Varan the Unbelievable

Varan, the Unbelievable

Japan Varan the Unbelievable (大怪獣バラン) 1958

Find the Japanese version — the hack-job US version is unwatchable. The Japanese version is odd. And, I must say, has amazing sedative powers. I’m not certain that I’ve ever been able to remain awake through the entire picture.

First scene: a rocket being launched and some frenetic piano music. This makes no sense and has nothing to do with anything else in the movie.

Two university scientists are dispatched to a remote area to try and locate a rare butterfly. The locals are unfriendly. Suddenly, a huge monster squashes them dead. Next, three more scientists head out to the remote area to see what happened. They get a cool reception, also. And they manage to rouse the sleeping monster, who squashes the village.

So the survivors head back to the remote area with the usual complement of Japanese military hardware. Which is promptly squashed by the monster WHO THEN SPROUTS WINGS AND FLIES OFF. Kind of an unusual plot twist, but, hey, you’ll probably be asleep by this point anyway.

Eventually they figure out a way to trick Varan (the monster) into eating a bomb. It’s a Japanese giant monster movie from the golden age, but there’s a reason you’ve probably never heard of this one.

The US version is to be avoided — one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.

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