Return of the Giant Majin (1966)

aka Daimajin gyakkushu
Article 2525 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-3-2008
Posting Date: 7-11-2008
Directed by Kazuo Mori
Featuring Riki Hashimoto, Shinji Hori, Shiei Iizuki
Country: Japan

A festival in a lakeside village is interrupted by an invading warlord, who blows up their god Majin. However, that doesn’t mean that Majin is dead…

There are moments during the first sixty minutes of this movie where I wondered why I was bothering; after all, I’ve seen the other two Majin movies, and all three of them follow the same plot. Basically, the first sixty minutes of the movie is an exercise at seeing how bad things can get for the villagers until Majin finally goes on his rampage. This is perhaps the weakest of the three movies in this regard; I found the story very confusing during this segment. But then, Majin rises and wreaks his vengeance, and you know why you bothered; Majin remains one of the most impressive giant monsters of all time, an invincible force of deliberate implacable vengeance, and his every reverberating footstep sends chills down your spine. Whatever flaws plague the first sixty minutes, the magnificent climax more than makes up for it. Quite frankly, I’m surprised that no one has bothered to resurrect Majin in recent years, though it may be because he is far less well known than Godzilla or Gamera. I still think Majin’s theme music has more than a passing resemblance to Godzilla’s theme, which is no doubt a deliberate move on Akira Ifukube’s part, as he composed both pieces of music. Still, if any monster has earned the right to cop the Godzilla theme, Majin has.



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