Monday, December 13, 2010

Daimajin (1966)

Feudal Japan is caught up in bitter strife when the Hanabasa household is toppled by the treacherous Samanosuke. The valiant warrior Kogenta escapes with Tadafumi and Kozasa, the rightful heirs to the throne, and brings them to a mountain sanctuary guarded by the gigantic statue of the great Majin. Years later, Kogenta and Tadafumi gather the loyal vassals of the Hanabasa household to strike back against their oppressor, but they are caught and imprisoned. The guardian priestess Shinobu makes one final attempt to have Samanosuke release the men and give up his reign of tyranny, fearing that his greed will incur the wrath of the mountain god. Instead, Samanosuke slays her and attempts to destroy the statue, but his actions awaken the monstrous Majin, who sets out to avenge his people!

DAIMAJIN is a top-rate Dai-Kaiju from the producers of the GAMERA film series, the Daiei Motion Picture Company. It presents an epic tale of good versus evil that is deeply rooted in Buddhist and Shinto mythology. Kimiyoshi Yasuda delivers a stunning visual style with a rich color palette and superb cinematography, combining the High Fantasy elements of Ishiro Honda's films with the artistic design of Akira Kurosawa. Akira Ifukube's thundering score echoes his work in the original GOJIRA, while the Majin's powerful arrival at the castle gates also resembles Godzilla's first appearance over the island mountains. The incredible special effects created by Yoshiyuki Kuroda also stand to rival the work of Eiji Tsuburaya, with a number of impressive techniques that bring the great Majin to life on-screen. Yasuda's beautiful blend of feudal warfare and giant monster mayhem is a welcome addition to the long line of Kaiju films out of Japan.

Rating: 9/10.

If you liked DAIMAJIN, check out:
GODZILLA, FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD, THE GOLEM.

5 comments:

  1. Is this the statue-like monster that slides a hand over his face to change expression?

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  2. If by "is" you mean "Yeah, it totally is!" I. Love. This. Film. I can't wait to see the sequels Joe!

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  3. Great film. The sequel is just as good. The third film where a few kids are the main characters is the lesser of the three. Still, the third film has a bit more Majin action compared with the others. To my knowledge, the third film was never released here to theaters.

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  4. Dude V, my friend gave this to me because he said it was boring. Literally. I expected nothing, but this is actually one of the finer Kaiju I have seen outside of Toho, and certainly the best I have seen from Daimei.

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  5. Daiei was responsible for the mega popular ZATOICHI series so the marriage of monsters and samurai was a no brainer.

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