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1 rating: -1.0
A movie directed by Inoshiro Honda

This classic sci-fi thriller features Rodan, a prehistoric winged monster who destroys everything in its path. A group of scientists work tirelessly in their attempt to find a way to destroy the deadly creature.

Director: Inoshiro Honda
Release Date: 1957
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Rodan

Rodan ~ nothing but a lizard in a shiny suit

  • Sep 10, 2000
Pros: Movie was only 70 Minutes long

Cons: I watched this movie to honor a friend, OH what you DO for friendship!

Dedicated to ACDC711:
Although released by Toho Studios, Rodan has little of the finesse and flair of Godzilla or its' many takeoffs. Ishiro Honda again directs this release, but unfortunately it has been Americanized with that bucolic commentary in the background, believing we are complete nincompoops with no imagination.

The beginning of the movie offers an overview on the destruction that an atomic bomb will wreck, actually appearing to be live footage of bombing missions, almost presenting a docudrama affect, taking away from the idea of the movie ~ it's only a damn monster movie! But you must realize this is less than 10 years following the carnage at Hiroshima and only two years after Honda tried to reinforce the destruction through his portrayal of Godzilla..

Released in 1956, the filming was black and white and later color dubbed, the directing jerky, and the story line - well, unfortunately they tried for a story line. So, much to my dismay........

While atomic bombs are being tested worldwide, we wonder what affects it will have on the environment. This release centers on the gold mines of Japan, and the sudden flooding of the mines. During the investigation, we discover a floating body and some, oh, what? 20' dragonflies! Oops - there go a few more army men down the drain.

After a bit more searching, they find a slightly catatonic man, and a whole passle of really big caterpillars. Trying to determine the reason of his catatonia, they offer him a bunch of pictures to view - which brings a slew of memories to his mind, and a lot of mindless babbling on his part..

Of course, with all the working going on under ground, and then those caterpillars drilling away under ground, eventually you are gonna get all the earth collapsing. With the collapse, then you get Rodan, our star. Rodan, one of the lesser monsters from Toho, resembles a prehistoric reptile <read Lizard> that in truth looks like a Pterodactyl. For the monster uninformed (you KNOW who you are), this is that huge bird like creature that flew over in the Flintstones movie (John Goodman - no, no, John Goodman was NOT the BIRD).

Rodan has no goal in life other than destruction. He flys at supersonic speeds and his powers include (well, skywriting, but that is just my take...lol), uh, well, I guess - flying. But really fast flying! Over one half of the movie is taken up with over-voicing by news announcers telling of Rodan flying over numerous cities and all you get is a picture of a dot in the blue sky, a jet stream, and a high pitched sound, like a whistle. What, I assume, is to be Rodan, in flight.

Of course, after Rodan has flown over Japan, wrecking havoc and destruction, the Army, the reporters and the beautiful lovers, stand on the bridge while the Mattel tanks bombard some volcano, making it erupt. We are treated to one of the most spectacular bombing, mountain exploding, volcano erupting scenes to date. (Apparently Honda hasn't worked that Hiroshima thing out of his system yet!)

With the ashes flying into the air, the lava cascading down the side of the mountain, and the Japanese standing with hands patiently folded, Rodan performs one of the most dramatic death scenes I have ever seen portrayed by man or beast. Although one Rodan is killed almost immediately, we watch the other desperately attempt to urge its' mate back to life, refusing to leave its' side, spiraling in the air calling his mate - the fumes from the lava enclosing his body in a mist, flames shooting around his head - until it ultimately is engulfed by the fumes and the heat and falls to its' death in the flames of the volcano.

Naturally, since we do not have the basic intelligence to realize this is what is happening (????), our narrator, David Duncan (may he rot in the stomach of some monster somewhere) elects to describe the entire scene to us verbally.

Of course, mysteriously, Rodan reappears in later releases of Godzilla, with absolutely no explanation at all of where he came from or how he survived the volcano above. Ya can try and try but ya can't keep a good monster down!

Things of merit Please, Jesus, find me one......

1. The movie is only 70 minutes long. (Thanks, Jesus)

2. When the women of the city unite to kick booty on the sister of the man they thought did the killings (before they discovered Rodan), this gaggle of women chatter away in English, except for one that continues wailing in Japanese....very funny.

3. While the ‘lovers' are in a sweet embrace, they look up to see a caterpillar thing coming through their sliding door. It is somewhere near the size of a city bus or larger. What do they do? Of course they run outside and yell - "Guards, help, there's a monster here!" When the guards come to investigate, the caterpillar enters the doorway again - reusing the same scene over again ....very funny.

4. My opinion is that Toho Studios really owns Mattel Toy Factory with their display of jeeps, tanks and other similar weaponry.

5. While viewing Rodan soaring through their skies, the Japanese become so enthralled that the English dubbing cannot keep up with the speed of the movement of their mouths.....very funny.

6. While on your honeymoon, do not visit an active volcano, especially when there have been sightings of a large flying creature. Ahhhh, Cinderella has dropped her shoe.......very funny.

7. David Duncan, the gentlemen offering the obnoxious commentary during the movie, should be hand fed to every monster on Monster Island.

8. In 1956, the computers used in movies by the Japanese should have given us the hint that they were gonna blow us outta the water on the production of these pieces of equipment.

9. The Japanese Army is incapable of killing any type of monster. Perhaps they should switch toy manufacturers for their weapons!

10. Rodan, while flying at top speed, can turn over a jet in the sky or a jeep on the ground. The people, however, can stay upright without being tossed around. Huh?

11. Rodan never has to flap his wings. Huh? How long CAN you glide?

12. Where is Godzilla when you need him?

13. The same crowd running scene used in most Godzilla movies, is again utilized in Rodan. Very ingenious of Toho to continue to use stock film footage and save on production costs. (This was obvious in more ways than one, unfortunately.)

14. Rodan DID destroy the Ashai Beer manufacturing plant, and for this alone he should be killed.

15. "If it is extinct, how can it still be alive?" (‘nuf said)

(For the simple minded <insert dirty minded> like me, look for the little tent during the autopsy.....lol.....and I thought they said the Japanese were ‘little' men).

BTW in case you wonder WHY I recommend turkies of this caliber to my friends: Although they are morose in their production, they are indeed classics of a bygone era, everyone should hug a monster once in their life :)~


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