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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
When a narcotics deal goes sour and a suspect disappears, leaving only his clothes, Tokyo police question his wife and stake out the nightclub where she works. His disappearance stumps the ... See full summary »
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.
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>
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 »
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 »
The scene of Baran (aka Varan) flying is deleted from the American version of the film. See more »
Scientists discover a species of butterfly that is believed to be native only to Siberia. They travel to a region known as "The Tibet of Japan", where a much bigger menace awaits: the towering lizard "Varan", some sort of throwback. Varan, of course, turns out to be a huge threat, but Japanese military forces are hard pressed to find a plan of attack that actually works.
Ultimately, "Varan the Unbelievable" is too much of an unimaginative "Gojira" clone to be all that successful. The action is decent, and the special effects are decent (some of the time, anyway). The atmosphere and widescreen photography are certainly reasonably impressive. But the characters lack any sort of truly interesting features; they're not fleshed out much at all. The steadfast actors do what they can with the material: Kozo Nomura as jut jawed, heroic Kenji, Ayumi Sonoda as his love interest Yuriko, a headstrong reporter, and Koreya Senda as the knowledgeable Dr. Sugimoto. The music by Akira Ifukube is rousing enough to be entertaining.
But Varan itself, while an engaging monster to watch for 87 minutes, lacks the appeal of the most striking creatures in Japanese genre cinema.
Not one of director Ishiro Hondas' best efforts, but lightly entertaining.
Six out of 10.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this