Yokai Monsters: 100 Monsters (1968) 720p

Movie Poster
Yokai Monsters: 100 Monsters (1968) - Movie Poster
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
Japanese 2.0  
Run Time:
80 min
IMDB Rating:
6.5 / 10 
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Directors: Kimiyoshi Yasuda [Director] ,

Movie Description:
The local y?kai (Japanese spirits) interfere to avenge a murder and thwart the plans of corrupt officials.


  • Yokai Monsters: 100 Monsters (1968) - Movie Scene 1
  • Yokai Monsters: 100 Monsters (1968) - Movie Scene 2
  • Yokai Monsters: 100 Monsters (1968) - Movie Scene 1

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Fairly equal amount of pros vs cons

Definitely a movie of quite noticeable ups and downs.

To start with the cons/get through the negatives first, it's a bit of a slog at times thanks to pacing issues, the story is unfocused, and there's not enough monster shenanigans.

The pros are that when the monsters do appear on screen, they're a lot of fun, and the effects are quite creative. It's also anti-landlord, which is always good to see, and there are a few very visually appealing and eerie shots here and there.

Plus, the final 15 minutes does admittedly go pretty hard. Just feels a little slow-going to get there at times.

Fun, with wonderful, but underutilized, special effects and creature design

100 MONSTERS?! What a great film title, bringing to mind one hundred yokai (traditional Japanese monsters and spirits) wreaking havoc on an Edo-period village. The real film doesn't quite live up to that promise, but it's a fun entry into the '60s Japanese popcorn horror canon.

As is the case in many Japanese flicks from this time, the bad guys are powerful landowners who push around the good guys and take their land, their women and even their lives. But after the lords fail to complete a ritual after a "hyaku monogatari" (monster story-telling) event, they are haunted and hunted down by bloodthirsty monsters.

I love yokai to death, so any cinematic representation is fun for me. And what monster action we get here is fittingly awesome; we get a long-necked woman (rokurokubi), long-tongued umbrella monsters (kasa-obake) and faceless humans (noppera-bo), all of which look fantastic. The special effects are surprisingly good and hold up perfectly after 50+ years. Whenever the creatures are the focus of the camera, the film is fun as hell.

The problem is they are not the focus very often. Instead, we're treated to a pretty basic "samurai vs. landlords" plot that proceeds in a rather cliche fashion. It makes for passable watching, but it's not too exciting and not what anybody started watching a movie called 100 MONSTERS for. This is to be expected from a budget flick from the '60s, but it does affect the enjoyment factor of the film.

Overall, though, it's an easy, fun watch with wonderful creature design and delightfully odd moments. Recommended for yokai fans or monster movie lovers, even if it won't become one of your favorites.

Strange and surreal Japanese horror-fantasy

Unscrupulous magistrate Tajimaya (Takashi Kanda) uses theft, coercion, violence, and ultimately murder to take over a tenement house and a shrine with the intent of tearing them down. He also uses his leverage to force ?kubi (Keiko Koyanagi), the beautiful daughter of the tenement's owner (Tatsuo Hanabu) to become his mistress. Tajimaya's actions and disrespect angers the local spirits, the Y?kai, and soon he and his minions find themselves cursed and harassed by monsters. The film, first in a Yokai trilogy from Daiei Film, is an imaginative fantasy with odd imagery (the 'umbrella monster' features prominently in the advertising) superimposed on a typical Japanese samurai adventure. The monsters (a mix of animation, puppets and costumes) are frequently quite bizarre. I am not familiar with Japanese folklore, but I gather that many of the diverse creatures represent traditional tropes (for example: the umbrella monster ('Kasa-obake') and the long-necked women (Rokurokubi). 'Yokai: 100 Monsters' ('Y?kai hyaku monogatari') is entertaining and offbeat (at least from a 'Western perspective'), and likely a good introduction to yet another fanciful Japanese film genre. Note: I watched an English-subtitled version that, judging from some of the idioms, seems to have been made several years after the original film was released.
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