Daimajin (1966) Poster

(1966)

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Good movie
Harvest-221 October 2002
I have to admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for the giant monster on a rampage flicks that came out of Japan in the late 60's/70's, and picked this up expecting more of that. After the opening scene, showing just how powerful Daimajin actually is (let's just say, he's more a force of nature than a giant monster), I was completely hooked. The entire series is fairly grim, and I loved the fact that Daimajin isn't necessarily a good or bad guy. He does what he does because he wants to, for whatever reason, be it that the villain offended him, or he felt sorry for one of the people who suffered over the course of the movie. They're not exactly art films, but they're not quite the kitsch of the later Godzilla movies, either. Highly recommended.
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7/10
The statue will wait no more...
Gafke12 March 2004
A good and just samurai lord is betrayed and murdered by one of his own men, who then claims the throne for himself. The samurai's two children, a boy and a girl, escape to the mountains and take refuge near a huge stone statue...a statue called Daimaijin, a huge man-god whom all fear. Ten years go by and the evil new lord has decimated the valley, enslaving all of its inhabitants and turning a deaf ear to the warnings of the wise woman; Daimaijin will not allow the evil overlord to go unpunished...and neither will the samurai's now adult son, who descends from the mountain, seeking vengeance.

Daimaijin is a simplistic fairy tale, beautifully executed. The noble samurai, the evil usurper, the determined son and the innocent girl whose voice and tears are the only thing the giant Daimaijin will respond to; all of the necessary elements are here. Though perhaps too violent for very young children, this film still reminded me of the films I loved as a child, i.e. Sinbad or Jason and the Argonauts. It's a simple tale of good versus evil with a triumphant, satisfying ending and lots of real estate trampled beneath Daimaijins stone feet. If you liked Godzilla, or the massive monsters created by Ray Harryhausen, you should see this one.
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8/10
Suprisingly enchanting fantasy
angafea31 December 2000
With its rerelease by ADV Films, I've had a chance to watch "The Giant Majin" for the first time without the deep cuts and unkind words of a late night Horror Chiller Theaters. Guess what? It's a pretty damn good movie!

The sets are authentic, the acting in subdued and believable, and the giant Majin is stately, powerful, and unstopable. I loved the subtle fantasy touches (the enchanted wood, luck charm, etc), and the potrayal of the god as a little less than 'good'.

This movie is begging for a remake in the new century!
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9/10
An excellent Japanese fantasy winner
Woodyanders11 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Ruthless evil warlord Samanosuke (superbly played to the hateful hilt by Yutaro Gomi) cruelly mistreats the peaceful residents of a small village. The giant stone statue Majin eventually comes to life to destroy Samanosuke and his wicked minions. Director Kimiyoshi Yasudo and screenwriter Tetsuro Yoshida give the compelling story all the power and simplicity of an ancient age-old legendary folktale: there's a very strong sense of an ancient time and faraway remote place (it's specifically set in feudal Japan), the good guys are noble and appealing while the villains are truly nasty and detestable, the occasional stirring swordfights are staged with considerable skill and gusto, the special effects are fine and impressive, the serious tone and steady pace never falter for a minute, and Majin's last reel rampage of savage destruction is extremely lively, exciting, and more than a little scary. Moreover, the fantastic elements of the narrative are given substantial credibility by being firmly grounded in a throughly believable dark, harsh and gritty world. This film earns bonus points for depicting Majin as more of a brutal and frightening force of angry vengeance instead of a pure spirit of absolute good. Veteran composer Akira Ifukube supplies a typically rich, robust and rousing score. Fujio Morita's sharp, moody cinematography likewise hits the bull's eye. The capable cast all give admirably sound and sincere performances, with especially praiseworthy work by Jun Fujimaki as the valiant, protective Kogenta and Tatsuo Endo as mean henchman Gunjuro. Highly recommended.
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8/10
Art-house monster movie(s)...
poe42610 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
For those of you who've wondered what an art-house monster movie might be like, wonder no more. The DAIMAJIN trilogy, circa 1966, was just such a series. More period samurai epics than anything else, these three movies just also happen to feature one of the most (literally) monstrous deux et machinas ever. There's not a single facet of these gems that is unpolished, from the scenario(s) to the performances to the filmmaker's craftsmanship. Even the special effects are handled with well-above-average skill, and are integrated (in most instances) almost seamlessly into the movie(s). If you're a GOJIRA fan or a fan of samurai movies or one of us who just likes a good movie regardless of genre, I highly recommend the DAIMAJIN trilogy.
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i thought I hallucinated this one
sarahpartridge10 July 2005
I saw this at least twice on Channel 56 (Boston) Creature Double Feature when I was a kid- and it's the kind of movie you remember but can't believe existed. It was pretty amazing! This giant ancient Japanese warrior statue comes out of the sea and starts kicking ass. I had to wait for the internet and the debut of Google to find that I was right---it does exist. Now I am psyched and want to get the DVD if it exists. Right on !

