The Daimajin Trilogy saw Daiei’s Kyoto studios bringing its own iconic movie monster to life in a unique but short-lived series that transplants the Golem legend to Japan’s Warring States period of the late-16th century.
In Daimajin, directed by Kimiyoshi Yasuda (Yokai Monsters, Zatoichi on the Road), the young son and daughter of the benevolent feudal lord Hanabusa flee to the mountains when their parents are slain by the treacherous usurper Odate. Ten years later, when the elderly priestess who has harboured them is also murdered, the rage of the slumbering ancient god that lies beneath the crumbling giant stone idol hidden deep in the forests in the mountains is invoked.
In Return of Daimajin, Kenji Misumi (Tale of Zatoichi, Lone Wolf and Cub) brings his usual stylistic flourish, as the wrathful deity is roused from his new home on an island in the middle of a lake by the violent incursions of a vicious warlord.
In the final film, Wrath of Daimajin, by veteran jidaigeki director Kazuo Mori, four young boys make a perilous trip to elicit the help of the ancient mountain god in freeing their family members who have been enslaved by a tyrannical lord.
Remarkably overlooked in the West, these three thrilling tales of feudal oppression and divine retribution meted out by the iconic stone warrior of the title combine lavish period detail with jaw-dropping special effects.