The Brand-New Death Kappa Poster

Posted by: Monster Island News 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.

The DVD can be pre-ordered from for $19.99 here – Death Kappa (Ws Dub) and on Blu-ray for $22.49 here – Death Kappa – Blu-ray / DVD Combo

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!

See Also: In The Absence Of Godzilla, Japan Has Had A Real Giant Monster Boom!

About Monster Island News
Founder of the popular monster and sci-fi blogs Monster Island News and Godzilla 3D News and Information. Ken Hulsey began his writing career in 2000 when he founded a popular site with fans of Japanese sci fi/monster movies (Godzilla, Gamera and the like) and other B movies. In 2008, he closed down his original site and created the blog "Monster Island News" a showcase for classic horror/monster films and independent/alternative cinema.

5 Responses to “The Brand-New Death Kappa Poster”

  1. Kimble responds:

    Do they step on little tanks?!! I bet Death Kappa got nuthin’ on Gamara!

    As kids we loved watching “Godzilla Movies” Creature Double Feature on Channel 56 in Boston.

  2. mystery_man responds:

    Wow, this is amazing! I live in Japan myself and am well acquainted with various monster (or kaijuu) movies that they pump out here but I had never heard of this one before. It looks like pure genius.

    Putting aside the movie that obviously deviates from the traditional kappa, these cryptids are actually quite interesting to study about and the folklore surrounding them is sometimes as amusing as it is insane.

    Want to get the best of a kappa? Indulge them in a wrestling match (which they are prone to challenging travelers to do) and merely make sure you knock the water out of the cup on their head, from which they derive their power. Want to bribe one? Try cucumbers (their favorite food) or ply them with shiny objects. Have a broken bone? No problem. The kappa were said to be expert bone-setters. Odd for a creature that was alternatively described as benevolent bone-setters to mischievous imps, to downright scary monsters that would pull people under the water to their deaths and suck the organs from various orifices.

    Despite all of these folkloric elements, much like many cryptids worldwide that are similarly seeped in myth kappa are actually considered a legitimate cryptozoological phenomenon to those in the field over here.

    I suppose just as Americans have their ridiculous Bigfoot movies, so the Japanese have “Death Kappa.” I’ll have to check this out.

  3. skeptik responds:

    The movie’s also a tribute to fans of old style monster movies, includes no CGI or digital effects, just men in suits. Here’s a great intro by the creator from Twitch: Tomoo Haraguchi Introduces you to his Death Kappa

  4. onihunter responds:

    A studio wishing to compete with Toho’ s Godzilla movies came out with “Gappa, the Triphibian Monster” in 1967. The studio’s prveious efforts had been soft Japanese porn. Gappa bancrupted them, and it was their last film. (THank goodness) The monster strongly resembled the new Kappa. The story line was a rip off of the British Gorgo about daddy and mommy monsters seeking their baby taken by peolple.

    Gappa (yea, they got the name wrong in the first one)featured island natives, which were Japanese actors in black face and afro wigs.

    A rather bizarre yokai legend from Japan surrounds the kappa. There is as sushi called kappa sushi. It is made with cucumber. According to the old legend you would toss a cucumber into a body of water before swimming, crossing, or bathing to appease the monster. Otherwise the kappa would grab you and seize your liver via your. er, uh, well, I guess I could say hind end to keep this clean. I doubt that part of the legend appears in these movies, I hope.

  5. Rogutaan responds:

    Oh God! I HAVE to see this movie! The Kappa has always been one of my favorite Yokai.

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