Other films on Channel 56 were the original War of the Worlds, which scared the hell out of me (it's really scary for a bad old sci fi flick---its the tentacles which I could psyche myself could be outside my window) and also the X from outer space and some other weird stuff that I will no doubt find out about someday, but this is really hallucinatory and amazing.
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8/10
Expected less...Got so much more!
bassplace8813 May 2012
I was expecting a decent film due to the ratings on IMDb, but what I experienced, was much greater than that. This period piece forces us to be an active participant by enveloping us with its desperate atmosphere. It's melodramatic set up brings the pacing down, so don't expect monster mashing anytime soon. It's tone is fierce and foreboding throughout. The tension is wonderful, and the anticipation of a reluctant savior slow to awaken, is as brutal as the wrath it releases! DaiMajin is like a freight train, slow to get going, and hard to stop! 8/10.

**By the way I always recommend the Japanese versions with their acting and English subtitles.**
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7/10
Wrath of the God of the Mountain!
El_Rey_De_Movies7 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Nice combination of the giant monster and samurai genres. The giant monster Majin, god of the mountain, is an aloof and forbidding figure that comes across very much like the Old-Testament God, raining destruction and punishment on those who desecrate his holy ground - but it's interesting to note that what finally awakens him is not the suffering of the people but a pointed and personal insult. It's beautifully photographed, with solid acting, great miniatures, and a wonderful score by the great Akira Ifukube. Majin is not a 400+ foot monster like Godzilla - he's 2 1/2 times normal size, so the evil samurai he stomps into the ground get a good look into his contemptuous eyes as he bears down on their fortress and smashes it to smithereens. Not much in terms of extras, but it's nice to see this forgotten minor classic rescued and restored to the digital format.
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7/10
Saw this again and again as a kid
preppy-35 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Like another poster mentioned Ch. 56 (a local Boston TV station) showed this multiple times over the years on Saturday afternoons. They paired it with the first sequel "Return of the Ginat Majin".

Now I haven't seen it since then...but it never left me. Aside from the atrocious dubbing and faded color this was a pretty good fantasy. Technically it isn't horror...until the statue comes to life at the end. It's just about a village ruled over by an evil man. There's a giant stone statue there that the villagers keep praying to to help them...to no avail. But things go too far, the statute comes to life and destroys the bad guys...but then it starts going after the good guys too! Well-done with some cool special effects at the end (LOVED how he got rid of the main bad guy). Also there was an enchanted forest worked in which was kind of interesting too.

No masterpiece but an unusual combo fantasy/horror film. Worth catching--but not if it's the dubbed print.
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Samurais vs. Giant Stone Statue
wh-313 May 2000
Surprisingly good Japanese monster movie. Evil warlord enslaves townspeople until one prays to the mysterious unfinished stone statue on a mountain. The statues comes to life and goes on a rampage. The special effects are much better then what you may be used to from Japanese monster movies of the sixties.
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Finally tracked this down...possible spoilers
jbrotychoorion16 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I remembered seeing this years ago on my local Creature Feature, one Saturday night...it was kind of slow-going at first....then, when the stone monster is awakened and he starts getting busy...whoa! The sound of him pounding the ground as he walked, and his grim expression, as he dispatched the bad guys....and the way, once he gets going , seemed like a steam roller, until he suddenly stopped, with an innocent woman about to be trampled.....indelibly imprinted in my memory....but I forgot the title....I finally found it with the help of IMDb.....now I know what to look for at the DVD store. Though I may have to go to a video place that has rare titles....
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8/10
"Daimajin' (originally from Japan circa1966) combines Samurai-period + Daikaiju (giant-monster) Epic-action
Ed-from-HI3 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This first 'Daimajin' film (starting the series of Japanese Daiei-Studio films circa1966) is actually quite well-made showcasing an abundance of authentic intensity, seriousness & scares with very little that could be classified as silly or childish (as compared with those kid-centric Giant flying-turtle 'Gamera' outings also produced by mid-1960's Daiei Film-Studios).  'Daimajin' features realistic samurai-action with a solid injection of intriguing Asian-mysticism and even 'morality-play' set during the unsympathetic Era in belligerent feudal-Japanese history when harsh arbitrary rules were meted-out by brutal Clan-Warlords.

