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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Golden Oldies from Toho, 13 Jun. 2009
By 
I. R. Kerr (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rodan & War of the Gargantuas [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
For a Japanese monster movie fan this is a brilliant 2 disc set, each disc contains 2 versions of the movie.
Rodan was the first full colour monster movie Toho made and although it has dated somewhat it is still great fun and you get both the 82 minute original Japanese version with English subtitles and the tinkered around with 72 minute English Language version. So sit back and watch as a pair of 500ft wingspan "Rodan species" of Pterodactyl take Japan apart.
The Rodan disc also contains an interesting documentary "Bringing Godzilla Down to Size" which looks at the history of Japanese monster movies, with the emphasis on the Lizard King hmself.
War of the Gargantuas has the original 87 minute Japanese version, again with English subtitles and the 92 minute English Language version. This movie is a follow up, not specifically a sequel, to an earlier movie Frankenstein Conquers the World [DVD] [1964] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC], fans of that movie will appreciate the opening scene where the large humanoid battles a giant octopus. That creature, the green, sea dwelling, Gargantua is referred to as Frankenstein by the sole survivor of the first attack. There is another creature, now called Gargantuas, a brown land dwelling one who is more peaceful, unless attacked, gradually the two creatures are drawn towards each other and a final confrontation.
The ONLY downside of this movie is the awful song the cabaret artist is singing when our green furred villain attacks "the words get stuck in my throat", that aside this is a very entertaining monster movie and there are enough amendments for both versions to be watchable. This also has one of the best Japanese monster movie scores of that era.
It's nice to see some of the Toho gems from that era getting decent DVD releases at last.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice little package, 27 May 2009
By 
Ian Williams "ianw" (Sunderland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rodan & War of the Gargantuas [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I was expecting a couple of dvds in their original sleeves bunged into a thin card box. Instead I got a neat solid (as opposed to the usual flimsy plastic) package which opens like a book and has the dvds on facing 'pages'. The dvds seem to have been remastered -the prints are a considerable step up on some of the cheapo compilations I've seen.

The previous reviewer has mentioned that there are English and original Japanese versions -listening to Russ Tamblyn speaking in Japanese is quite funny. Plus there's a good documentary on the Rodan disc.

As for the movies themselves: Rodan is classic kaiju and the lesser-known War of the Gargantuas is good fun with one genuinely spooky jump shot of the man-eating monster's face under water.

For fans of this type of movie, this is a nice little package to have.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic media classic, 27 May 2009
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This review is from: Rodan & War of the Gargantuas [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Very nice double disc edition of the films in both dubbed and original Japanese formats. Also contains a fine hour-long documentary on Toho's monster movies narrated by Alex Cox and featuring interviews with many of the great actors and technicians involved. The prints are excellent and although I haven't seen 'War of the gargantas' before I can vouch for the fact that the Rodan print has much brighter and more vivid colours than previous versions I have seen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT INTRO TO CLASSIC MONSTERS FOR YET ANOTHER GENERATION, 27 April 2010
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This review is from: Rodan & War of the Gargantuas [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I remember watching these movies on tv when I was growing up with fondness. I purchased this dvd set hoping my sons would enjoy it too. It was a huge hit!

Thinking these old movies from the 50s and 60s would be a great alternative to current PG-13 movies ("but my friends watched it") that I feel my sons are too young to see, I threw "Rodan" on amid protests. The silence was immediate as the movie started. Both my boys were spellbound by these movies although the second one, Gargantuas, was the favorite. We watched them together and I have to say, it was fun to watch as an adult too. After watching, my kids were full of comments and questions - quickly followed by, "Are there any more?"

As a parent, I had a moments hesitation as the bad Gargantua ate a woman but it was implied and no blood was shed. I'll take old fashion violence over today's too realistic onscreen version.

This set was a great walk down memory lane as I watched monster movies from my childhood and a great introduction for my kids to classic monster movies. These movies never go out of style!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kaiju Monster Mayhem!, 26 Jan. 2014
By 
Mark D. Welsh (Norwich, Norfolk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rodan & War of the Gargantuas [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This is an excellent double dvd set that includes both the U.S. versions and subtitled Japanese cuts of both movies. There's also a fine documentary (narrated by Alex Cox) on the creation of the miniature sets and SFX. This includes interviews with some of the 'monster suit' actors who reminisce on the dangers of 'working in the pool' for the ocean shots. Much respect to all these artists.

