Daikaijû Baran
Giant Monster Varan

大怪獣バラン
Varan the Unbelievable

1958

Ishiro Honda
Director

Butterfly hunting expedition in an isolated part of Japan discovers another unknown monster, this time an odd amalgam of lizard and flying squirrel (!), who immediately makes his way towards civilsation, with predictable decimation of scale models. Eventually the defence forces feed him some explosive flares and he dies. Minor Japanese kaiju film, the last filmed in black and white, is well made (especially Akira Ikufube's score) but nothing new, reusing much effects footage from the original Gojira. An American version was released in 1962 that butchered the original film by removing all dialogue scenes and replacing them with exceeding dull footage of Myron Healey nattering on about water desalinization and talking down to his Japanese wife. I'm sure the kiddies loved that...

Cast list and names here are taken from Japanese sources, correcting many errors of translation that occur in the IMDb listing.

-Dave W.



14th October 1958
Cinema


87 mins
2.35:1


7th December 1962
Cinema


70 mins





"
Kozo Nomura
Kenji Uozaki,
Dr. Sugimoto's Assistant
(Paul Isoh in US version)
Ayumi Sonoda
Yuriko Shinjo, Reporter
(Shidori Isoh in US version)
Koreya Senda
Dr. Sugimoto, Biologist
Akihiko Hirata
Dr. Fujimura, Explosives Expert
Fuyuki Murakami
Dr. Umajima, Paleontologist
Yoshio Tsuchiya
Major Katsumoto
Minosuke Yamada
Director General of
Defense Agency
Hisaya Ito
Ichiro Shinjo
Yoshifumi Tajima
Captain,
minesweeper "Uranami"
Nadao Kirino
Yutaka Kawata
Akira Sera
Village Priest
Akio Kusama
Colonel Kusama
Fumiko Honma
Gen's Mother
Akira Yamada
Isaku, Villager
Fumito Matsuo
Motohiko Horiguchi,
News Cameraman
Soji Ubukata
Nakao,
Police Chief
Toku Ihara
Rocket Fire Controlman /
Villager
Yoshikazu Kawamata
Jiro, Villager
Yasuhiro Shigenobu
Sankichi, Villager
Takashi Ito
Gen, Villager Boy
Mitsuo Tsuda
Self Defense Forces Officer
Jiro Kumagai
Self Defense Forces Officer
Shoichi Hirose
Fisherman
Keisuke Yamada
Self Defense Forces Officer
Hideo Shibuya
Cameraman
Koji Suzuki
Fisherman
Masaki Shinohara
Villager /
Fisherman
Michiko Kawa
Villager
Toshiko Nakano
Villager
Hiroshi Akitsu
Mountain Priest
Mitsuo Matsumoto
Reporter
Yasuo Onishi
Reporter
Rinsaku Ogata
Platoon Leader
Junichiro Mukai
Self Defense Forces Officer
Tazue Ichimanji
Villager
Tomiko Heizo
Villager
Eisuke Nakanishi
Fighter Pilot
Takashi Narita
Self Defense Forces Officer
Keiichiro Katsumoto
Platoon Leader
Haruya Sakamoto
Platoon Leader
Ryuichi Hosokawa
Sugimoto's Staff
Tokio Okawa
Soldier
Hiroko Terasawa
Villager
Toriko Takahara
Village Priestess
Katsumi Tezuka
Baran
Haruo Nakajima
Baran /
Officer on Patrol
Boat "Isonami"
Myron Healey
Cdr. James Bradley
(US version)
Tsuruko Kobayashi
Anna (US version)
Clifford Kawada
Captain Kishi
(US version)
Derick Shimatsu
Matsu (US version)
Hiroshi Hisasume
Private Seki
(US version)
Yoneo Iguchi
Radio Operator
(US version)
Hideo Inamura
Doomed Soldier
(US version)
George Sasaki
Extra (US version)
Roy K. Ogata
Extra (US version)
Michael Sung
Extra (US version)

Dave Wright: Screencaps and Notes