Thankfully, the humble + honest villagers have an unlikely Champion in the form of 'Daimajin' the gargantuan stone statue encasing-embodying a fierce ancient Asian-deity when at rest appears placid-meek-tranquil, like the amid-Buddha, but possesses the dual capacity to explosively-transform into a sword-wielding giant stone-cast samurai-Demon =  with extremely-fierce visage, and fiery phosphorous-red eyes whenever aroused by the sensing of overwhelming injustice perpetrated by the mercilessly-powerful preying upon the humble peaceful citizenry.

Surprisingly, this first 'Daimajin' film (and sequels) features realistic acting, intriguing Story, and period costumes that all feel quite authentic to the hazardous time in Japan when merciless feudal warlords and rogue samurai could impose their will (usually by ruthless force) upon the meek rural citizens and farmers (with unarmed villagers desperately seeking and praying for an unlikely defender).

This 'Daimajin' film (especially the first-installment originally released circa1966) holds-up well and the special-effects still appear extraordinarily eerie, especially the way Daimajin's red-glowing phosphorous eyes seem extremely enraged & lifelike.  The transformation scenes are quite riveting, going from completely calm-placid-serene to a blisteringly-furious unstoppable vengeful-spirit all accomplished long before CGI-effects.
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Entertaining story
Seb30 January 2011
I picked up this movie because I like giant monster films and was expecting this to be your average monster smash up. Often with giant monster films the bits with humans in are nothing more than padding and have little or nothing to do with the plot. I'm thinking of Godzilla vs King Kong with the pointless magic string guys or the awful little poet kid in Godzilla vs The Smog Monster. This film is nothing like that, the story is interesting in its own right.

The real draw is of course the big guy and he's excellent too. His inevitable rampage is well put together with some nice special effects. I was really surprised by this film, it was a lot better than I expected and definitely worth seeing.
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8/10
This is that stone statue movie that we've all seen as kids
Horror Fan31 January 1999
Evil warlord puts a town through pain and suffering. Not long before they call upon giant stone samurai Daimaijin for help. Daimaijin soon comes and really gets the warlord with all his viscious might. The revenge climax is really funny as Daimajin squashes guys under his feet and crushes guys with his fist and even drives a spike though a man's heart.
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An oldie but a goodie.
Blueghost1 February 2012
Alright, there isn't anything too deep about this film. We essentially have a period piece riding the coat tails of the Godzilla (Gojira) phenomenon sweeping Japan's cinema at the time.

I don't have too much to add to the other reviews, other than I hadn't seen this movie since Bob Wilkins was hosting Creature Features in Sacramento. It's been that long. Okay, not entirely, I did catch snippets here and there over the years on daytime TV, but the thing hardly ever aired.

So, through the magic of Amazon streaming, I've now seen the movie in its entirety. What to say.

It's fun for what it is. We pretty much have here some old folklore brought to life via Japanese monster film making styles, including the use of "suitmation" (Japanese industry slang for a guy in a rubber monster suit running around a miniature set). And, believe it or not, as far as the effects go, this film actually delivered and did a bang up job by presenting to the viewer a couple of shots that should convince the most jaded eye that a large creature was attacking medieval Japan. Some of the shots weren't so convincing, but there were a handful where I found myself wondering; "Did they really build that thing?"

Ah well. The movie is more B-movie material than anything else, but it has its moments here and there. If you're a classic monster film aficionado, or are really into the Kaiju or historical genres, then give Daimajin a chance.

It's worth a night's rental for the monster fan in all of us.

Check it out.
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5/10
Bad guys are in trouble now !
ebiros230 May 2011
This is the first of the Daimajin trilogy that was created by Daiei on the backs of their famous Gamera series, and their samurai movies.

