Oct 30

The Hundred Monsters (1968) aka Yôkai hyaku monogatari

100_Monsters
This is the first of three “Yokai” films made in the 1960s by Daiei, which also gave the world Gamera and Giant Majin. Like the later, this film has a period setting that suggests a samurai film and emphasizes a human drama in which, ultimately, only the intervention of a supernatural monster (in this case, “yokai,” or spirits) can resolve the conflict satisfactorily. Continue reading

Oct 28

The Bride from Hades (1968) aka Botan-dôrô

talespeonylanternKaidan Botan Doro (Tales of the Peony Lantern) is based on the kabuki version of one of the most famous ghost stories in Japan. Shinzaburo flees an unwanted marriage with his brother’s widow and lives quietly as a teacher removed from his family. On the night of the summer Obon festival, he meets a beautiful courtesan named Otsuyu and her attendant. When He begins to suspect the women are ghosts and are draining his life away Shinzaburo becomes frightened and seeks help from the temple priest.
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Oct 19

Kwaidan (1964) aka Kaidan

kwaidanThis film contains four distinct, separate stories. “Black Hair”: A poor samurai who divorces his true love to marry for money, but finds the marriage disastrous and returns to his old wife, only to discover something eerie about her. “The Woman in the Snow”: Stranded in a snowstorm, a woodcutter meets an icy spirit in the form of a woman spares his life on the condition that he never tell anyone about her.A decade later he forgets his promise. “Hoichi the Earless”: Hoichi is a blind musician, living in a monastery who sings so well that a ghostly imperial court commands him to perform the epic ballad of their death battle for them. But the ghosts are draining away his life, and the monks set out to protect him by writing a holy mantra over his body to make him invisible to the ghosts. But they’ve forgotten something. “In a Cup of Tea”: a writer tells the story of a man who keep seeing a mysterious face reflected in his cup of tea.
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Sep 28

Diary Of A Lady-Killer (1969) a.K.a Lie ren

ivl101168_01If Agatha Christie was Asian, then “Diary Of A Lady-Killer” could may well have been one of her burgeoning projects. The film flawlessly floats between murder mystery mayhem and light hearted eroticism as a man that has sexual affairs with every female that looks at him twice finds them dead shortly thereafter, making him the prime suspect. Yet after he’s convicted and tossed into prison, the murders continue. He’s innocent. But who did it?
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Sep 23

The Joy of Torture (1968) aka Tokugawa onna keibatsu-shi

joytor
The Joy of Torture is an anthology that is made up three separate stories that all intersect: The first segment is about Shinza who was hurt while working when a log hit him on the head and now sister Mitsu is forced give herself to her brothers boss Mr. Mino in order to help pay for Shinza’s doctors bills.
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