(“100 Monster Stories”)
Production: Japan, 1968
Director: Yasuda Kimiyoshi
Category: Horror
One of the most bizarre Japanese films of the 60s, as a temple comes under siege by all the misshapen yokai (monsters) of Hell. The demons range from cute (one-eyed, one-legged umbrella-style prostitute monsters with 12-inch tongues) to borderline disturbing (beast-headed dwarfs bearing human skulls on sticks), and their procession is filmed in slow-motion with superimposed blazing fireballs. Some men are driven mad, lose their facial features, or commit suicide, and the whole onslaught is overlorded by the giant, floating face of a deformed she-demon. The yokai are based on the legendary Hyakki Yagyo (“The Hundred Demons’ Night Parade”) popularized in 1781 by the scholar and artist Toriyama Sekien, an exhaustive compendium of every known type of obake or bakemono – two terms which refer to any kind of supernatural being, including demons, monsters and ghosts. Producers Daiei followed Yokai Hyaku Monogatari with two related films: Yokai Daisenso (“Great Monster Wars”, 1968) and Tokaido Obake Dochu (“Monsters Traversing Tokaido Road”, 1969).

Posted by Lady Belladonna

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