Yokai Monsters: Along With Ghosts (1969)

YOKAI MONSTERS: ALONG WITH GHOSTS (1969)
aka Tokaido obaka dochu
Article 3268 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-31-2010
Posting Date: 7-26-2010
Directed by Yoshiyuki Kuroda and Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Featuring Kojiro Hongo, Pepe Hozumi, Masami Burukido
Country: Japan
What it is: Japanese ghost story

A gang of thugs ambushes a lord who carries an incriminating document; however, they kill the warlord on sacred ground, thus bringing a curse down on themselves. When the document escapes their grasp, it is seen in the possession of a young girl, who ends up under the protection of the samurai who followed the dead warlord. Between the samurai and the curse, the thugs have a difficult time of it…

This movie was apparently the third and last of a series called “Yokai monsters”; I’ve not seen the others, though I gather they had an assortment of monsters and ghosts that were pretty wild-looking. This is a fairly enjoyable Japanese ghost story; it’s somewhat milder than some of the others I’ve seen, though it does have a certain amount of violence and blood. The score is a little obnoxious at times, particularly in the opening scenes, but the scenes with the ghosts and monsters are fun, there’s a sequence involving magic dice that is quite effective, and it’s fairly moving when the little girl finally meets her father. Kojiro Hongo (who plays the samurai here) is a familiar face; he was in several Gamera movies as well as one of the Majin movies. All in all, this one was an enjoyable experience.

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