Sora no daikaijû Radon (1956)
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If Godzilla was the granddaddy of all kaiju films, 1956's Rodan is a clear uncle as the first COLOR giant monster film (and also directed by Ishirô Honda). Where the King of Monsters was a metaphor for the atomic bomb, Rodan represents the dangers of climate change, as unseasonable melt awakens giant grubs to be eaten by the giant pterodactyl when its egg hatches. In the climax, Rodan acts as a veritable hurricane. And yes, this was all thought up more than 60 years ago. Problem is, is takes forever for him to show up, and even when he does, it's through fleeting glimpses. The real action comes very late in the game, and we have to sit through a lot of stuff with flooded mines, amnesiac scientists, and news reports while we wait. This is a trope of kaiju films, especially introductory ones, but Rodan tests my patience more than most, perhaps in part because it is such a somber film (as was the more resonant Gojira), not very much fun at all. Of course, the third act is a beauty in terms of photography and model work, so all is forgiven.
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