The Giant Majin / Majin the Hideous Idol / Daimajin - Frankensteins Monster / Fury of the Mountain God / The Devil Got Angry / Majin the Monster of Terror / Majin, the Stone Samurai / The Vengeance of the Monster
Masaichi Nagata, Mitsuru Tanabe (executive) for Daiei
directed by Kimiyoshi Yasuda
starring Miwa Takada, Yoshihiko Aoyama, Jun Fujimaki, Ryutaro Gomi, Ryuzo Shimada, Tatsuo Endo, Otome Tsukimiya, Shizuhiro Izoguchi, Gen Kimura, Hideki Ninomiya, Masako Morishita, Shosaku Sugiyama, Saburo Date, Keiko Kayama, Eigoro Onoe, Yutaro Ban, Hideo Kuroki, Akira Shiga, Jun Osugi, Jun Katsumura, Kazuo Moriuchi, Akira Amemiya, Shinjiro Akatsuki, Kanji Uehara, Hatsumi Yoshikawa, and as Daimajin: Chikara Hashimoto
written by Tetsuro Yoshida, music by Akira Ifukube, special effects by Yoshiyuki Kuroda
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In a coup, warlord Samanosuke (Ryutaro Gomi) gets rid of benign lord
Hanabusa (Ryuzo Shimada) to take control of his remote village, and orders
his whole family slaughtered, but Kogenta (Yoshihiko Aoyama), one of
Hanabusa's loyals, and Shinobu (Otome Tsukimiya), priestess of the local
god Majin, manage to save Hanabusa's children Kozasa (Masako Morishita)
and Tadafumi (Hideki Ninomiya), and the two raise them in Majin's shrine.
years later: Under Samanosuke's iron rule, conditions in the village have
become unbearable, so much so that young Take (Shizuhiro Izoguchi) makes
it throut the haunted woods to pray to Majin to return and free his
people. Majin doesn't return, but Shinobu listens and decides to take the
boy under her wing. Kogenta and Tadafumi (now played by Yoshihiko Aoyama)
figure now is the time to overthrow Samanosuke, but on his way to the
village Kogenta is intercepted by Samanosuke's men, who then set up a trap
should Tadafumi go and rescue him - and Tadafumi falls for it hook, line,
and sinker. Samanosuke sends out his second in command Gonjuro (Tatsuo
Endo) to destroy the Majin's statue, and he and his men kill Shinobu who
tries to prevent them, then try to tear the statue down - but the earth
opens up and swallows them all. Kozasa (Miwa Takada) prays to the Majin to
save her village, her brother and Kogenta, and offers her life in return.
The statue then comes to life and walks towards town, where it wreaks
havoc and kills all the baddies, saving Samanosuke for last of course.
Unfortunately, the Majin is so enraged that it doesn't just stop there,
and now it's up to our heroes to stop him - but what good are a few puny
humans against a stone statue come to life ...
Now when it
comes to story or characterizations, this movie doesn't exactly hit high
marks, and yet it's completely charming in it's fusion of period drama
full violence and intrigue, and giant monster thriller, complete with
massive destruction. And one has to admit, the whole thing's put together
really well, with a directorial effort heavy on tension and atmosphere to
keep things tight even before the statue comes to life, well-executed
special effects that have aged very well, and a rather impressive monster,
especially because it's different enough from Godzilla
and company. That all said, don't expect a total reinvention of the genre,
just a loveable romp - and one that will entertain you very well.