“The Great Yokai War” (Yôkai daisensô, 2005), the sixty-fourth of the seventy productions from 46-year-old Japanese genre mixmaster Takashi Miike (“Audition,” “Gozu,” “Ichii the Killer”), goes all Peter Jackson (and more), a sometimes-musical children’s fantasy about demons and sprites in a mountain village, that may or may not be inventing its own folklore as it goes along, following a young boy recruited to be a savior of the world, and much dialogue along the lines of, “”Adzuki beans grow in love and peace.” (Which somehow makes more sense to me than most of the verbiage in the “Lord of the Rings” movies.) More wacked-out Wonka or Miyazaki than Miike’s usual slapdash (if effective) horror, the extremely silly “The Great Yokai War” is like Pokemon in a Lewis Carroll madhouse, and the haberdashery is fine. 124m. (Ray Pride)
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.