1966 • Japan • Directed by Kenji Misumi
On the shores of the mystical Lake Yakumo sit three villages. The despotic Lord Danjo Mikoshiba (Takashi Kanda) has his eye on the fertile lands of the peaceful Chigusa clan, and takes the opportunity to invade during a ceremony marking the passing of Lord Chigusa. His cruel actions force the new young lord of the clan, Juro (Kо̄jirо̄ Hongо̄) into hiding among their neighboring allies, the Nagoshi. With the Nagoshi also under threat from Mikoshiba, Juro’s bride-to-be Sayuri (Shiho Fujimura) prays to the towering stone idol situated on the island in the middle of the lake, but Mikoshiba, fearing warnings of retribution for his evil acts from the ancient god Daimajin, orders his men to destroy it, an unspeakable act that cannot go unpunished. Director Kenji Misumi directs the action scenes of the second Daimajin film with the customary stylistic flourish he brought to Japan’s first 70mm production, the religious epic Buddha (1961), and his entries in legendary sword-fighting sagas such as Tale of Zatoichi (1962) and Lone Wolf and Cub (1972-74) series, while the special effects sequences devised by Yoshiyuki Kuroda are as breathtaking as ever.