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Rodan

Rodan (1956) is a science fiction movie made at Toho Studios in Japan. It is one of a series of "giant monster" movies that found an audience outside of Japan (especially in America). The first "giant monster" movies of the 1950s, called kaiju, were filmed as serious horror and adventure stories, before the genre devolved to the level of "kiddie" entertainment in the 1960s and 1970s.

Rodan follows in the footsteps of other Japanese monster movies, such as Godzilla, which involve a giant monster being awoken from an ancient hibernation by human beings. In this story, miners digging far into the earth stumble across a clutch of giant caterpillar-like insects, which viciously attack several of the miners and prompt a government investigation into the matter. The giant bugs turn out to be little more than food for two gigantic flying beasts (similar to the pteranodon, except they are far bigger and far more powerful), who hatch from giant eggs and proceed to terrorize the entire world.

Rodan is notable for its action scenes, which are filmed surprisingly well and which still excite audiences today. Unlike most of the Toho monster movies, which featured "action" scenes consisting of roaring monsters lumbering across the landscape at a stupefyingly slow pace, the battle scenes and monster rampage in Rodan are thrilling, exciting, and fast-paced; it is much easier for the audience to suspend disbelief and accept the typically mediocre special effects here. The emphasis on action, thrills, and willingness to scare the audience makes Rodan one of the superior films in the kaiju series.



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