Saturday, December 18, 2010

Varan the Unbelievable (1962)

Three investigators set off to the remote mountains of Japan to uncover the cause of death for two of their colleagues. When they arrive, the locals beg them to give up their search as not to insight the wrath of their vengeful god Baradagi, but the researchers heed their warnings and the great Varan is awoken once more. The military is called in to defeat the monster, but just as it seems like they have won, the beast takes to the air on a direct path to Tokyo! VARAN is a minor footnote in the long line of Kaiju films that was produced by the GODZILLA creators at the Toho Company and directed by the great Ishiro Honda. Unlike Honda's many other fantasy pictures, VARAN is far less concerned with human interaction, and falls back on stale characters played by emotionless actors. His preoccupation with the military forces is apparent all throughout the film, with a majority of the action centering around soldiers preparing for battle and tanks lining up to destroy the beast. The structural framework clearly mimics the original GOJIRA, but with far less impact or success. It is Varan's incredible costume design along with Eiji Tsuburaya's strong miniature work that take center stage above all else. Another thundering score by Akira Ifukube can also be heard leading up to the monster's appearance. Varan would return to the screen in two of Godzilla's greatest monster melees: DESTROY ALL MONSTERS and FINAL WARS.

Rating: 7/10.

Giant Monsters: Varan.

If you liked VARAN, check out:
GOJIRA, GAMERA THE INVINCIBLE, RODAN.

5 comments:

  1. Iv'e always had a soft spot for these old japanese monster movies. Sadly you just don't get them any more,even the modern gidzilla's and Gamera's arent the same to me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Id take a model tank over a CG tank any day!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't seen this one since the early 80s and remember it being pretty standard stuff. The US version eliminated a scene/scenes where Varan flies. I think he's called Baran in the Japanese version.

    ReplyDelete
  4. For a while, I was certain I was watching the wrong movie, and that he was called Baradagi

    ReplyDelete
  5. Its a toho monster movie......nuff said!!!

    ReplyDelete