Rodan (1956)

A drilling team disrupts the 200 million year old nest of a pair of Petranodons deep within the Earth's crust, causing the creatures to take flight and begin attacking Japan! RODAN (RADON in Japan) was Ishiro Honda's first major monster feature following the success of GODZILLA. It exhibits many of the signature trademarks which he stamped on each of his films, including a supreme attention to human interest, impotent leading characters, and a helpless military force that is at the mercy of the attacking monster. Honda also treats the Rodans as natural animal characters that find themselves thrust in to a world that is foreign to them. Honda is reunited with many of the skilled team members from GODZILLA, including more of the studio's finest special effects work designed by Eiji Tsuburaya and a powerful and expressive score provided by Akira Ifukube. In addition to more incredible miniature cityscapes being razed by the Radons' supersonic waves, Tsuburaya also introduces a series of aerial dogfights between the Japanese fighters and the flying menaces that equally impressive. RODAN briefly touches on the same atomic fears as GODZILLA had, but they do not become the same driving theme of the picture. Honda and Toho studios strike another great success with this memorable addition to their monster line-up, and Rodan would appear in numerous crossovers in to the GODZILLA franchise in the decades following.

Rating: 9/10.
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  1. It just makes me think of Mike Nesmith in the opening of Elephant Parts, where he's singing "Her Name was Rodan" while stomping a model city.



    AGOURA HILLS, CALIFORNIA – April 2nd, 2010: For the first time in America, a book has been published on Japan's foremost director of Fantasy Films: The book is called MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN – The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda.

    Known primarily for directing such classic Japanese monster movies as Rodan, Mothra, Attack of the Mushroom People and the original Godzilla, Honda has been a much-overlooked figure in mainstream international cinema.

    MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN is the first book to cover in English print Honda’s life as well comprehensively evaluates all 25 of his fantasy films. It is also gives objective and critical analysis of Honda's filmmaking methods, themes and relationships with actors and technicians.

    Making use of extensive interviews from Honda’s colleagues, as well as a wealth of original source material never before gathered into one volume (including unpublished essays), MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN is an affectionate tribute to arguably the most-prolific and influential director in the history of fantasy films.

    MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN (ISBN No.: 978-1-4490-2771-1) is available on the AuthorHouse, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders websites and is coming soon as an “E-Book.”

    Many thanks and enjoy!

  3. RODAN is a huge childhood favorite. Great movie. I can't say enough good about it. What was great about seeing it uncut for the first time as a fansubbed project prior to its current US DVD was the additional violent footage that was cut from the King Brothers release version.

    The only part of the movie I think could be tightened up ever so slightly would be the long barrage of missile firing at the end. It just seems to go on forever. The only other (minor) bad thing is that with its restoration, the wires are now very obvious. Still, kudos to Classic Media for its pairing with another classic, WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS.

  4. Peter thanks for stopping by! I am 102pgs in so far and loving the book! Still trying to finish it before writing a review, I have to admit I did laugh at one point because spellchecker missed a "pooping" in place of a "popping" =D Will get that PR up now until the review is lauched!

    V, thats so funny that you would mention the missile scene, when I was watching it I was thinking the same thing, and it reminded me of the overly long whipping scene in THE DARK POWER. My biggest fear with the Blu-Ray restorations is that the many effects techniques that were hidden in the past releases will all become more and more apparent and take away from the films, but given the strength of the costuming and miniatures I am willing to forgive some apparent wires ;)