“A demon’s life is extended by drinking the living blood of humans.”

In Iraq a vampire demon called Daimon is released from his prison by two tomb robbers. The evil demon travels across the world in the form of a storm and ends up in Japan. He possesses the body of a local magistrate Hyogo Isobe (Takashi Kanda). Daimon orders that the household shrines be destroyed and burned. The household is perplexed by the sudden change in the magistrate, especially his daughter Chie (Akane Kawasaki). Daimon then changes the magistrate’s lieutenant into a vampire slave.

Kappa the water imp (Gen Kimura) lives in the magistrate’s pond. He sees through the demon’s disguise and confronts him. Daimon tosses Kappa out thus leaving the turtle imp without a home. Kappa goes into the forest to try to get the other Yokai to help him fight the demon. At first Kappa can’t convince the other Yokai that the demon is real. Kappa’s description of the monster doesn’t fit with any of the known Yokai. Since Daimon is a Babylonian spirit, he is not in the book of Japanese spirits.

Chie expresses her concern to Shinpachiro Mayama (Yoshihiko Aoyama), one of the magistrate’s samurai. He tells her he will investigate. Shinpachiro asks a priest for help. The priest tries to destroy Daimon but ends up being killed.

Soon Daimon is attacking and drinking the blood of the house servants. After awhile he finds that servant blood is boring. He would like some younger blood. He goes out to the village with his minions to acquire children. Two children manage to escape and head into the forest. They come upon a monster shrine. They enter and ask the monsters for help. The children and Kappa convince the other monsters that the demon does indeed exist. The Yokai agree that they need to rid the land of this outsider that drinks the blood of humans.

“Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare” was released in 1968 and was directed by Yoshiyuki Kuroda. It is the second of three Yokai movies done in 1968 and 1969. A Yokai is Japanese spirit ghost or monster. The movie is noted as the better known of the three movies, which I couldn’t attest to having never heard of any of them until I tripped over them. They are supposed to be children’s stories but none of them would get a “G” rating in the US. Of course Grimm’s fairy tales are just as bad so go figure.

The other two movies in the series are “Yokai Monsters: One Hundred Monsters” released in March of 1968 and “Yokai Monsters: Along With Ghosts” released in March 1969. The films were produced by Daiei Film. The monsters, for the most part, are either puppets or “guys in suits”.

In 2005, director Takashi Miike released “The Great Yokai War”, a modern retelling of the story which borrows many elements from “Spook Warfare”.

As with “100 Ghosts” the movie is in Japanese with very liberal English subtitles. One of the differences between “Spook Warfare” and “100 Ghosts” is that the spirits in “Spook Warfare” take a more prominent role in the movie. They are basically the heroes of the story. They may appear to be playful ghosts or spirits, and some of them are, but some are not to be messed with if every encountered.