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Spook Warfare aka The Great Yokai War on DVD

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The struggle for the soul of one, and the fate of many.

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A zucchini-headed vampire from Europe comes to Japan, kills and then possesses the body of a good and noble lord. The local demons aren't too pleased by the idea of a foreigner moving in on their territory and decide to battle the monster. Thus, a horde of boogeymen assemble - a water demon who looks like a flatheaded Woody Woodpecker, a woman with two faces; one lovely and one hideous, a demonic umbrella with a tongue that Gene Simmons would envy, a tiny little dude with a round head who bears a freaky resemblance to Aunt Jemima and a woman with a deadly python-like neck. As the vampire claims more victims and literally begins to reproduce himself, the villagers and the demons band together and go to war.

This is a hilariously funny and visually beautiful film. The special effects are outstanding, considering the year was 1968. Simple camera tricks turn the battle at films end (and the ensuing victory "parade' of the Japanese ghosts and demons) into something resembling a weird ballet as transparent ghouls and projected monsters jump, spin, fly and fight in slow motion. Despite some unexpected (and hysterical) light expletives and a few splashes of ketchup-y blood, this is a great film for kids as well as adults. It's really very funny, oddly sweet and a lot of fun. HIGHLY recommended!

1968, Japanese with optional English Subtitles, color, 16:9 widescreen, 80 minutes, Region 0

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Spook Warfare aka The Great Yokai War on DVD

The struggle for the soul of one, and the fate of many.

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