Kozasa, and Tadafumi are brother and sister of the Hanabusa clan who's father Tadakiyo (Ryuzo Shimada) is the lord of the Yamanaka castle. One night their fate is changed abruptly when their minister Samanosuke Odate (Yutaro Gomi) unleashes a coup against their father. They are rescued by their faithful servant Kogenta (Jun Fujimaki), and escapes. They are now on the run from Samanosuke. Kogenta has a aunt Shinobu (Otome Tsukimiya) who is a priestess for the shrine of Daimajin - a god who is sealed under the large stone statue located in a near by mountain. Kogenta seeks refuge under her, and together they decide to hide Kozasa, and Tadafumi in that mountain. 10 years later, people of their country are suffering under the oppressive regime of Samanosuke. There is now a guerrilla force that is attempting to regain control of the country by the Hanabusa clan. Tadafumi (Yoshihiko Aoyama), now grown up is planning to overthrow the regime of Samanosuke. One day Kogenta is captured by Samanosuke's men. They now suspect that Tadafumi is alive, and waits for him to show up to rescue Kogenta. Tadafumi in an attempt to rescue Kogenta is himself captured, and is scheduled for execution. Shinobu goes to see Samanosuke to convince him to release Kogenta and Tadafumi, warning him that he will incur wrath of Daimajin unless he changes his evil ways, but instead she is cut down by Samanosuke. Samanosuke now decides to destroy the statue of Daimajin to prove that there is no such thing as wrath of god, but unfortunately for him, Shinobu's words comes true for him. Samanosuke's men tries to destroy the stone statue by driving a spike through its head. The stone statue starts to bleed and Samanosuke's henchmen are frightened out of their wits. There're now stormy clouds that is conjured by the Daimajin as it comes alive and he is now coming after Samanosuke. It's a bad day for the bad guys from that point on.

This is a story about a fictitious folklore in the feudal age Japan coming to life. Ironically Daimajin himself has become somewhat of a lore in Japan making cameo appearance in comics, and other places. This is the seminal movie that started it all. Quality is very good as Daiei studio had much experience making samurai movies, and also worked on the Gamera series monster movies. It is a movie made mostly for the younger audience, but entertaining for the adults as well.

Good entertainment from the '60s Japan that is still worth watching, and a classic in its own right.
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9/10
A Samurai Epic with a Sci-Fi Touch.
OllieSuave-00713 June 2007
This movie was made by Daiei Studios, known for its Gamera movies. It is about a samurai lord who was murdered by one of his own men. He claims his throne, forcing his predecessor's two children to flee into the woods, where they conceal themselves near a huge stone statue for 10 years. Years later, the samurai lord was proved to be very brutal and ruthless towards the villagers; therefore, they pray to the demon god to ask for his powers and spirit to save them from this treachery.

It's a powerful story of survival and hope and good vs.evil - full of excitement and samurai action. I especially liked the part where the children struggles to remain in hiding as the evil warlord searching for them.

A fast-paced film that will have you glued to the screen.

Grade A
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9/10
What a movie should be...
mido50515 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When the noble Hanabusa clan is decimated by the usurping Samanosuke clan, loyal retainer Kogenta (Jun Fujimaki) escapes with his lord's eight year old son, Tadafumi, and his daughter, Kozasa. They are sheltered by the priestess Shinobu (Otome Tsukimiya), who serves the Hanabusa clan's god, Majin, a vengeful spirit imprisoned in the giant stature carved into the side of a local mountain. Ten years later, Kogenta and Tadafumi (Yoshihiko Aoyama) seek vengeance against Lord Samanosuke (Yutaro Gomi), but are captured in the attempt, and sentenced to die. Priestess Shinobu, desperately attempting to save her master, threatens Samanosuke with the god's displeasure, only to be slashed to death for her efforts. Samanosuke, a vain, cruel, narrow man, orders Majin's statue to be destroyed, in order to crush any last vestiges of hope among the remaining Hanabusa loyalists. But the god Majin, who hitherto has been implacably silent, has other ideas...

Daimajin is an enthralling, timeless, deeply moving fairy tale. Lavishly produced on a respectable budget, it is a film about values: the values of nobility, of justice, of decency, of loyalty, of self sacrifice, and of love. It is about hierarchy, and rule, and of the consequences of failing to live up to the responsibility that rule entails. These are things that are not talked about much in our demotic times, except by scribbling toads like William Bennet, but are nonetheless relevant, and Daimajin shows us why.

Daimajin is a perfect example of why Japanese cinema is so glorious. The values listed above have palpable relevance for those involved in this film, as they do for many a Japanese filmmaker. There is no lip service, no condescension, no irony here. Instead, there is an authentic effort to conjure a world where these values can once again have life, and to show what happens when they fall into abeyance. Just compare Daimajin, or the Lone Wolf and Cub series, or any Kurosawa film to the egregious Tarantino's nihilistic Kill Bill b*llshit, to see what I mean.

In a film whose contributing talent is so uniformly excellent, I would merely like to point out master Akira Ifikuba's majestic score, the talent and beauty of actors Jun Fujimaki, Yoshihiko Aoyama, and Miwi Takada; and the stunning portrayal by Otome Tsukimiya. Her death scene is one of the most moving and meaningful that I have ever witnessed.
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