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Rodan / War of the Gargantuas (1956)

Various  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Classic Media
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 2012
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B001AR0D40
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,598 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rodan / War of the Gargantuas" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

RODAN: Rodan, originally released in Japan in 1956 involves a giant monster being awoken from an ancient hibernation by human beings. In Rodan, miners digging far into the earth stumble across a clutch of giant, prehistoric insects which viciously attack several of the miners and prompt a government investigation into the matter. The giant bugs turn out to be little more than food for two gigantic flying beasts called Rodans, who hatch from giant eggs and proceed to terrorize the entire world. WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS: War of the Gargantuas, released in Japan in 1966 as "Frankenstein's Monsters: Sanda versus Gaira" and a semi-sequel to Frankenstein Conquers The World. It introduces two giant, hairy humanoids called Gargantuas, which spawned from the discarded cells of Frankenstein's Monster from the previous film and are described as brothers. The Green Gargantua is violent and savage, preying upon human beings; as he lives in sea water, he is given the name Gaira for "stranger." The Brown Gargantua had been raised in captivity, and is docile and gentle; because he resides in the Japan Alps, he is called Sanda for "mountain". The film follows the investigation and military engagements of these creatures until their climatic confrontation in Tokyo.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Toho's best gets the respect it deserves June 17, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Following the release of GOJIRA (Godzilla, King of the Monsters, before Raymond Burr was cut in) and it's sequel, Toho made their first color giant monster movie: RODAN(aka Radon, and Rodan ,The Flying Monster).Unlike most creature features of the time RODAN doesn't make you wait 2/3's of the movie for a monster to show up .Meganurons, giant prehistoric dragonfly larva make their appearance rather early in the film.It's this part of the film that's often compared to "Them".However,in RODAN the giant insects are only the set up.In the most memorable scene, when the character comes out of shock, he not only remembers being trapped underground with the Meganurons but also the hatching of a Rodan chick from it's egg.Having the audience already in on the size of the larva provides instant scale, as the hatchling devours the Meganurons.To add to the excitement of the rest of the picture we learn that in fact two Rodans have hatched.

The film is played straight, unlike later entries in what's become known as the Godzilla series.

Although Rodan has appeared in other films, Gidorah,the Three Headed Monster,Godzilla vs Monster Zero(Invasion of the Astro Monsters),and Destroy All Monsters, the look of Rodan was never as good as in this, the original.

Now for the first time Classic Media is presenting this film to American audiences in both it's original 82 min Japanese language version as well the 72 min English language version.

THE WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS makes it's DVD debut. It's also presented in both the Japanese Version (88 mins.), and English Version (92 mins.).

Special Features: "Bringing Godzilla Down To Size" a new Documentary (68 mins.)

If the quality of the re-mastering and source material remains the same, as it's been, since their Gojira release, in 2006, this should be the best video release of RODAN ever.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed But Still A Must-Have September 12, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
RODAN and THE WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS are two of Toho's best giant monster films, and both were subjected to awkward and unnecessary Americanization jobs. With this welcome release, USA fans can now easily and cheaply make their comparisons, as Japanese and USA versions of both films are generously included.

GARGANTUAS is especially long-awaited, but, sadly, Classic Media's transfer of the Toho version is a letdown. Toho's print has always been darker, with less-saturated color than the UPA (not AIP!) print. This transfer, however, is WAY too dark, and not terribly sharp; in the scenes with Gailah vs. the military, he often looks like little more than a shadow...just awful! No, my TV settings are not to blame- this transfer is plain inferior to Toho's Laserdisc and DVD releases, which is odd when you consider how many nice DVDs of the Godzilla titles have been released by Classic Media. All the more unfortunate is that the Japanese version of GARGANTUAS works much better as a movie than the English-dubbed one. That version LOOKS much better on this DVD, but its problems are well-known and numerous. Said problems are probably the fault of the late and notoriously clueless producer, Henry Saperstein...I can just envision him looking at the rushes, smoking a huge cigar, and saying, "Don't look like no Frankenstein to me!". So, the Frankenstein references are gone, along with much of the integrity of the screenplay. Gone, also, is much of Ifukube's fine score. (replaced by stupid library music, and even by Ifukube music from previous films: why?) Add to this some ill-advised editing, and Russ Tamblyn instead of Nick Adams...Tamblyn is clearly about half past give-a-damn throughout, though his presence may not be all UPA's fault.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes!!!! At last! July 25, 2008
Format:DVD
Rodan's great, but War of the Gargantuas is the treat here. With all very due respect to the original Godzilla and King Kong, I'm just going to throw out there that there is no better giant monster movie than WOTG. I've seen it many times since it gave me nightmares the first time I saw it when I was 5 or so, and it's still nearly perfect. At least in the American version, there are almost no slow spots, some genuine terror and horror, and the monsters are onscreen for an amazing amount of time. Of course there's no putting a movie like this together without some cheeziness, but even that fits perfectly with it being a sixties film.

It's all in there: an almost funnily disinterested performance by Russ Tamblyn (looking a little unenthused and questioning whether he should have taken this gig) as the lead scientist, his babe-aliciuos assistant Kumi Mizuno, the chick lounge singer crooning, Gargantua vs octopus, Gargantua vs military (including masers), Gargantua vs Gargantua, Gargantuas vs city, a volcano... it's got it all. Of course the music is awesome, and I can't believe I'm going to see it in a wider screen view than I ever have. Can't wait!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for 'War of the Gargantuas' to be released on DVD for many years. I had not seen this film in 30 years and I have to say the wait was worth it! The U.S. film print here looks very good and the film is more fun than I remembered. Even better is the inclusion of the original Japanese release. Unfortunately, the Japanese print is dark and not very crisp, but since my concern was for the film I grew up with, this is acceptable to me. The Japanese version is nice to see for curiosity, but I don't see me watching it more than once or twice.

Now about the film, if your a fan of Godzilla type films (ToHo), I really don't need to point out that these films are not meant to be taken too seriously....at least in America! This film is a hoot and the FX are actually pretty good for the most part. The scene with the green "Gargantua" attacking the airport is a stand out!

This film was a quasi-sequel to 'Frankenstein Conquers The World', but all references to the first film were removed when release in the U.S. 'Sanda VS Gailah Frankenstein's Monsters' (the original Japanese title) has never looked so good!

'Rodan' which is featured on the first disc in this 2 disc set is another good film from the studio, but unfortunately, my copy would not play, so I sent for a replacement, it wouldn't play either!?? I am surprised I am the only reviewer who has experienced this problem...or at least mentioned it. The 'Rodan' disc has a new documentary on it, which is very interesting with tons of obscure photos and insight. Happy "Shocktober" to all my horror buddies! from yours truly Dr. Shock!

***DVD Update***
I sent for another replacement many months later and finally received a Rodan disc that works perfectly. It appears the problem discs have been corrected.

***End Of Update***
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Gargantua vs Godzilla
Henry G. Saperstein actually came up with the idea in 1978, but couldn't get anyone iinterested at the time. Most likely due to rising production costs and because Terror Of Mechagodzilla (the last Godzilla film made up to 1975) didn't do so well as far as ticket sales. It was going to have a... Read More
Mar 28, 2012 by Robert Stoll |  See all 13 posts
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