“Signs of a pending eruption? hmm. Forbid access around the crater? Understood. In effect until further notice? I’ll send out a bulletin right away.” Sounds like something serious is going down. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as they go old school a trip to Toho’s’s Rodan (1956).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 101 – Rodan (1956)
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A large mining accident sets loose prehistoric insects and giant pterosaurs on Japan.IMDb
- Director: Ishirô Honda
- Writers: (story by) Takeshi Kimura, Ken Kuronuma, Takeo Murata; David Duncan (english version)
- Music by: Akira Ifukube
- Cinematography by: Isamu Ashida
- Film Editing by: Kôichi Iwashita, Robert S. Eisen (supervising editor, english version)
- Production Design by: Tatsuo Kita
- Special Effects by:
- Visual Effects by:
- Stunts: Haruo Nakajima, wire stunts (uncredited)
- Kenji Sahara as Shigeru Kawamura, Mining Engineer
- Yumi Shirakawa as Kiyo, Goro’s Sister
- Akihiko Hirata as Kyoichiro Kashiwagi, Doctor of Paleontology
- Akio Kobori as Nishimura, Police Detective
- Yasuko Nakata as Honeymooning Wife
- Minosuke Yamada as Oseki, Mining Chief
- Yoshifumi Tajima as Izeki, reporter of Seibu Nippou
- Kiyoharu Onaka as Honeymooning Husband, Sunagawa’s friend
- Haruo Nakajima as Radon (“Rodan” in English-language version)
- Yasuhisa Tsutsumi as Imamura, F-86F Pilot
- Ichirô Chiba as Chief of Police
- Mike Daneen as U.S. Army Teletype Operator, Okinawa
- Tazue Ichimanji as Haru, Kiyo’s neighbor
- Saburo Iketani as Radio News Anchor
- Saburô Kadowaki as Lab Technician, Seismic Research Institute
- Tateo Kawasaki as Tsune, Miner
- Kanta Kisaragi as Wasteman
Rodan is Joseph’s pick and is one of his favorites among the classic kaiju movies. As opposed to later kaiju fare, Joseph likes the more serious nature of this film and appreciates the titular creature’s origin story. Daphne enjoys her first viewing of the Japanese version of Rodan and plentiful miniature work in the film. Whitney likes the color palette used in Rodan and enjoys all the military action. Rodan’s vapor trail tripped Jeff’s trigger and he was all about the boom-boom. He also fails miserably in his efforts to pronounce Rodan correctly. The Classic Era Grue-Crew also delves into the differences between the Japanese and the U.S. versions of Rodan, the voice actors used for dubbing, and the rigors of suit acting.
If you haven’t seen this kaiju gem in a while, now is a great time to check it out again. At the time of this writing, Rodan is available to stream on The Criterion Channel and HBOmax.
- While you’re at it, check out these other Toho kaiju episodes of Decades of Horror podcasts:
- Godzilla (Gojira, 1954) – Episode 58 – Decades Of Horror: The Classic Era
- The War Of The Gargantuas (1966) – Episode 57 – Decades Of Horror: The Classic Era
- Space Amoeba (1970, Yog: Monster From Space) – Episode 127 – Decades Of Horror 1970s
- Godzilla Vs Hedorah (1971) – Episode 25 – Decades Of Horror 1970s
- Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) – Episode 134 – Decades Of Horror 1970s
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. For their next episode, Whitney has chosen The Hitch-Hiker (1953), a classic film noir about a psychotic, escaped convict on a killing spree while, you guessed it, hitch-hiking. Sound a lot like horror, doesn’t it?
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