I first saw Rodan shortly after it came out, sitting in third row seats in the Biltmore theater in Brooklyn, New York - 50 cents for a double feature. The scariest part of Rodan was the first half hour when miners enter a mineshaft partially filled with water. As they are wading slowly through the water, you KNOW something is going to happen. One by one they are pulled under water screaming in terror. A few manage to escape and return with others, the same fate befalling them. Only later are we introduced to the culprits - giant claw-jawed caterpillar-like insects that emit the shrillest of ear piercing sounds - the ugliest insects on both sides of the Pacific. Apparently, these insects live in the mine and become breakfast for the Rodan Brothers when they first hatch out of their eggs, an event witnessed by one of the survivors of the mineshaft carnage. Once both Rodans appear and wreak havoc upon Tokyo - after Japanese air force F-86 Sabre jets try their luck - does the film turn to schlock - the Rodan Brothers' wings have Saran wrap covering on them, are moved by monofilament fishing string, and the tanks sent out to battle them look like something from a Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal box. Still, the movie is a classic, and provided an interesting early insight for me into the Japanese proclivity to cinematically lay their cities to waste.
Rating 3.5 This is a pretty nifty addition to your Japanese monster movie collection. The first of the Toho monster movies to be filmed in colour, it starts off with some stock footage of Americans tempting the wrath of mother nature with some more of their pesky atomic bomb tests. It then cuts to a small mining village where the owners of the mine have concerns that Shaft Number 8 may be going a bit too deep into the earth for its own good. Sure enough, before you can say 'giant-man-eating-caterpillar-monsters', the bodies of some of the miners start to appear, horribly mutilated by creatures unknown. The large bugs make their appearance (very effectively it has to be said), resulting in the poor old military being summoned. Much fighting and machine gun fire later, a cave-in traps one of the men who has the misfortune to find himself trapped in a massive cavern with two hatching eggs....Dun Dun Duuun!!!
As monster movies go, this scoots along at a fair old pace, never leaving you twiddling your thumbs for the next bit of action to take place. The Rodan monsters look great, when they finally make their entrance half way through the film. And the marauding bugs at the start are a real treat.
The thing that probably lets it down most, and is probably no reflection on the original film, is the English dubbing and voice-over. I'd love to see this with sub-titles but unfortunately the option isn't available on this version of the DVD.
A definite 'must view' for lovers of Japanese monster movies, only slightly let down in my opinion by the dubbing.
I originally saw this movie at an all night Japanese monster movie feast at a local drive-in. Ecology at it's finest. Rodan has a pterodactyl feel. You can not worm your way out of this one. I do not like to compare this to movies like "Mothra" (1962), however the formula is similar. However there has always been a fond place in my heart for this movie. It is strange that it is one of the last to be put on the market.
The color is spectacular. And the appearance of the big bugs in the beginning set the action for the surprise that is to come later. Unlike the USA `bug" movies, you can feel sorry for the creature. Since Tokyo is already destroyed, how about making it a game preserve?
I originally saw this movie at an all night Japanese monster movie feast at a local drive-in. Ecology at it's finest. Rodan has a pterodactyl feel. You can not worm your way out of this one. I do not like to compare this to movies like "Mothra (1962) ASIN: 6303257720," however the formula is similar. Unlike the USA 'bug" movies, you can feel sorry for the creature. Sense Tokyo is already destroyed, how about making it a game preserve?