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Daikaijû Baran (1958)

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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kôzô Nomura ...
Kenji Uozaki
Ayumi Sonoda ...
Yuriko Shinjô
Koreya Senda ...
Dr. Sugimoto
Akihiko Hirata ...
Dr. Fujimora, bomb expert
Fuyuki Murakami ...
Dr. Majima, Sugimoto's aide
Yoshio Tsuchiya ...
Military Officer Katsumoto
Minosuke Yamada ...
Secretary of Defense
Hisaya Itô ...
Ichiro, Yuriko's brother
Yoshifumi Tajima ...
Captain of Uranami
Nadao Kirino ...
Yutaka Wada
Akira Sera ...
Village High Priest
Akio Kusama ...
Military Officer Kusama
Noriko Honma ...
Ken's Mom
Akira Yamada ...
Issaku
Fumindo Matsuo ...
Horiguchi
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Storyline

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 <Sargebri@att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

monster | japan | butterfly | giant | 1950s | See All (8) »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

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Details

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Release Date:

14 October 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Varan the Unbelievable  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film began as straight-to-television co-production between AB-PT and Toho, and thus was shot in black and white in the Academy aspect ratio. AB-PT went bankrupt during production, but a two-part TV movie was still completed. The two parts were edited into a single, longer feature to be shown in Japanese theaters, which involved extending and re-recording the musical score, shortening scenes and adding new scenes. This theatrical feature was then cropped shot by shot and released in an ersatz anamorphic widescreen format apparently adapted from SuperScope called TohoPanScope. Neither the TV version nor the theatrical version exist in the Academy ratio, but the fully mixed audio track for the TV version still exists. See more »

Goofs

Several short clips during Baran's attack on Tokyo are borrowed from Gojira, including a shot of Gojira's tail smashing into a building, and a POV shot from inside a warehouse of Gojira's foot caving the structure in. Similarly, Baran's roar is an amalgam of various Toho monster roars, including that of Gojira itself. See more »

Connections

Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #51.18 (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Can be seen finally on DVD
24 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Of all the kaijyu movies Toho has produced in the '50s, this probably is the least well known. It was originally available in United States in a super 8 format under the title "Varan the Unbelievable", and sported American actors. The one reviewed here is not this Americanized version but the original Japanese version called "Daikaijyu Baran" (Literal translation: Giant monster Baran). Being a kaijyu eiga fan, I used to hear about this monster a lot and wished I could find a copy for a long time. I'm happy that it is now available on DVD.

Baran gets its inspiration from Japanese flying squirrel called musasabi and it was intended to be a flying monster from the start. What makes this movie little weak is the lack of character of the monster itself. In most Japanese kaijyu movie, there's a subplot that justifies the character of the monster, but in this movie this is lacking. He's supposed to be some sort of god to the village people, but when he shows up, he's just a giant reptile out for destruction.

This is a cult classic kaijyu movie, and definitely worth a watch before it disappears into obscurity again.


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