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Daikaijû Baran (1958)

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When a rare species of butterfly is found in a mysterious valley in Japan, a pair of entomologists go to investigate and find more. However, when they get there they find an uncharted lake ... See full summary »



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Title: Daikaijû Baran (1958)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kôzô Nomura ...
Kenji Uozaki
Ayumi Sonoda ...
Yuriko Shinjô
Fumito Matsuo ...
Koreya Senda ...
Dr. Sugimoto
Akio Kusama ...
Military Officer Kusama
Yoshio Tsuchiya ...
Military Officer Katsumoto
Minosuke Yamada ...
Secretary of Defense
Akihiko Hirata ...
Dr. Fujimora, bomb expert
Fuyuki Murakami ...
Dr. Majima, Sugimoto's aide
Akira Sera ...
Village High Priest
Takashi Itô ...
Ken, the boy (as Takashi Ito)
Noriko Honma ...
Ken's Mom
Hisaya Itô ...
Ichiro, Yuriko's brother
Nadao Kirino ...
Yutaka Wada
Akira Yamada ...


When a rare species of butterfly is found in a mysterious valley in Japan, a pair of entomologists go to investigate and find more. However, when they get there they find an uncharted lake and as they are observing it they are caught in a landslide and killed. A reporter named Yuriko, the sister of one of the men decides to go to the area to find out what exactly happened. She is accompanied by another entomologist named Kenji and a reporter named Horiguchi. When they get to the village where the men were last seen alive they find out about a legend regarding a giant monster. They soon find out that it is not a legend and the monster named Varan is very much alive. Soon Varan leaves the valley where he has lived for millions of years and is heading for Tokyo. Written by Brian Washington <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

monster | japan | butterfly | giant | 1950s | See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi





Release Date:

14 October 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Varan the Unbelievable  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


After the success of Godzilla (1954) in the USA, ABC-TV commissioned this new monster movie from Toho Studios. The studio intially believed it would only be shown on American TV, and thus ordered the movie shot in black and white at a standard aspect ratio. Almost halfway through shooting, the studios changed their mind and decided the film would indeed be shown in Japanese theaters. This meant that the rest of the movie had to be shot in the anamorphic format of Tohoscope, while the footage that was already shot had its tops and bottoms cropped in order to resemble Tohoscope. See more »


During the attack at the airport, one of the fighter jets is seen flying backwards. See more »


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User Reviews

A Forgotten Toho Monster
26 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

To be honest, I read lots of reviews of this movie and most from bad to mediocre reviews but I gave it a chance and the reviewers were right. This film is not so great.from the flat characters,a bland plot to the film's worst offender, the Awful pacing is what makes this movie bad. But It does have some good moments from the great music score, to the special effects and the decent acting.but besides that lets review this movie.

The film starts with the protagonist trio Kenji,Yuriko and Horiguchi sent on a expedition to find out the death of Yuriko's brother who died earlier in the film.they come to a village where the priest warns them to leave or they will be killed.Kenji insults the priest and thinks he's crazy.soon enough Ken a village boy goes looking for his dog and Kenji goes to save the boy and challenges the priest's warning and the villagers agree to help Kenji.The trio eventually finds Ken near a lake and some of the villagers see something appear from the lake and it's Varan going to the village and the film's slow pacing starts once Varan appear from his attack from the military to his raid in Hanada Airport.

Overall by the time Varan comes you lose focus in the movie and the characters.the films slow pacing is what just makes you want to stop watching the film. plus Varan isn't a very memorable monster, the only memorable thing he does is fly and only does it once out of the whole film.

As for the characters, there flat as a surfboard. These bland characters are so flat and boring there also another offender of the film.Kenji is your overall hero, but isn't very likable as he offends the priest and Horiguchi during the beginning of the film and is somewhat naive.Yuriko is another damsel in distress and very uninteresting.As for Horiguchi he's what you call the comical side-kick as he is a coward and has his moments besides giving so little work.He's really the only character I can praise though i did want Varan to eat him in the end.

As for the Acting, surprising it's not bad.It's really good, despite the fact the cast is given so little to do.Kozo Nomora who plays Kenji well here as really he fits into his bland role well and really out of the whole film he never lacks off.Ayumi Sonoda who plays Yuriko is really the only one to give a poor performance at times she fine when not much is needed from her.but when she has to do something like bump into varan it's bad.Fumito Matsuo as Horiguchi does a good job with the very tiny role he is given as he looks like he enjoys and having fun with his role.Past the leads Akihiko Hirata has a brief role but probably gives the best performance of the cast as he does a better job with role unlike his previous role from the Mysterians.Yoshio Tsuchiya isn't given much work to do but he does well with what he's given.overall everyone does a decent job with their little roles.

Overall this film is boring and probably worth watching once or twice but not repeatedly itself.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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