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Yokai Monsters 1: Spook Warfare (2003)

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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Rubbersuit Pictures
Genre: Foreign, Horror, Kids, Live Action, Japan, Ghosts, Killer Critters, Asian Horror, Kaiju Eiga
Running Time: 90 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
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This title is currently out of print.

While storming the ruins of Babylonia, thieves unearth the ancient tomb of the wicked vampire demon Daimon. The demon flees to Japan, where he takes possession of Lord Isobe's soul and begins to feed on innocent townspeople. An astute villager suspects local patriarch Isobe has become a bloodthirsty demon and seeks help from friendly Yokai (Spirit Monsters) to uncover the truth. Will the army of Yokai be enough to help vanquish the dreaded Daimon, or will the villagers fall prey to an unspeakable fate?

GreenCine Member Reviews

Hey, this is a GREAT, 1960's, campy B-Movie from Japan! by hneline1 April 16, 2004 - 12:01 AM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Take this quiz:
--Do you like the rubber suits from Godzilla?
--Do you remember Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy with fondness?
--Have you only watched Japanese monster movies dubbed and wondered if the bad acting came from the dub or from the original acting?
--Are you enamored of old school special effects, like superimposed images and wires to make things float?
--Are you curious about traditional Japanese spooks?

If you answered "yes" to even two questions, watch Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare (Youkai Dai Sensou). This is a live action, badly acted, absolutely fun romp into the world of traditional Japanese superstition, set in the age of low-budget samurai and nationalistic ghosts.

What, you don't know about the Umbrella Monster (karakasa kozou), a folded paper umbrella with one human leg, two skinny arms, and a huge tongue hanging out? How about the Long Necked Woman (rokuro kubi), the Kappa, or the little fires floating in the air? Inuyasha's monsters are sleek and modern compared to the ones here. If anything, this is closer in heart to Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro, a manga about spooks that I loved as a child.

Just be warned, this IS a B-movie. Really. So watch it prepared to throw popcorn at each other and make witty comments just about everything in the film.

Monsteriffic! by ColonelKong June 18, 2003 - 8:23 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Imagine Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan if it were produced by Sid and Marty Kroft, and you'll get some idea of the wacky fun that is Yokai Monsters 1: Spook Warfare (aka Yokai Daisenso/Big Spook War). A big ugly green vampire is inadvertantely set loose by European explorers in what is today Iraq (shades of The Exorcist), and flies all the way to Japan, where he possesses the previously virtuous local magistrate. After a local Kappa (water imp) is evicted from his home by the vampire Daimon, the indigenous spooks of Japan must unite to face the menace.

This film is part of a series of similar films produced by Daiei studios in the 60s (a couple more are due to be released on DVD by ADV films), and despite the title "Yokai Monsters 1" given to it by ADV, it actually followed another film called 100 Monsters.

This is a pretty short movie (just under 80 minutes), but anyone who enjoys fun low-budget special effects and rubber-suited monsters will probably have fun watching it.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.31)
36 Votes
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