wings.
The Army weapons can't stop it from knocking down jet
planes and destroying Japanese cities by causing sonic
booms. When Rodan returns to protect his mate from the
prying scientists, it results in both lovebirds
destroyed by military flame throwers.
was no tension, everything seemed flat and undramatic.
But there's a soft spot in my heart for the comic book
style of the film.
REVIEWED ON 5/31/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