Posted by: Ken Hulsey on May 12th, 2010
Written By: Ken Hulsey
Sources: Fangoria / Media Blasters
From: Godzilla 2012
Media Blasters has just released the movie poster for Tomoo Haraguchi’s Japanese giant monster epic, “Death Kappa.”
The film, which is a co-production between the video distributor and Haraguchi’s Fever Dreams production company, is set to make it’s debut at the Cannes Film Festival, later this week. At this time the exact date and time of that premiere has not been released.
Media Blasters has also announced that the DVD release date for “Death Kappa”, here in America, has been pushed back from May 25th to July 27th.
Here is the film’s synopsis, courtesy of Norman England:
The storyline revolves around failed pop star Kanako, who returns to her hometown to live with her beloved grandmother. Yet no sooner does she return home than a pair of crazed couples out on a drinking binge run over and kill her grandma. With the old woman gone, Kanako takes to running the family shrine, but to make matters worse, the drunken killers managed to disturb that structure—which is the keeper of kappa, one of Japan’s many yokai creatures, in this case a benevolent, human-like turtle. Resurrected, the kappa is welcomed into town by the villagers.
Meanwhile, unknown to anyone in town, Yuriko, the granddaughter of a long-dead mad scientist, has chosen to continue her ancestor’s twisted experiments. Funded by Japanese nationalists seeking to bring the country back to military prominence, Yuriko works to complete his quest to develop a half-human/half-fish super-soldier. All hell breaks loose when Yuriko’s plans are thwarted, and she detonates an atomic weapon that causes both the kappa and one of the gill men to grow to monster-sized proportions. It is at this point that the showdown begins between the enlarged gill man, known now as Hangyoras, and Death Kappa.
Here is some history on the Kappa of Japanese folklore (From Wikipedia):
Kappa (“river-child”), alternately called Kawatarō ( “river-boy”) or Kawako (river-child”), are legendary creatures, a type of water sprite found in Japanese folklore. In Shintō they are considered to be one of many suijin. A hair-covered variation of a Kappa is called a Hyōsube .
Most depictions show kappa as child-sized humanoids, though their bodies are often more like those of monkeys or frogs than human beings. Some descriptions say their faces are apelike, while others show them with beaked visages more like those of tortoises or with duck beaks. Pictures usually show kappa with thick shells and scaly skin that ranges in color from green to yellow or blue.
Kappa supposedly inhabit the ponds and rivers of Japan and have various features to aid them in this environment, such as webbed hands and feet. They are sometimes even said to smell like fish, and they can certainly swim like them. The expression kappa-no-kawa-nagare (“a kappa drowning in a river”) conveys the idea that even experts make mistakes.
More on the “Death Kappa” premiere at Cannes will be available shortly, so stay tuned!