Wednesday, May 29, 2013


In Rodan, a Japanese mining company delves too greedily and too deep, awakening in the darkness of Khazad-dum...sorry, wrong movie. Anyway, they wake up some giant pteranodons who are pissed and start destroying everything.
  • Dubbing by George Takei. = +25pts 
  • Footage of hydrogen bomb at beginning still actually terrifying. = -25pts 
  • Prologue awkwardly skirts mention of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, positing that there might be some vague reasons why Japanese people might not think nuclear bombs are such a great idea. = -25pts 
  • Expert post-mortem analysis on murdered miner: “He had been killed. More than killed.” = -10pts 
  • Reaction of first miner dragged underwater by monster – precious. = +7pts 
  • Monster insects spent millions of years evolving sticks on arms for easier puppeteer manipulation. = +13pts 
  • Guard spontaneously transforms into dummy as he falls down mountain. = +12pts 
  • Seismologist (picks up phone): Earthquake institute. Yes, that earthquake was centered near the mine. What? You’re calling from the mine? And you’re asking me if there was an earthquake? You’re an idiot. = -5pts 
  • 29:40 – Watch as plane taxiing on runway in background suddenly runs backwards as filmmakers try to pad out scene. = -12pts 
  • Newscaster: Captain John Hughes was killed while in pursuit of a supersonic object. This came as a shock to colleagues who had just eaten with him at the breakfast club, celebrating his daughter’s birthday with sixteen candles. His last words were to his wife, home alone at the time: “Tell her…she was always pretty in pink…” = +7pts 
  • Baby Rodan: ADORABLE. = + 5pts 
  • Movie-making tip: when padding out your movie with a long scene of people walking interminably through a mine, be sure to cover it up by having a narrator recount the plot in its entirety. = -3pts 
  • ZOMG, they have an ELECTRONIC computer. It’s big and blocky and has multi-colored lights and…hey! Who forgot to put buttons on the electronic computer? = - 5pts 
  • More stock footage of missiles and planes, please! = -3pts 
  • Actual closed-captioning for Rodan: [RRRAAWK] = +9pts 
  • Come on, guys, don’t fire at Rodan, fire at where he’s going to be. = -6pts 
  • Fun fact: during shooting, Rodan pulled a Nicholson and refused to leave his trailer because the Lakers were in the playoffs, so most of his scenes were actually filmed using an actor in a rubber pteranodon suit. = +22pts 
  • Military causes as much damage as Rodan. = -10pts 
  • The ‘50s – when every monster problem could be solved with a good, old-fashioned bombing. = + 7pts 
  • For letting the final explosions go on for a full five minutes. = +10pts 
  • Surprisingly poignant, yet irrational, reaction of narrator as the two Rodan mates choose to die together in a volcano: “I wondered if I, a twentieth century man, could ever hope to die as well.” = +13pts 
Total Score = +26pts
Available on: Netflix Streaming

We’re betting U.S. distributors tacked on the prologue about the effects of the H-bomb to hitch a ride on the Godzilla/vengeful nuclear monster train, because this story was really about environmental exploitation and some made-up shit involving geothermal activity. Even though Rodan doesn’t get an engaging premise like that of an A-lister monster like Godzilla, after a slow start, the movie delivers on the simple joy of watching tiny model structures destroyed by men in grotesque outfits.

Score Technician: Alex Pearlstein

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