Wrath of Daimajin (1966)
Wrath of Daimajin (大魔神逆襲 is a Daimajin Gyakushū, lit. "Daimajin Counterattacks")1966 tokusatsu kaiju film directed by Kazuo Mori and written by Tetsuro Yoshida, with special effects by Yoshiyuki Kuroda. Produced by Daiei Kyoto Studio, it is the third and final entry in the Daimajin trilogy. It stars Hideki Ninomiya, Masahide Iizuka, Shinji Hori, Muneyuki Nagatomo, Toru Abe, and Takashi Nakamura. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Daiei on December 10, 1966.
During the winter months, a village flees the wrath of the angry god Daimajin, who eventually settles down. Later on, a woodcutter named Sampei stumbles home after escaping enslavement in Hell's Valley with the rest of the men from his village, and tells the remaining villagers of his escape through Majin's Mountain. Desperate to get their fathers and brothers back, three boys from the village, Tsuruchiki, Kinta, and Daisaku mount an expedition through Majin's Mountain to Hell's Valley to rescue them. At the entrance to the road through Majin's Mountain, they are turned away by an old woman who lives in the area who tells them they will be punished by the vengeful god on the mountain for going through. They wait for her to leave, but discover that they were followed by Tsuruchiki's younger brother Sugitatsu. They begrudgingly decide that it is too far to send him back alone, and allow him to join their journey.
In Hell's Valley, on discovering that a worker had escaped through Majin's Mountain, Daizen Matsunaga sends three warriors into the mountain to find him. When his lord Arakawa returns, he informs him that his plan to build a base in Hell's Valley and make gunpowder from the sulfur springs would take two more days to finish construction, making the workers nervous about their fates. After tumbling down a sheer mountain wall in a rock slide, the boys discover a hawk in a tree, which the old woman had told them was a messenger of Daimajin. The boys then opt to take the mountain path rather than attempt to climb again, and come to the statue of the vengeful god. Tsuruchiki begins to pray to it, as do the others, and they continue down the road until they encounter samurai sent by Lord Arakawa.
They narrowly escape, and Daisaku's brother Shohachi, one of the slave workers in Hell's Valley resolves to go to their Lord for help. On his way out, he is captured and thrown into the sulfur pits as punishment. The boys then encounter the samurai again, and Sugitatsu steals their food. Elsewhere, one of the boys' mothers and her group of villagers are approached by a group of men from their lord's castle to search for the missing men on her journey to Hell's Valley after Sampei died. The boys then attempt to raft down the river to Hell's Valley, but their raft breaks and Kinta is swept away. The remaining boys then spend the night in a rotting tree, and in the night a snowstorm hits.
After a sleepless night and a day of walking they collapse from exhaustion and are found by the samurai, who attack them and are in turn attacked by a hawk. The villagers then come to the statue of Daimajin, who begins to awaken after one of the samurai shot one of his hawks during their battle. Daimajin then begins to bleed, and changes form as Tsuruchiki begs him to pardon Daisaku and Kinta, who had frozen to death, and offers his life in exchange. Daimajin then teleports to where Tsuruchiki had fallen in and lays him on a rock where the reawakened Kinta and Daisaku were waiting. The hawk is also restored to life. Just as Lord Arakawa prepares to dump his slave laborers into the sulfur pit, Daimajin breaks through the valley walls and begins his march to Arakawa. Arakawa sends his men to attack, and tries to immobilize Daimajin by dumping logs on him, but he begins to throw the logs at the soldiers. Daimajin then destroys the gunpowder factory and overturns the vats of sulfur, which ignite. Daimajin chases Arakawa and stabs him with his sword. After reuniting with the woodsmen, all the villagers kneel and pray to Daimajin. He then turns back into a snow-covered statue and dissipates into a snow flurry.
