BIG MONSTER WAR (big ghost war; ghosts on parade; spook warfare; yokai daisenso) (1968 JAPAN) D: YOSHIYUKI KURODA W: TETSUROU YOSHIDA P: YAMATO YATSUHIRO
This sequel to HUNDRED MONSTERS is an improvement. Because director Kuroda is an FX man, this is less talky and more visual (Hiroshi Imai's photography is top notch), with a lot of monsters given more screen time. In the ruins of Babylonia, some treasure hunters unwittingly release Daimon, a demon who looks kinda like the Kuroda-designed MAJIN. It flies to Edo period Japan and posseses some men by drinking their blood like a vampire. A group of crazed samurai are soon roaming the countryside looking for young children to suck dry. The underwater comic-relief monster Kappa informs all the other monsters (that one-eyed umbrella thing, long-neck woman, a beautiful woman with an extra ugly, long-nosed face on the back of her head and many more). They look Daimon up in the Dictionary of Japanese Monsters (!), but can't find him. It soon becomes clear that this is an evil foreign presence and all the monsters in Japan team-up at the end to fight it. All the monsters can talk by the way and offer plenty of comic-relief. An oddity that's well worth a look. Yoshihiko Aoyama is the second-fiddle human star hero. With Takashi Kanda, Asao Uchida, Gen Kimura, Kisao Tobita and Rokko Toura. TOKAIDO ROAD MONSTERS was next. Kuroda also helmed THE INVISIBLE SWORDSMAN and the sixth and final entry in the LONE WOLF AND CUB series.

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