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Varan the Unbelievable (1962)

Unrated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 December 1962 (USA)
1:34 | Trailer
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.


Jerry A. Baerwitz, Ishirô Honda (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


Sid Harris (screenplay)





Credited cast:
Myron Healey ... Cmdr. James Bradley (as Myron Healy)
Tsuruko Kobayashi Tsuruko Kobayashi ... Anna
Clifford Kawada Clifford Kawada ... Capt,. Kishi
Derick Shimatsu ... Matsu, the boy
Hideo Inamura Hideo Inamura ... Doomed Soldier (as Hideo Imamura)
George Sasaki George Sasaki ... Soldier
Hiroshi Hisasume Hiroshi Hisasume ... Pvt. Seki (as Hiroshi Hisamune)
Yoneo Iguchi Yoneo Iguchi ... Radio Operator
Michael Sung Michael Sung ... Extra
Roy K. Ogata Roy K. Ogata ... Extra
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Akihiko Hirata ... Observer (archive footage)
Noriko Honma Noriko Honma ... Screaming Woman (archive footage)
Hisaya Itô Hisaya Itô ... Surveyor (archive footage)
Nadao Kirino Nadao Kirino ... Surveyor (archive footage)
Akio Kusama Akio Kusama ... Soldier (archive footage)


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


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


Horror | Sci-Fi


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In the Americanized version from 1962, even though the film is called "Varan the Unbelievable", the monster is called "Obake" throughout the film for some reason. See more »


At 31:33 the jeep again jumps forward several feet due to an editing error, then again at 31:47. See more »

Alternate Versions

This movie was originally released in Japan in 1958 as Daikaijû Baran ("Giant Monster Varan"). The American version has a heavily altered plot, tons of additional footage featuring American actors, and most of Akira Ifukube's music is replaced. All in all, Varan The Unbelievable features only about fifteen minutes of footage (mostly shots of the monster) from the original Japanese film. See more »

User Reviews

"Drums! Drums And Weird Native Chants!"...
24 June 2019 | by azathothpwigginsSee all my reviews

In VARAN THE UNBELIEVABLE, the title monster is aroused from its lair at the bottom of a lake. It's disturbed by "scientific tests" that turn its watery home into a useless cesspool. Most of the movie's running time is taken up by the human drama between Cmdr. James Bradley (Myron Healey), his wife, the military, and the poor villagers who resist being relocated. Of course, this is the "Americanized" version of the original, 100% Japanese film by Director Ishiro Honda. The "reworked" story has Healey's character spouting most of the dialogue / narration, much like Raymond Burr in the "re-imagined", American release of GODZILLA. Not surprisingly, this makes for quite a slog, since the movie is padded out w/ loads of dull situations, apparently added for American audiences of the era, who might otherwise have been perplexed. While Honda's movie has a reputation for being rather bland, it's difficult to see how this version could possibly be an improvement! Fragments of the original tale are shown as non sequitur scenes -usually of natives jumping around, or military HQ- here and there throughout the film. As for the monster, it's not bad, especially during the big finish. A film for the true, giant monster completist... .

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Japan | USA



Release Date:

7 December 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Varan el increíble See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| Perspecta Stereo (perspecta sound systems)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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