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Garo and the Wailing Dragon
Film 牙狼〈GARO〉~蒼哭ノ魔竜~ (Garo and the Wailing Dragon)
Country Japan
Director Keita Amemiya
Year 2012
Cast Ryosei Konishi, Yuki Kubota, Keiko Matsuzaka
Details Colour 96 mins
A fantasy film about this heroic guy Kouga who makes a deal with a demon to protect mankind, only the demon sets him a quest to get a magical item from a magical land. If heroes didn't have quests where would we be?

There's a kind of plot in the film (to add a bit of complexity Kouga loses his sword and cloak and ring on entering the Land of Promise so he has to find those first before he can find the Fang of Sorrow). Kouga rescues a dame with blue skin, confronts an evil queen in a moving castle, and fights a dragon of darkness to save this magical land. So he's a little busy.

The star appeal of the film is in the fantasy setting which blends Jim Henson's "Labyrinth" with RPG wizardry with arcade games. The visuals are very imaginative, and playful - at times one could be watching "Lord of the Rings" by a Peter Jackson on a trip. That this is a Japanese film, and not knowing the Manga? the mythos has sprung from only adds to the bewilderment and fun as one watches. I like a feeling of gonzoidness.

There's a hint of more depth in the "Land of Promise" scenario - this is a place where "things" end up that humans have forgotten. The denizens of the "Land of Promise" are at risk of not only being destroyed but even their names being totally forgotten. Kouga gives a name to one entity who becomes a comic weirdo in the film.

Gonzoid fun.