Daimajin Trilogy Coming to US Blu-ray
Author: Keith Aiken
Source: Golden Media Group, Tower PR
Special Thanks to Roy McAree and Amy Gorton
A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
The North American sales agent for Kadokawa Pictures has revealed that the classic Daimajin monster movie series has been licensed to distributor Mill Creek Entertainment for a home video release in 2011.
The Daiei Motion Picture Co. released all three films— MAJIN (大魔神, Daimajin), RETURN OF MAJIN (大魔神怒る, Daimajin Ikaru), and MAJIN STRIKES AGAIN (大魔神逆襲, Daimajin Gyakushu)— in 1966. But unlike the studio’s Gamera franchise, the Daimajin series were period films set during Japan’s Sengoku (Warring States) period, and combined elements of the kaiju eiga (monster movie) genre with Daiei’s extremely popular jidai-geki (period stories) and chanbara (sword-fighting) films. These movies each followed a similar pattern; telling the story of a giant statue of Daimajin (the name roughly meaning “Great Angry God”) that would come to life in times of need to punish evildoers.
In 2002, Daiei was purchased by Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd., who merged the studio with their own film division to form the new Kadokawa Pictures. in 2010, Kadokawa produced DAIMAJIN KANON (大魔神カノン), a 26 episode television series about an updated version of the character.
Not long after initially playing Japanese theaters, the first two Daimajin films were sold to American International Pictures and syndicated directly to US television as MAJIN, THE MONSTER OF TERROR and THE RETURN OF THE GIANT MAJIN. The final film in the series was not commercially available in the United States until 1999, when ADV Films licensed all three movies and released them on VHS (and later, DVD). ADV confused the order and titles of the films, naming the second movie WRATH OF DAIMAJIN and the third RETURN OF DAIMAJIN.
With ADV’s rights now expired, Kadokawa was able to offer the films once again for US distribution. The license went to Mill Creek, the budget label who has already released a Blu-ray double feature of GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE and GAMERA 2: ATTACK OF LEGION. Details have not been finalized at this point, but tentative plans call for the first two Daimajin films to released together as a Blu-ray double feature. Both movies will come with Japanese audio (with English subtitles) plus the English dub tracks from AIP’s original US release. The third movie was never dubbed in English so it will be released separately at a later date with Japanese audio and English subs.
Mill Creek has not yet announced on-sale dates for the Daimajin Blu-rays or their remaining Gamera title, GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS.
For more information on Daimajin please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:
- Daiei’s Idol of Terror: DAIMAJIN, THE AVENGING GOD
- A Double Dose of Takashi Miike News
- Upcoming Products: SCI-FI REVOLTECH SERIES