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House of Terrors (1965)

Kaidan semushi otoko (original title)
A man, Chonin Mitake, dies crazy after long agony, and his dead body is cremated. His widow Yoshi, investigating on the past of her husband, goes to the mansion where he had lived, a ... See full summary »


Hajime Satô


Hajime Takaiwa




Credited cast:
Kô Nishimura ... Baron Tominaga / The Hunchback (plays two parts) (as Akira Nishimura)
Yûko Kusunoki Yûko Kusunoki ... Yoshie Munakata
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harold Conway Harold Conway
Shinjirô Ebara Shinjirô Ebara ... Takashi Yamashita - Keisuke's Assistant (as Shinjirô Ehara)
Masumi Harukawa ... Akemi Yokota
Yoko Hayama Yoko Hayama ... Kazuko Shirakawa
Kazuo Katô Kazuo Katô ... Lawyer Isobe
Kazuo Kitamura Kazuo Kitamura ... Dr. Keisuke Munakata
Yukiko Kuwahara Yukiko Kuwahara ... Tomoko
Jeanette MacDonald Jeanette MacDonald
Mitsue Suzuki Mitsue Suzuki ... The Spiritualist
Keiko Yumi Keiko Yumi ... Nurse Akiko Fujii


A man, Chonin Mitake, dies crazy after long agony, and his dead body is cremated. His widow Yoshi, investigating on the past of her husband, goes to the mansion where he had lived, a building Leftly nicknamed "Satan's Pit" (a suggestive statue of Satan is situated in the atrium of the mansion) managed by a hunchbacked caretaker. Soon some visitors reach the house. the hunchbacked keeper warns...

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Horror | Mystery

User Reviews

A mildly entertaining Gothic horror film
22 April 2014 | by jrd_73See all my reviews

The Internet Movie Database lists this film as House of Terrors. I have only read reviews of it under the title The Ghost of the Hunchback, which is not correct since the hunchback is not a ghost. The print I purchased from Video Screams had the English title of Satan's Pit, which suits the film best. Regardless of title, this is a diverting Japanese spooker.

The plot has a newly widowed woman discovering that her former husband owned a country villa. She and a group of relatives, including a skeptical doctor, go to the villa. There they are met by a hunchbacked caretaker, who tells them that murders have occurred in the villa. Soon the guests are hearing noises and seeing strange sights.

Another reviewer compared this film to The Haunting. This is an accurate description, but Satan's Pit lacks the power of the Robert Wise classic. Firstly, the "scary" moments are not overly scary. Secondly, while I respected the filmmakers for giving the house a history, the secret, when it is revealed, seemed rather odd considering what had preceded it. Then, again, this is a Japanese horror film, and sometimes they take unusual turns.

If the film is remembered, it is because of its atmosphere and not its plot. Unfortunately, the film's atmosphere is the aspect I am least comfortable in judging. The print I saw, while subtitled (which is rare), was very hazy. Watching it reminded me of my childhood days of trying to view a snowy television program which our country antennae could just barely bring in. From what I could see, Satan's Pit looks to be a minor footnote in the genre rather than a lost horror masterpiece. Nonetheless, I was interested enough that I would give the film another chance if I came across a better looking print.

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Release Date:

1965 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

House of Terrors See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toei Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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