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Japanese villagers worship a monster and his son who live in an island cave. Some circus people hear about them, go to the island to capture the monster and wind up shooting its son. Then the trouble starts. Written by
Prof. Alan Templeton:
Were these people you refer to savages?
Dr. John Rayburn:
Not to the point of eating their own dead. They were a strange, ignorant, superstitious, uncivilized tribe. They decorated the camp with the skulls of their ancestors.
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It is a very unfortunate thing that Toho has decided to pull _Jû jin yuki otoko_ from its catalog based on Ainu lobbyists. Had Akira Ifukube scored the film, rather than Masaru Sato, he might have said something against it because he lived among the Ainu and knew the culture presented in this film bears little resemblance to the Ainu.
Instead, we are left with this badly edited mess because an American producer got his hands on it, and inserted scenes with American actors that give away the story before we can actually be shown it. Ostensibly this footage was shot to increase Americans' interest in the Japanese production. Instead it brings the action screeching to a halt and we are given glimpses of what is obviously a much better film, with one of the most convincing yet-teh costumes of all time. The older one has a very lifelike face that is showing signs of balding.
Because of Toho's quarantine on the original film, one has to sit through a lot of drek to have any film at all, since the 98 minute film runs 63 minutes in this version, even after all the boring footage was added. The sound quality is poor as well, and all (or most) of Masaru Sato's score as been replaced with library music. It's too short to fast-forward through all the nonsense and too dull to sit through it.
The only redeeming element of the film are the exquisite Japanese scenes that we hear John Carradine talking over. This film is utterly ruined, thereby demonstrating Gresham's law. The good version is unavailable, and only the bad version can be seen.
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