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Onibaba (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | 4 February 1965 (USA)
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.

Director:

Kaneto Shindô

Writer:

Kaneto Shindô
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

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

In the Fourteenth Century, during a civil war in Japan, a middle-aged woman and her daughter-in-law survive in a hut in a field of reed killing warriors and soldiers to trade their possessions for food. When their neighbor Hachi defects from the war and returns home, they learn that their son and husband Kichi died while stealing supplies from farmers. Soon Hachi seduces the young widow and she sneaks out of her hut every night to have sex with him. When the older woman finds the affair of her daughter-in-law, she pleads with Hachi to leave the young woman with her since she would not be able to kill the warriors without her help. However, Hachi ignores her request and continues to meet the young woman. When a samurai wearing a demon mask stumbles upon the older woman at her hut asking her to guide him out of the field, she lures him and he falls in the pit where she drops the bodies of her victims. She climbs down the hole to take his possessions and his mask, and she finds he is a ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most daring film import ever...from Japan!

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

4 February 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Onibaba See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

Originally cut in England when released in 1968, though the video releases are uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sleepy Hollow: Insatiable (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
very creepy flick
30 June 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

While not the greatest Japanese movie ever made, this proves that you don't need Akira Kurasawa to direct an excellent Japanese film.

"Onibaba" is Japanese for "grandma-monster" and this refers to a story the older woman tells the younger in order to get her to stay home and stop carrying on her affair with a ne'er-do-well. Unfortunately, when the older lady dresses up AS the monster in order to scare her, things change for the worse unexpectedly.

Despite this brief description, this isn't really a horror movie, but a tale about three basically greedy people. So what did I like about it? Well, the story has such interesting twists and turns that keep the viewer guessing and it is a good study of human nature in its worst form. Overall, very odd but captivating.


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