In PORNO PERIOD DRAMA, Tetsuro Tanba plays a nihilistic ronin who faces down the "Clan of the Forgotten Eight", who got their name because they lost all their basic emotions like conscience... See full summary »
A frenzied cult classic by Teruo Ishii, the Japanese master of all thing taboo. 16 year old Rika wants to leave a murderous cult but she is sent to Hell where she meets demons and souls who... See full summary »
Dracula, played by an uncredited caucasian, was shipwrecked in the 1600s in Japan, when Christianity was illegal. He was forced to spit on the cross and wander alone in the desert. Upon ... See full summary »
Based on a centuries-old traditional Japanese fairy tale, a country couple finds a baby girl in some bamboo and raises her as their own daughter. Not the same as the original tale, though, ... See full summary »
The closest parable I can think of to the 60's boom of ghost stories, what is called kaidan in Japan, is the Roger Corman films based on Poe; unsophisticated but competent setups, in these films usually about karmic retribution for anomie, and a final third of horror visualized with some flair and ostentation. It's always this last part that is worth watching, with the first just the solid groundwork.
As with the Corman/Poe films, some of these largely identical films are just more satisfying than others. This is one of those middling affairs and what is to blame, I think, is that it just came out when this cycle was already obsolete and about to be eclipsed from the second end of a double-bill by the new fashion of yakuza and chambara films.
The '59 version of Ghost of Yotsuya by the same filmmaker one could even say it was fresh, aesthetically vibrant, even though the staged illusions were adopted directly from kabuki; by '68 it was tired material film-wise.
Shiro Toyoda's films are interesting counterpoints from this time, when the kaidan film was on its way out; knowing how repetitive these had been, Toyoda reworked conventions into more personal portraits of madness. I suggest you seek those out instead.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?