Monday, March 1, 2010

Majin of the Week


OK, not really a monster, but since AIP-TV deigned to name him that, I think we can go along with it, plus it's a nice change of pace.
three Majin movies were made in 1966, and all are very enjoyable.  they are often called a "trilogy" but there it's not really a true story arc. 

only the first two made it over to US TV, which I was fortunate to see growing up on KWGN Channel 2.    no one really knows why the third one never got dubbed and released, though many theories abound.

I had no idea what Majin would end up being, since in the early 70s there was no easily accessed information.  I just knew it was a Japanese movie.  it was a nice surprise to get a chanbara, which ended with a giant stone statue coming to life!

all three movies follow the same formula, villagers are oppressed by wicked ruler/usurper/warlord for 65 minutes.  the villains mock their belief they will be avenged and eventually a hero/heroine shows up and leads the workers in a revolt and then Majin shows up and stomps the villains but good.

the effects in all three movies are marvelous, right alongside any given Godzilla movie of the period.  the smaller scale of the giant Majin really helps, as does the photography.

this final shot is from the second movie, Return of the Giant Majin and is just as good as the water parting scene in The Ten Commandments (1956).

in the first movie (OK, I'll admit it, I've rarely watched the subtitled version, so it may be explained there) the villagers have a shrine which they pray to "Shino" to keep Majin locked up and them safe. it's interesting that it's Majin that saves them, then.  if anyone can help me out here, I'd appreciate it!

No comments: