Saturday, April 02, 2005


If you've seen the wonderful film Amelie, you'll remember that the incident that began her adventures involved finding another person's childhood treasure trove and anonymously returning it to them. The individual who suddenly and unexpectedly received back his long-forgotten storehouse of treasures was deeply touched by the chords struck by the revivication of memories long ago lost and forgotton.

I had a similar experience recently after I found the movie Daimajin. I had a vague memory of a film I had seen as a kid during the 'creature double-feature': two movies shown back to back on Saturdays on a local tv station featuring all the schlock horror classics and Japanese rubbersuit monster movies. I could only remember that one movie -- or set of movies -- featured a very grim statue that would come to life and wreck vengeance on some really bad dudes. The movies stood out because they were not shot in the typical rubbersuit camp style. They were very serious and -- as I recalled -- very scary for an adolescent, both due to the skillful treatment of the themes and the violence depicted.

Not that the violence comes close to anything you can see now, but it was set in a context that dramatized the shocking nature of it rather than merely desensitizing you to it, a la Friday the 13th etc. I think they also resonated with the whole childhood experience of injustice and 'blind justice' endured by the innocent peasantry as well as the feeling of being stalked by a much larger, more powerful being -- just as the baddies are by the statue.

Well, I didn't know the name or even the year that the movies were made. However, after an exhaustive Internet search I found this review at Video Wilderness (an interesting site in its own right), which confirmed my sketchy memories. The review also provided me with the key necessary for renting the movie, the movie's name: Daimajin. Thanks to the wonders of Netflix (the best thing to happen to movies since DVDs) I was able to rent them. They were everything I remembered and more -- a strange cross between monster flick, samurai drama with perhaps a dash of art film tossed in. Here are some more reviews to give you an idea. Enjoy!