Daimajin (1966)

Produced by Daiei Film, this is the first film in a trilogy of movies that are all somewhat similar, made with different directors and the same crew, shot at the same time.

Daimajin is a spirit that has been trapped inside a mountain who is struggling to emerge. As the villagers pray at a shrine, the evil Samanosuke slaughters the family of the area’s leader, Lord Hanabusa, except for his son Tadafumi and daughter Kozasa, who are rescued by a samurai named Kogenta.

As the children become adults, Samanosuke’s power grows in the region and then decides that in order to have complete control of the people, he must smash the half-buried statue of Daimajin. The villagers begin to pray that the statue will come to life and save them.

Director Kimiyoshi Yasuda also made several of the Zatoichi movies, while writer Tetsurô Yoshida would write all three of these films and one of my favorite kaiju movies, Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare.

In the U.S., this movie was released as The Devil Got Angry, The Vengeance of the Monster, and Majin, the Monster of Terror.

Speaking of the yokai, Takeshi Miike is making a sequel to his film The Great Yokai War which will be called The Great Yokai War: Guardians. Imagine my excitement when I learned that Daimajin is in this movie!

You can also read Jennifer Upton’s review of this film.

You can get this movie as part of Arrow Video’s new The Daimajin Trilogy. Along with an illustrated collector’s book featuring new essays by Jonathan Clements, Keith Aiken, Ed Godziszewski, Raffael Coronelli, Erik Homenick, Robin Gatto and Kevin Derendorf, there are restored versions of all three films. Daimajin has an introduction by critic Kim Newman, an exclusive video essay about the special effects of the Daimajin films by Japanese film historian Ed Godziszewski, audio commentary by Japanese film expert Stuart Galbraith IV and the alternate U.S. opening credits for Majin, the Monster of Terror. Get it now from MVD.

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