Yokai / n. pl. Bizarre-looking monsters and supernatural beings from Japanese folklore who like to play tricks on unsuspecting humans.
Eight-year-old Tadashi, a meek schoolboy from a broken family, finds himself leading an epic quest when he is chosen as the next Kirin Rider at an annual festival and the previously invisible world of the Yokai reveals itself to him.
Gleefully stealing from cult fantasy films such as The NeverEnding Story, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, The Great Yokai War takes a decidedly Japanese spin on children's fantasy, creating a world both dreamlike and dark and full of bizarre monsters. Signalling, once again, a departure for filmmaker Miike Takashi whose usual fare consists of the exploration of very adult taboos, The Great Yokai War is at its heart a fun family film with a twisted imagination.
“The film's hallucinatory, deranged fantasy is reminiscent of H.R. Pufnstuf - but for the spurting bodily fluids and mechanised robots with chainsaw arms that threaten little children.” - Toronto International Film Festival
D Miike Takashi P Funio Inoue Dist Siren Visual Entertainment
L Japanese w/English subtitles TD DVD/2005/124mins
Miike Takashi was born in Yao, Japan, in 1960. His films include Audition (MIFF 2000), Izo (MIFF 2005) and Big Bang Love: Juvenile A (MIFF 2006).