Howl from Beyond the Fog (2019)

Inspired by Ray Bradbury’s “The Fog Horn,” which was also made as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, this movie features a creature called Nebula, which was designed by Keizo Murase, who has sculpted everything from VaranMothraMatangoGameraYongary and numerous appearances of Godzilla. He’s still working, getting ready to direct a movie called Brush of the God about a magical brush that can save reality. It’s the first movie he’s ever directed and he’s had the idea ever since he worked on The MIghty Peking Man.

At some point in 1909, a boy named Eiji moves back home with his mother to Kyushu and must unravel the secrets of his family, including his blind cousin, Takiri, who is supposedly dead but appears to him and has the ability to bring Nebula up from the deep.

Meanwhile, some land developers don’t care that the family owns this land and threaten them with violence, even kicking Takiri into the lake. The monster’s rampage destroys most of the town, but opens the doorway to freedom for the young adults.

Howl from Beyond the Fog feels like a spiritual side movie to Yokai Monsters, as Nebula just wants his peaceful life and people to be left alone, as Japanese pushes itself into the modern era, one that wants to explain away the monsters that create the elements.

Here’s to Daisuke Sato, who was the director, director of special effects, writer, producer and cinematographer along with Murase, as well as the editor, art director, recording engineer, lighting technician, compositor and puppet creator.

Yes, every character in this movie is a puppet.

What a gorgeous movie and such an achievement in our era of computer animation. I’ve watched this several times and if it had been made in my youth, as I devoured every Japanese monster movie that made it to UHF TV, I would have yelled during every frame.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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