Little known fact about me – when I was a kid I ate up Japanese monster movies. Godzilla, Mothra, Ghidorah, were all well known in my household. While by and large I have grown out of this, I still revisit my childhood obsession from time to time. Which brings me to an all-time favorite – Rodan!
My favorite thing about Rodan is that it’s basically a love story between two flying dinosaurs. Unlike many monster movies of the time period, we have two beasties of the same species, working together. Working to what end? Well, it’s not really clear. Mating? Sure. Taking over the world? Probably. But it mostly seems like they like to fly around destroying stuff and eating people. And that’s something I can get behind any day of the week. In fact, I think those wacky over-sized buzzards have found the true meaning of love!
As if that wasn’t enough, this is a creature feature that offers more bang for your buck! You see it also has GIANT MAN-EATING BUGS!!! Talk about a perfect movie to pop some popcorn, throw on your PJ’s, and veg out too. My inner 10 year old was having a good ol’ time revisiting this flick. All kidding aside, this is a flick from the golden age of Toho Studios and their giant monster series. While old fashioned in their style and special effects, these kinds of movies tickle a sense of wonder that many of their modern counterparts lack.
Even though they’re made of foam and rubber, the Rodans evoke pathos, even as they’re destroyed by the military. It’s the kind of craftsmanship that I feel is lost a lot in the era of CGI. Are the effects completely believable? No. But they have a weight and an art to them. They’re actually THERE. That alone lends a reality to the movie that most modern creature features lack.
In short, this is a perfect “lazy Saturday” kind of monster movie that you can watch three or four times in a row but not get sick of it. And you’ll always be glad that you took flight with these monsters.