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Daikaijû Baran (1958)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 276 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 13 critic

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Varan the Unbelievable  »

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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

At the beginning of the military conference, a clapboard is quickly pulled off camera at the beginning of shooting. This part of the scene was originally edited out of older video prints in Japan, but was restored for DVD release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Good, if slightly generic, monster movie
5 July 1999 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

I think this was Toho's fourth "giant monster on the loose" movie, and it's also probably the least known. The American "version", "Varan the Unbelievable", is a travesty and should be avoided at all costs.

The Japanese original has some really good things about it. It features one of Akira Ifukube's best monster-movie scores, in which he introduced some themes that would be re-used in practically every kaiju eiga that followed... There's also a wonderful "Lovecraft-gone-Japanese" feeling about the protagonists' arrival in the village: they interrupt a strange ceremony, and a sea of masked faces turns to watch them. This is followed by an eerie scene as they follow a mist-shrouded path to the forbidden lake.

Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is a little uninspired. It doesn't have the emotional tension of "Godzilla" or "Rodan", although the monster costume and attack scenes are very, very good.


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