Thanks, Japan!In 1985, Daicon Film made their most ambitious project. A parodic tokusatsu fan film directed by Takami Akai starring the daikaijū known as Orochi.


original title: 八岐之大蛇の逆襲
(Yamata no Orochi no Gyakushuu)
Japan, 1985, Takami Akai


The film opens on two scientists waiting on a train. The film is entirely shot on 16mm film and looks it. The lighting is non-existent, mostly relying on natural lighting. A good looking woman, who they are there to meet, gets off the train. The two men look like hardcore nerds rather than scientists, but that’s what they are so at least they are playing to type. The terrible dubbing is instantly noticeable. The film is in Japanese but out of sync, and in one moment a scientist is shaking his head and the dub has him saying “No, no, no”. I knew at that very moment that I had hit pay-dirt.

Daicon Film was set up by a group of fans to make shorts of films that they loved. Ultraman Returns and the like. I was surprised to discover that company became Gainax! For all of you who are not familiar with the company, they produced anime series such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL, and Gurren Lagann (all personal favorites of mine), and worked on Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. For me they are pretty much the HBO of anime and could not believe they started from such humble shoddy beginnings.

Another wonderful homage to kaiju and mech movies: Gurren Lagann

Another wonderful homage to kaijū and mech movies: Gurren Lagann

There is pretty much no plot to speak of. This woman, whoever she is, is interested in some etched tablet with some ancient writings on it. The scientists explain to her the legend of Orochi, the 8-headed serpent monster. Whilst finding the place where the beast slumbers, they happen upon a group of filmmakers making some bogus monster documentary. The two scientists and woman leave the filmmakers, and go to find Orochi, putting the tablet neatly into a space in a rock-face. The woman disappears into nothingness in a flash of lightning and that’s when the fun begins.

Suffice to say, this film is littered with absolute nobodies but the effects are actually painstakingly crafted. The effects director, Shinji Higuchi, went on to work on the 90s Gamera trilogy. The kaijū looks great and the sets are quite detailed, considering the almost non-existent budget.

Now this is a party!

Now this is a party!

The woman magically reappears in a shiny party hat, strapped to a chair seemingly inside the monster. White pom-poms hang around her to give it that extra sci-fi look. Staring at her are the most retarded looking (and acting) frog-aliens I have ever seen. Of course their mouths don’t move when they talk. They stare blankly at her and explain their cause: to, well, destroy the planet. They have been down there waiting for 2000 years for someone to revive their mechanical creation. In the making of documentary they are fantastically credited as: Invader from Outer Space “OROCHIMAKERS” as MULTI OPERATED SPACE FROG.

With the coolest cats in town!

With the coolest cats in town!

Whenever the girl moves, so does Orochi, but for some reason the computer is intuitive and the aliens can control it too. Enter the army which is basically 8 guys in army surplus uniforms and a lot of stock footage. The tanks come in and seek to destroy the monster. Of course it is in vain, for a while. They start to make head way, innocently the aliens proclaim, “Well, there wasn’t anything like this 2000 years ago”. Dude, you come from a technologically advanced race who created this– NO, KEN! Don’t go looking for ANY logic in this movie!

The woman actually gets used to destroying everything in her path, causing trillions of yens worth of destruction and probably slaughtering a plethora of innocent people. Very nonchalantly she says, “I don’t want to do this”. By the end of the movie she is rooting for the bloody mentally challenged aliens! There is a fantastic scene where a tank, containing the film’s only iconic looking actor, destroys a shopping area for no reason whatsoever.

At the end of the movie the Orochi is destroyed and the aliens fuck off back to their home planet. So there was no reason to stay inside of the bloody thing for 2000 years and leave their ho– KEN! What did I tell you? Do you want to be put back in the naughty box?!

I did absolutely have the best time watching this movie. I was laughing start to finish and kind of admired the loving craftsmanship that went into the making of the sets and the constant explosions. In the making of, after any explosion all the crew would run out and stomp the fire to death. No need for anything fancy like a fire extinguisher.

Unfortunately, there is no subtitled version but, by god, none are needed. Its almost Ed-Woodian hilarity is enough to melt even the coldest of hearts. LONG LIVE OROCHI!!!


Orochi Strikes Again sadly does not have a release on DVD. The whole film can be found on YouTube, (appropriately) split into 8 parts. Just search for this: 八岐之大蛇の逆襲.