Rodan (1956)

RODAN (1956)
Article #638 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-13-2002
Posting Date: 5-8-2003

A combination of overly deep mining and the eruption of a volcano contribute to the hatching of two eggs containing flying dinosaurs capable of supersonic speed and mass destruction.

The two Rodans aren’t the most engaging of Toho’s giant monsters, and a good deal of this movie is a fairly average example of this type of genre. However, as a kid, I found two things about this movie to be unforgettable. One is the ending, which actually had me in tears, at least partially because of the well-phrased narration (which is surprising, as most of the narration during the movie is unnecessary and redundant), and the first twenty minutes, which may be the single most terrifying sequence in this series of movies. Part of the reason is that the initial threat in this movie has a lot more immediate impact than the much larger monsters in the latter half of the movie, as the movie dwells with much more detail on the bloody deaths involved, not to mention the eerie sequences in the flooded mines. These two aspects of the movie still hold up well for me, as well as the special effects. The American version has an unnecessary and cliched prologue about atomic bomb blasts, and the dubbing features perhaps a little too much of the voice of Paul Frees; his voice is a little too distinctive to be used for more than one character. Rodan would make a few more appearances in the Toho movies before he was retired.


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