- Main article: Wrath of Daimajin/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Kazuo Mori
- Written by Tetsuro Yoshida
- Produced by Masaichi Nagata, Hisashi Okuda
- Music by Akira Ifukube
- Cinematography by Hiroshi Imai, Fujio Morita
- Edited by Toshio Taniguchi
- Assistant directors Hitoshi Oozu, Atsuhiko Katsuro
- Director of special effects Yoshiyuki Kuroda
- Main article: Wrath of Daimajin/Credits.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Hideki Ninomiya as Tsuruchiki
- Masahide Iizuka as Kinta
- Shinji Hori as Daisaku
- Muneyuki Nagatomo as Sugitatsu
- Toru Abe as Hidanokami Arakawa
- Takashi Nakamura as Sanpei
- Hiroshi Nawa as Daizen Matsunaga
- Tanie Kitabayashi as Old Woman Kane
- Junichiro Yamashita as Shohachi
- Chikara Hashimoto
- Manabu Morita
- Kazue Tamaoki
- Yuzo Hayakawa as Yoshibei
- Yuji Hamada
- Chikara Hashimoto as Daimajin
- Yukio Horikita as Yada
- Sumao Ishihara
- Takeshi Yabuuchi
- Shouzo Nanbu
- Sojo Shibata
- Yutaro Ban
- Kazuo Moriuchi
- Kanji Uehara
- Yoshitaka Ito
- Akira Kominami
- Masayoshi Kikuno
- Masako Tomura
- Manabu Morita as Toma Kuroki
- Main article: Wrath of Daimajin/Gallery.
- Main article: Wrath of Daimajin (Soundtrack).
- Daimajin Counterattacks (literal Japanese title)
- Majin Strikes Again (original international title)
- Mountain God Strikes Again (Singapore)
- Return of Daimajin (initial United States home video title)
- Daimajin Strikes Again (initial United States Blu-ray title)
- Region: 1
- Discs: 3
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono)
- Special features: Trailers
- Notes: Out of print. Packaged with Daimajin and Return of Daimajin. Reissued as a single disc in 2005.
Mill Creek Blu-ray (2012) [Daimajin Triple Feature]
- Region: N/A
- Discs: 2
- Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
- Special features: Trailers for all three Daimajin films, interviews with cinematographer Fujio Morita on the making of each film (28, 31, and 28 minutes).
- Notes: Out of print. Packaged with Daimajin and Return of Daimajin (with the third film titled here Daimajin Strikes Again).
- Region: A or B
- Discs: 3
- Audio: Japanese and English (Mono)
- Subtitles: English
- Special features: 100-page book with essays by Jonathan Clements, Keith Aiken, Ed Godziszewski, Raffael Coronelli, Erik Homenick, Robin Gatto, and Kevin Derendorf; audio commentaries by Stuart Galbraith IV (Daimajin), Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp (Return of Daimajin), and Jonathan Clements (Wrath of Daimajin); Daimajin introduction by Kim Newman; "Bringing the Avenging God to Life" video essay about the trilogy's special effects by Ed Godziszewski; AITV opening credits for Majin, the Monster of Terror and Return of Giant Majin; "My Summer Holidays with Daimajin" interview with Professor Yoneo Ota about the trilogy's production; "From Storyboard to Screen: Bringing Return of Daimajin to Life" comparison of storyboards and scenes from the finished film; interview with cinematographer Fujio Mori; Japanese and U.S. trailers for all three films (with the exception of a U.S. trailer for Wrath of Daimajin); image galleries; postcards
- Region: A
- Discs: 7
- Audio: Japanese (2.0)
- Subtitles: Unknown
- Special features: Reproduction of the Return of Daimajin shooting script; interviews with cinematographer Fujio Mori, Daimajin suit actor Chikara Hashimoto, composer Akira Ifukube, special effects director Yoshiyuki Kuroda, cinematographer Fujio Morita, and director Tomoo Haraguchi; storyboard reproductions; still gallery; theatrical trailers
- Notes: Uses a new 4K transfer. Packaged with Daimajin and Return of Daimajin.
- Wrath of Daimajin was the only film in the Daimajin trilogy not to be released in the U.S. by American International Television.
- It was also not dubbed into English until 2012, 46 years after its original Japanese release.
- A.D. Vision's 1998 VHS and 2002 DVD releases accidentally swapped the titles of Return of Daimajin and Wrath of Daimajin. This was corrected in its 2005 re-releases of the DVDs.
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