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Onibaba (1964)

Unrated  |   |  Horror  |  4 February 1965 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 9,232 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 75 critic

Two women kill samurai and sell their belongings for a living. While one of them is having an affair with their neighbor, the other woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre mask.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Nobuko Otowa ...
Kichi's Mother
Jitsuko Yoshimura ...
Kichi's Wife
Kei Satô ...
Hachi
Jûkichi Uno ...
Samurai General
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Ushi
Someshô Matsumoto ...
Runaway Warrior A
Kentarô Kaji ...
Runaway Warrior B
Hosui Araya ...
Ushi's Follower
Fudeko Tanaka ...
Old Woman
Michinori Yoshida ...
Samurai with Blood
Hiroyoshi Yamaguchi ...
Horse Riding Samurai A
Hiroshi Tanaka ...
Horse Riding Samurai B
Kanzô Uni ...
Horse Riding Samurai C
Nobuko Shimakage ...
Child
Edit

Storyline

After being forcefully inducted as a soldier into war in 14th century Japan, his wife and mother remain living in a swamp. They eke out their living by ambushing worn-out warriors, killing them and selling their belongings to a greedy merchant. The woman comes to mistrust her daughter-in-law who has coupled up with a deserter, and begins to wear a facial mask she has taken from a slain samurai. Soon the mask will not come off again. In this disguise she is at first taken for a demon by her daughter. Written by Michael Jurich <jurich@rummelplatz.uni-mannheim.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

4 February 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Devil Woman  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially refused a certificate in England by the BBFC in 1965, but resubmitted in 1968 where it was approved with an X classification albeit with some cuts. See more »

Quotes

Woman: I'm not a demon! I'm a human being!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pacific Rim (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Highly recommended
8 April 2005 | by (Tellus) – See all my reviews

In the 1400s raging wars between two emperors is being fought. This is not about the wars, but about the poor people struck by it. In a rural location camouflaged by a huge field of tall reeds are two huts. In one of them a young woman lives with her stepmother, her husband went to war. Having had failed crops three times that year they are stricken by poverty. The only way for them to survive is to steal, and the only things to steal are uniforms and swords from dead soldiers or heavily wounded soldiers and then sell them to the underworld. Which by the way is funny, I never thought of the underworld in rural medieval setting before.

This story is just as grim as the demon on the cover. The wind howling in the reeds make for very creepy atmosphere. The music consisting of drums and brassy wind instruments really intensifies the drama.

Just as in sand in Teshigaharas equally excellent 'Suna no Onna' serves as symbol, metaphor and is very important in creating atmosphere we have in 'Onibaba' the tall reeds.

The theme in this, the basic needs and emotions of people, will never be dated. The psychology is thick and real. They are victims of their leaders actions. With all the wars being fought today this is still happening today, please remember that.


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