5.4/10
437
16 user 12 critic

Varan the Unbelievable (1958)

Daikaijû Baran (original title)
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 »

Director:

Ishirô Honda

Writers:

Shin'ichi Sekizawa, Ken Kuronuma (story)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Rodan (1956)
Adventure | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A large mining accident sets loose prehistoric Insects and giant pterosaur's on Japan.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa, Akihiko Hirata
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A prehistoric behemoth is unwittingly awaken from hibernation due to a U.S-Japanese military experiment on it's watery lair for economic means, where it proceeds in attacking Japan.

Directors: Jerry A. Baerwitz, Ishirô Honda
Stars: Myron Healey, Tsuruko Kobayashi, Clifford Kawada
Space Amoeba (1970)
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A space probe is infiltrated by alien beings and then crashes on a remote Pacific atoll. A group planning to build a resort hotel land on the island and discover it to be inhabited by giant... See full summary »

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Kubo, Atsuko Takahashi, Yukiko Kobayashi
Mothra (1961)
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A giant, ancient moth begins to attack Japan when coming to the rescue of its two, foot-tall worshippers who were taken by shipwreck survivors.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Furankî Sakai, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kyôko Kagawa
Dogora (1964)
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The Earth is attacked by a giant jellyfish monster from outer space that, for some reason, has a sweet tooth for diamonds.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Yôsuke Natsuki, Yôko Fujiyama, Hiroshi Koizumi
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An experimental lab animal called a gargantua escapes from his captors and is suspected to be the creature that is killing people all over the countryside. But when the gargantua from the ... See full summary »

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Russ Tamblyn, Kumi Mizuno, Kenji Sahara
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

During WWII, a human heart taken from a certain lab in Europe (Dr. Frankenstein's) is kept in a Japanese lab, when it gets exposed to the radiation of the bombing of Hiroshima. The heart ... See full summary »

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Tadao Takashima, Nick Adams, Kumi Mizuno
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Aliens from Planet X request the use of Godzilla and Rodan to fight off King Ghidorah, but have a better use for the three monsters.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Nick Adams, Akira Takarada, Jun Tazaki
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After a meteorite unleashes a three-headed beast upon Tokyo, Mothra tries to unite with Godzilla and Rodan to battle the extraterrestrial threat.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Yôsuke Natsuki, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

King Kong is brought in by an evil ruler to dig for precious gems in a mine when the robot MechaKong is unable to do the task. This leads to the machine and the real Kong engaging in a tremendous battle that threatens to level Japan.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Rhodes Reason, Mie Hama, Linda Miller
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A newspaper and television station funded by a pharmaceutical company want a sensation, which happens to be the discovery of King Kong on an island. He is captured and brought to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles Godzilla.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yû Fujiki
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A greedy developer unwittingly hatches a gigantic baby moth upon Tokyo, while Godzilla strikes once again.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Takarada, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi
Edit

Cast

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

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

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

14 October 1958 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Baran: Monster from the East See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

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

The wires holding the jet fighters up are visible. See more »

Alternate Versions

Varan the Unbelieveable (1962) U.S., English dubbed, highly edited with footage replaced with scenes shot in the U.S. and the original score completely removed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Destroy All Monsters (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
test-case for work on later films
13 December 2006 | by winner55See all my reviews

One of the better of the early Toho monster epics, the film suffers from a lack of definition. We don't really know where this monster comes from, or why he's so pee-ed off he wants to stomp Tokyo. Also, he never even quite gets to Tokyo, which is major disappointment - what good is a Japanese monster movie where Tokyo doesn't get stomped.

I suspect that the secret to this problem lies in the original score for the film, by the great Akira Ifikube. Godzilla fans should recognize variations on three essential themes for other movies - for "Godzilla", "Rodan", and "Mothra". Yet they are not just borrowed sound-tracks from those films, but actual variations. Apparently Ifikube used composition for this film as a kind of notebook on themes that would later get improved on again and again. My sense is that this is true of the film as a whole, that director Honda and crew used this film as a test-case for work on later films - the kaiju film industry was about to go wide-screen and technicolor in a big way, but the exact formula for the genre had not yet come together. I think they were using this film to get it together.

In its favor, I remark the film is narratively tight, so that not much time is wasted on the back-stories. It is what it is, a straight-out rubber-monster stomp, and begs to be enjoyed for that, and nothing more.

By the way, the subtitled DVD release from Animego has a couple fascinating bonuses to it - an interview with one of the special fx crew, as well as a demonstration of the technique used to manufacture the monster's costume. The film itself is enjoyable, if no great shakes, but bits of film-history like this are priceless.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed