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The last thing anyone expected from Miike was a kids’ movie, but with The Great Yokai War he gave audiences a Lord of the Rings-sized epic kiddie flick that blows the competition out of the water and returned him to the front ranks of Japanese directors. In Miike’s perverse delight for all ages, a boy must retrieve a magic sword to end the war between funkalicious demons (the yokai) and the forces of technology. The flick kicks off in true family film fashion with a nightmare vision of a post-apocalyptic Tokyo, a slinky female demoness (played by Chiaki Kuriyama of Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Battle Royale) in a short skirt and wielding a whip, and then the birth of a goo-covered, flayed, screeching cow fetus who prophesizes the apocalypse. It’s a miracle kids in Japan can sleep at all. Based on the colossally huge manga and anime series GeGeGe no Kitaro, created by artist Shigeru Mizuki, and a kinda-sorta remake of a trio of yokai movies released by Daiei in the late 1960s, Miike’s The Great Yokai War is the kind of monster movie where the real monsters are the human beings, and the more disgusting a creature looks, the more loveable it turns out to be. Co-presentation with Movies for Kids.