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Varan the Unbelievable (1962)

Unrated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 December 1962 (USA)
In an effort to find an economic means of purifying salt water, a joint U.S.-Japanese military command is set up on an isolated Japanese island where an unusual salt water lake is situated.... See full summary »

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, (uncredited)

Writer:

(screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cmdr. James Bradley
Tsuruko Kobayashi ...
Anna
Clifford Kawada ...
Capt,. Kishi
Derick Shimatsu ...
Matsu, the boy
Kôzô Nomura ...
Paul Isoh
Ayumi Sonoda ...
Shidori Isoh
Fumindo Matsuo ...
Paul's Friend
Hiroshi Hisasume ...
Pvt. Seki
Yoneo Iguchi ...
Radio Operator
Hideo Inamura ...
Doomed Soldier
Roy K. Ogata ...
Extra
George Sasaki ...
Extra
Michael Sung ...
Extra
Yoshio Tsuchiya ...
Soldier
Akio Kusama ...
Soldier
Edit

Storyline

In an effort to find an economic means of purifying salt water, a joint U.S.-Japanese military command is set up on an isolated Japanese island where an unusual salt water lake is situated. However, their purifying experiments arouse the prehistoric monster Obaki from hibernation at the lake's bottom, and it proceeds to attack Japan. Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From a World Below, It Came to Terrorize - To Destroy - To Revenge!

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

7 December 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Varan el increible  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| (perspecta sound systems)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although most of Akira Ifukube's score is replaced in the American version, if you listen closely enough you can her a version of what would become Rodan's theme in the Godzilla films from the 1960s. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Attack of the 50 Foot Monster Mania (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Varan the Unrememberable.
3 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Varan came out after the successes of the films Rodan and Godzilla. Would it continue the success of Toho MOnster flicks? The answer is, for the most part no. Varan is not one of the better Toho Films and it is one of those films that many people have only seen once.

Varan himself is based off of both Godzilla and Rodan. He is a large lizard like monster with sharp spines on his back and skin that runs from his arm to his legs like a flying squirrel. This allows him to fly around in the Japanese version but not the American version. Watching him fly around is ridiculous but worth watching in the same way that watching Godzilla fly in Godzilla vs Hedorah. It defies the rules of physics.

So they tried to combine Rodan and Godzilla and they got Varan. Varan though seems to be missing something. He does not really stand out, he does not do anything that no other monster can do. I guess that is why they do not bring Varan back much later. Other monsters are significant, Rodan can fly fast, Ghidorah has three heads, Mothra is stunningly beautiful (despite being my least favorite monster), and Baragon can burrow. But Varan does not stand out and has no special abilities or powers besides being able to fly like a squirrel. I guess Toho was hoping that the idea would make Varan stand out but it did not work really.

OK enough about the monster, time to talk about the film. It is OK, not that bad. IT is just that I have seen similar films to this one before in Godzilla and Rodan. So watching this film did not create any new thrills or moments to me. It is not bad, just ordinary and nothing spectacular. So is this film awful, no. Is it one of the best Toho Monster films, no. Is it a movie that you will always remember, probably not. But are there worse monster films, yes! Check it out on a rainy day or a lazy Saturday. It is worth watching once.

Further note, I had not seen the Japanese version of the film when I reviewed it. The above review is about the American version. A lot still holds true tho when watching the Japanese Version. The Japanese version I would say is quite better than the American version. I would say the American version is not worth seeing per say, but the Japanese version is good. Mainly because in the Japanese version Varan has a cool roar he emits and in the American version he does not. Also the Japanese version is longer.


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