YOKAI MONSTERS: 100 MONSTERS (1968)
aka Yokai hyaku monogatari
Article 4397 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Featuring Shinobu Araki, Jun Fujimaki, Ryutaro Gomi
What it is: Monster mayhem
A corrupt magistrate plans to tear down a shrine and some tenements to build a brothel, much to the anger of the residents of a village. However, when the magistrate refuses to take part in a curse eliminating ritual, he opens himself up to supernatural revenge…
This is the second of a loose trilogy of movies known as Yokai Monsters; I’ve already seen the last one, ALONG WITH GHOSTS. The title is a bit of a cheat; though it does have quite an assortment of monsters (most prominently a two-armed one-legged umbrella monster), I think it falls quite a ways short of a hundred. Even more to the point, the vast majority of the monsters only take part in a short melee scene and a final march sequence. In fact, most of the movie seems to be about the machinations of the magistrate which are intended to show just how corrupt and evil he is. When you get down to it, the main thrust of the plot is very ordinary, and though we get two ghost stories, a couple of attack sequences, a scene where the village idiot encounters the umbrella monster, and the aforementioned march, the movie seems somewhat short on monster action. So you can count me as being somewhat disappointed by this one; the monsters (when they show up) are weird and fun, and I’d just like to see a lot more of them and less of the humans. After all, with a title like this, the movie should be able to conjure up a new monster every minute or so.