The movies:

Rodan: A mysterious underground flood leaves a miner dead and another missing. The authorities blame the missing man but the emergence of a giant insectoid creature from the tunnels causes them to revise their opinion.

Ishirô Honda's feature begins slowly, prioritising credibility over monster mayhem. There is actually some early character work for the principals before the dramatic action takes over and we're sitting around a large table with a bunch of military and scientific types. These efforts at plausibility mean it's a much better picture than the Toho's later monster smackdowns but, of course, it's not nearly so much fun.

The SFX are variable with some nicely detailed and intricate miniature sets as the main standout. The model vehicles are not nearly so convincing and Rodan himself is rather inflexible, despite the presence of Haruo Nakajima (the original Godzilla!) inside the suit. Our prehistoric hero also seems to need wires to get airborne but he's still having a fine time pushing over Tokyo when the Missus turns up. She's obviously none too pleased that he's stayed out all day on the lash and drags him back to their volcano home. Sadly, it's all downhill for the big bird from there.

War of the Gargantuas (1966): After the death of the Frankenstein monster, some of his remaining cells transform into two new creatures called Gargantuas. One grows to maturity in the care of an American scientist whilst the other lives under the sea and develops a nasty temper.

Kaiju slugfest and semi-sequel to 'Frankenstein Conquers the World' (1965). Both movies were made in collaboration with a U.S. distributor and featured an imported American star. The first had heartthrob Nick Adams but this one gets Russ Tamblyn instead and boy, he does not look like a happy bunny.

The film opens with a giant octopus attacking a small boatful of smugglers. Green Gargantua intervenes and gives Octo a good kicking but then wrecks the boat anyway and goes on the rampage. He grabs a woman just like a certain ape did to Fay Wray but the comparison ends when Greeny eats her. At a fashionable rooftop nightclub, the worst cabaret singer in history slaughters what is perhaps the worst song in history: `The Words Get Stuck In My Throat'. If only that had been true. Luckily, Greeny turns up but unluckily, it's after the song has finished. The boffins and the military get round the big table to talk it out and then Brown Gargantua enters stage left. He was raised by Tamblyn in the lab so he's cool and the stage is set for the ultimate sibling rivalry.

The human story running alongside the monster mayhem is better integrated than usual. We get a sense that some of these characters actually have a personal investment in the outcome. But not Tamblyn. A mere decade before he had been raising barns in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers [DVD] [1954] and dancing his way across Hollywood soundstages. Now, he was acting opposite blokes in monster suits and he looks like he'd rather be somewhere else. Anywhere else. It's not so much a matter of 'phoning it in' as sending it via a drunken carrier pigeon that had lost its way somewhere across the Pacific. Apparently, this movie was a formative influence on director Tim Burton and, when asked what made him want to become an actor, Brad Pitt stated that it was this film!

This whole package is superb value for money and highly recommended for fans of the genre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Monster Mayhem!!, 18 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Rodan & War of the Gargantuas [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I love this double feature set - well worth the price.
There is an excellent documentary on the Toho Godzilla series on the Rodan Disc. Sadly no extras on the War of the Gargantuas.
What you do get is the films in both the American dubbed and original Japanese version. This is great for those who like the choice, I always prefer the Japanese version.
Both films have giant monsters destroying cities - of course these are men in suits and miniature sets but use you imagination!! They are entertaining and action packed, War of the Gargantuas has a epic final battle between the two (good and Evil) Gargantuas where they destroy the city and docks then proceed to throw ships at each other! The makers of Pacific Rim give a nod to this with the Jaeger beating a Kaiju with an oil tanker!
So entertaining and colourful. Why are these never on tv anymore? Kids are missing out. They will probably moan at the special effects anyway, what a shame.
Excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great monster fest!, 5 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Rodan & War of the Gargantuas [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Nobody does it like the Japanese! Here are two fine examples of the Toho studios.
If you like monster movies you will love this.
Buy and enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars five stars goodie!!!!! worth every ..., 20 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Rodan & War of the Gargantuas [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
five stars goodie !!!!! worth every penny !!!
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