Varan the Unbelievable (1962)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Cmdr. James Bradley
as Capt. Kishi
as Paul Isoh
as Shidori Isoh
as Doomed Soldier
as Pvt. Seki
as Radio Operator
as Varan (archival foot...
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This is hardly one of Toho's best giant monster films, but damn if it isn't fun nonetheless. When a remote region of Japan turns out to be home to a rare species of butterfly, several curious scientists go to investigate and arrogantly ignore the locals' warnings about their God, Baradagi, who does not like trespassers. Of course, Baradagi is quite real and he does indeed dislike strangers. Worse than that, he's nigh-indestructible and he can fly! This is definitely a lot of fun to watch, especially when compared to the dreadfully dull American edit. It moves along at a brisk pace and wastes very little time getting to the monster. It's not nearly as compelling as GOJIRA, but it doesn't need to be. It suffers a little from some completely unnecessary stock footage use--very obviously borrowed from GOJIRA--but the original effects are all quite good. It's really a shame that Varan hasn't attained the same level of fame as Rodan and Mothra, as he's a very unique critter.
It's cheesy but it's still an absolutely fun kaiju movie. And I loved the lack of plot. It's just monster awesomeness really, start to finish. :D I seriously enjoyed how it was done. Good for the hardcore audience. I also do think GMK may've been even cooler if Varan had been one of the monsters. But that's me.
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