Monday, October 14, 2013

Horrors of October 2013 - Rodan (#14)

Rodan (1956)

Note: I watched the American cut done by the King Brothers, which removed several minutes from the original Japanese film yet added some questionable elements, like a prologue composed of American stock footage and overwhelming narration. In a small mining town in Japan, a missing worker is believed to be the one responsible for some vicious killings in a watered-off mine. The real culprits turn out to be big prehistoric bugs, which are just the prelude to two giant pteranodons hidden within the mountains. I don't usually criticize and/or have a problem with past American dubs of Toho films but all of the tinkering here left a mighty bad taste. It's fun to hear legendary Paul Frees in the voice cast but his delightful goofiness is ruined by the main character's obnoxious recounting of events and the actress playing the boring girlfriend. Of course, like any giant monster movie, the best parts are when the monsters come out and wreck the city. The climatic battle at the end delivers this in spades and is pretty fun, thanks to the special effects employed to showcase Rodan's supersonic speeds and gusting abilities. Too bad the ending kinda ruins it; the army just launches a bunch of weaponry to spew out some lava and roll credits. So, if you want to view this through Netflix, skip the streaming and just rent the DVD with the Japanese audio. If you do, you can bump up a point in my rating because it most certainly has to be better than this mutilation.


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