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Story based on the series of the untidy and always scratching detective Kindaichi Yousuke written by the revered master of suspense Yokomizo Seishi. 400 hundred years ago the inhabitants of the village of Yatsuhaka murdered 8 samurai rebels, whom they were actually helping to hide away, afraid of what the Shogunate would do to them. Before dying one the samurai puts a curse on the village. Strange things start to happen so the villagers decided to erect 8 graves for the murdered samurai to appease their anger. Then four hundred years later the head of Tajimi family and head of the village goes mad and starts killing almost everyone in the village. 25 years later his eldest son is poisoned. Kindaichi Yousuke detective is hired by the family?s lawyer as everyone in the village believes is the curse of the samurai again. The film looks great, fantastic dark and creepy interior shots in stunning locations. Filmed with the Ichikawa usual panache as the grained black & white shots at the beginning mixed with gushes of gaudy red blood. The cast is quite interesting. It includes two of my favourite Japanese actors: Renji Ishibashi and Ittoku Kishibe and some other familiar faces such as Kyôko Kishida (Woman of the Dunes) or Hisako Manda miss Japan 1978 and now NHK morning talk show presenter. But they don?t save the film from being quite dull and slow going; there is lack of tension and mystery. Etsushi Toyokawa?s unconvincing performance of the unkempt detective (he is far too pretty and cool) doesn?t help either. In fact the film looks like some sort of family entertainment movie with the exception of the extremely gory slaughter of the villagers worth of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, a fine touch from Ichikawa in a film which quite below his standard.
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