Saturday, July 19, 2014

Movie Review: Varan The Unbelievable [English Version] (1958)


The Plot:
This movie is about a U.S. and Japanese joint military experiment that takes place on a small Island off of Japan. The experiment is to test a chemical that can turn salt water into purified water so that it can become a safe drinkable source of water. The experiment is supposed to be carried out on a salt water lake on the Island, but the military is getting a lot of resistance from the Islands natives who claim the military will wake O-baki an ancient monster lives in the lake. O-baki is what they call Varan in the English version of this movie but he is more commonly known has Varan, so I will refer to him as Varan.




Going against the natives warnings the military decides to release the chemical in the lake. The chemical immediately kills all the fish in the lake but it is still early to test if the chemical has worked so they decide to give it a night and check the next day. During the night gun shots are heard and a soldier's body is discovered. It looks like the soldier died from fear, his eyes are still wide open and the look on his face is that of pure terror. Soon after some downed trees are discovered along with a giant foot print. Then Varan rises from the lake, the military forces begin to fire all there weapons at it but it looks to have no effect. Varan then proceeds to destroy the native village on the Island. Once Varan finished destroying the village he left the Island and headed out to sea, since his lake was no longer a habitable place because of the chemicals that awoke him.

Varan is soon spotted at sea and attacks a small fishing boat. The navy and air force begin attacking Varan but all the missiles, bombs, and gun fire appear to have no effect. Varan soon makes land fall and attacks an airport. In a desperation attempt the military attempts to use a highly concentrated version of the chemical they used on the lake to attack Varan. The chemical works and Varan appears to be hurting from it. Varan stumbles into the ocean and dives to the bottom. No one knows if Varan is alive or dead and the movie ends.

My Thoughts:

This movie was pretty good I watched the English version so there were a lot of times where the movie seemed to be cut weirdly. Varan as a monster was really cool and the story was interesting also. The English version is totally different from the original version, all the scenes of Varan flying were cut out, all the main actors were replaced with American actors, and the final attack on Tokyo was cut shorter. The movie is only 70 minutes long making a very short movie and 17 minutes shorter than the original. What I don't like about the English version is that they didn't really dub it they just replaced all the scenes with dialogue with newly shot scenes in English. I also did not like that they cut out the scenes with Varan flying and that they made his attack on Japan shorter.  This movie seems like it was rushed out as an English version and feels very incomplete. I have the original Japanese version and plan on watching that eventually and putting a review of that version up. Overall Varan was just good I would not say it is great the concept behind the story is great but the English version had to much cut out. You do get a lot of kaiju destruction in this movie though so that is one plus. This is worth a watch but I recommend the original version so you can get the full feel for the movie.


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