IMDb > Kuroneko (1968)

Kuroneko (1968) More at IMDbPro »Yabu no naka no kuroneko (original title)

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Kuroneko -- After being raped and murdered, a woman and her daughter-in-law reap their vengeance as ghosts who drink the blood of wandering samurai. Soon, however, a man who was thought to have died in the war returns...


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Kaneto Shindô (writer)
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Release Date:
24 February 1968 (Japan) See more »
Two women are raped and killed by samurai soldiers. Soon they reappear as vengeful ghosts who seduce and brutally murder the passing samurai. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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(346 articles)
User Reviews:
Grows eerier in my memory as time passes See more (22 total) »


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Directed by
Kaneto Shindô 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kaneto Shindô  writer

Produced by
Nobuyo Horiba .... producer
Kazuo Kuwahara .... producer
Setsuo Noto .... producer
Original Music by
Hikaru Hayashi 
Cinematography by
Norimichi Igawa 
Kiyomi Kuroda 
Film Editing by
Hisao Enoki 
Art Direction by
Takashi Marumo 
Set Decoration by
Toshiharu Takazu 
Makeup Department
Shigeo Kobayashi .... makeup artist
Production Management
Kôyô Ichinose .... production supervisor
Mihoko Yoshino .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Katsuji Hoshi .... assistant director
Seijirô Kamiyama .... assistant director
Atsushi Kugami .... assistant director
Hiroshi Matsumoto .... first assistant director
Tadao Suzuki .... assistant director
Takase Usui .... assistant director
Art Department
Iwao Katô .... set designer
Yasuhiro Katô .... set designer
Sound Department
Tetsuya Ohashi .... sound
Ryûji Ueno .... fight choreographer
Masatoshi Ôya .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Hiroaki Fujiama .... lighting technician
Tamotsu Hirose .... lighting technician
Ushinosuke Kamo .... still photographer
Tsuyoshi Kashiyama .... camera operator
Kunio Kido .... lighting technician
Takeshi Kitamura .... camera operator
Fuminori Minami .... camera operator
Yasuzô Nishikawa .... lighting technician
Shôichi Tabata .... gaffer
Yoshiteru Takao .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Yoshio Ueno .... costume researcher
Editorial Department
Yôko Fujigasaki .... assistant editor
Akiko Komori .... assistant editor
Other crew
Shizuka Hanayasu .... publicity producer
Hideo Kanze .... Nô sketches director
Takako Shirota .... archivist

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Yabu no naka no kuroneko" - Japan (original title)
"Black Cat" - USA (informal title)
"The Black Cat from the Grove" - International (English title) (literal English title)
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99 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (1995) | USA:Not Rated

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12 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Grows eerier in my memory as time passes, 24 January 2002

While watching 'Kuroneko,' I must admit I was a little distracted by what were, to me, anyway, stylistic issues: The beautiful black-and-white photography was so vivid and made clear so many little details, in contrast to which the story and the action was delivered in broad, stylized strokes. Something about this didn't work for me - the image, somehow, was too unforgiving on the simply conceived story...not to mention the makeup effects. When a shot of thrillingly real roaring fire at the opening is followed by a shot of the burned bodies, two actresses with, essentially, charcoal rubbed on parts of their arms and legs, and lumpy fake blood spread on their throats...well, it hurt my ability to get into the world of the movie. As did sequences of the plot where the characters' actions didn't follow normal human psychology ("But if he recognized her, wouldn't he say something?") If the image hadn't been so vivid I wouldn't have had to keep thinking of them as actors in a stilted, stylized script. But I did. So sue me. Maybe that's culture clash - maybe the dramatic stylization is direct from the Japanese tradition and would have felt natural in its own way to someone from Japan. Well. I'm not Japanese.

But the important thing here is that, while the movie's horror, while I was watching it, was negligible because of all the the days following, I found myself more and more haunted by some of the truly eerie imagery and the undertones of the plot. To return home, having become a man, and find that your family has turned to demons - demons who might sometimes, partially, still be your family, but will never talk about it...there are shadows of a powerful nightmare in there.

The fight sequence in the rushes, and the slow processions through the bamboo grove, in particular, reverberate in my mind. These scenes, among others, were well supported by the excellent musical score.

I don't know what to make of the last few scenes - the movie had spent itself several times over by that point, though, and in a sense, the exact twists and turns of the plot were only of secondary importance. Watch it for its uniquely eerie atmosphere (and lovely photography), and then enjoy as it slowly settles in to your subconscious.

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