Sora no Daikaiju Radon / Rodan - Die Fliegenden Ungeheuer von Osaka
Tomoyuki Tanaka for Toho
directed by Ishiro Honda
starring Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa, Akihiko Hirata, Akio Kobori, Yasuko Nakata, Minosuke Yamada, Yoshifumi Tajima, Kiyonharu Onaka, Rinsaku Ogata, Jiro Suzukawa, Kiyomi Mizunoya, Tsuruko Mano, Tsurue Ichimonji, Toshiko Nakano, Keiji Sakakida, Yasuhiro Shigenobu, Junnosuke Suda, Mitsudo Matsumoto, Knata Kisaragi
screenplay by Takeshi Kimura, Takeo Murata, based on a story by Ken Kuronuma, music by Akira Ifukube, special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, Akira Watanabe, assistant director: Jun Fukuda
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Weird accidents happen in a coalmine, like sudden flooding of
mineshafts, unexpected cave-ins, & eventually, even a few corpses turn
up. But when security engineer Shigeru (Kenji Sahara) investigates, he
makes an unexpected discovery: giant underground caterpillars are
responsible for everything that happens ... but soon enough a cave-in
captures Shigero in a mineshaft with the giant animals ...
A short time later, a whole hill caves in, but sets Shigero free again
- but he has lost his complete memory.
Later yet, unknown flying objects seem to pick fighter jets out of the
sky, & blow them up. Then strange winds blow over (& destroy)
It all becomes clearer when Shigero is shown a picture of a flying
dinosaur, which triggers his memory: Down beneath the surface, Shigero
witnessed the hatching of 2 giant flying dinosaurs (dubbed Rodans) who fed
from teh giant caterpillars &, when the hill caved in, emerged to the
surface ... & now they roam the skies with ultrasonic speed, but their
ultimate goal seems to ... destroy Japan.
The military soon has to realize their weapons are helpless against the
monsters, who lay one Japanese city after the other to ruins, but
eventually it is found out that they, for regeneration, always come back
to their cave under the caved in hill. So why not bomb that one when the
monsters are inside ?
Soon teh army's bombarddment causes a nearby volcano to erupt, &
one of the Rodans doesn't become airborn before the lava gets hold of it
... & seeing his companion die, the other Rodan hurls itself into the
lava as well, not wanting to roam the earth on his own ...
After the succes of Godzilla 2
years earlier, it was only a logical step for Toho to let director
Inoshiro Honda make another monster-film, this time in colour. But while Rodan
is still far more serious than Toho's rather childish (but
occasionally charming) monster output from the 1960's & 70's, it is
also a far cry from the undisputable qualities of the original Godzilla.
What Rodan above all is, is incredibly cheesy, especially in the
last scene where one of the Rodans, the last of its kind, commits suicide.
However, if you like giant monsters destroying cities (this time by simply
blowing them away) & are not too bothered about the cheesiness &
the human subplot, you might find Rodan is right down your alley.