Rodan (1956)

rodan poster 1956 movie japanese
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

I like the Rodan design

The story is slow & boring

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Rodan

Studio:  Toho

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horor

Release Date(s):  December 26, 1956 (Japan)/August 6, 1957 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


I will crush you like grapes!

A mining community digs deep into the Earth and accidentally unleashes giant insects. When the miners and military move in to stop the insects, they discover something much worse. Two giant prehistoric descendants of the pteranodon called Rodan. Now Rodan is terrorizing the countryside and the world…can anything stop them.

Directed by Ishirō Honda, Rodan (called Sora no Daikaijū Radon 空の大怪獣 ラドン in Japan which translates into Radon, Giant Monster of the Sky) was the first color Japanese monster movie. The American version of the film received a fairly wide release for a Japanese film, and the kaiju successfully appeared in other “giant monster” films with Godzilla.


Another giant monster? Seriously? Great…we just got rid of that Godzilla thing.

Rodan was originally called Radon in Japan but the people who owned the rights to the American version changed the name to prevent any ties to the element.  The movie had some changes in the story for the release like many of the movies that made the trek to the United States (including new dubbing by the likes of George Takei), but for the most part was the same movie.

Rodan is a bit dull in comparison to movies like Godzilla: The King of Monsters! (or the original version Gojira). The movie feels pretty sidetracked at the beginning with the giant insect larva creatures, and it takes way too long for Rodan to show up. Once Rodan does show up (or the Rodans…the U.S. version boosted appearances by the second Rodan), it flies around causing hell for a bit before being offed in the volcano.


I scoff at your puny tanks!!!

I do like how the movie (like King Kong) does play up the idea that the creature cannot help its nature, and it is almost a shame that Rodan must be killed. The Rodans only want to live but despite the fact they are a rare endangered species, they must be killed in the kill or be killed nature of the situation.

Rodan is a classic for the giant monster movie crowd. Not only does the kaiju become a regular in films, it stands on its own in this solo outing. It doesn’t have the heart that Gojira has, but it is still a fun film and worth seeking out if you are a fan of the genre.  Rodan next appeared in Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster in 1964.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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