DVD - 2011 | Japanese
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In war-torn medieval Japan, a military hero is sent to a small village to dispatch a malevolent spirit that has been ripping out the throats of itinerant samurai. and discovers that he must face his own personal demons as well.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Dec 11, 2014

In a medieval Japan wracked by wars and lawlessness, a woman and her daughter-in-law are beaten, raped, and left to die in their burning hut by a gang of mercenary samurai. Some time later a pair of mysterious women begin appearing outside the fortress of the local warlord; apparitions which seem to coincide with a series of grisly murders involving swordsmen having their throats torn out. Convinced that his castle is besieged by malevolent ghosts the general assigns his bravest warrior, Gintoki, the task of eradicating the demons. But to his horror Gintoki discovers he has far more in common with the angry spirits than he imagined leading not only to a supernatural battle of wills, but of loyalties as well. A superb ghost story with eerie effects and theatrical flourishes which at times resembled a traditional Japanese puppet play. Director Kaneto Shindô sets his spooky tale of love and revenge amidst acres of bamboo forest awash in misty moonlight while his interior shots border on the abstract with deep shadows bordering empty spaces. The ghosts themselves, pale and ethereal, are a potent mix of rage and lonely despair—-the latter giving rise to some wholly unexpected eroticism. A beautifully rendered Japanese campfire story framed with the eye of an artist.

Oct 15, 2014

Real good ghost storytelling not ruined by too much high tech special effects just some simple wire work.

voisjoe1 Mar 28, 2014

A nice little gem from the past where rapist-murderers get their comeuppance from a feminist flying martial arts expert mixed with an angry blood thirsty black cat; sorta. Definitely worth the trip to this fantasy land.

May 22, 2013

This is a 99-minute horror drama directed by Kaneto Shindo (新藤兼人) and released in 1968.
In a village in war-torn feudal Japan, malevolent spirits are ripping out the throats of itinerant samurai.
When a military hero is dispatched to confront the unseen force, he finds that he must struggle with personal demons as well.
Although I like ghostly special effects and exquisite cinematography, the storyline lacks originality.
The story reminds me of Ugetsu Monogatari (雨月物語) directed in 1953 by Kenji Mizoguchi (溝口健二)---Shindo's mentor.
This DVD includes a 60-minute interview with Kaneto Shindo and another 17-minute interview with Tadao Sato (佐藤忠男)---a well-known film-critic in Japan.
As Sato indicates, in Japan, horror movies are quite marketable during the Ghost Festival (お盆).
Since Shindo made movies as an independent film-maker and often went into financial difficulties, he might have probably made this horror movie so that it could make money during the the Ghost Festival.

Apr 06, 2013

The old, old story of war, rape, and revenge, that will continue until humanity is no longer human.

Feb 12, 2013

Ending does not make sense.

Feb 10, 2013

Stylish ghost story of two women who turned into vengeful spirits preying on samurais and the son/husband Gintoki who returned from war as a decorated samurai. It is about the social discourses during the sino-Japanese war and the deepest love beyond the living. For tj_is_cool, the ending follows Gintoki's descent into madness (all alone and swinging his sword futilely in the fog) in a serious of rigorous jumps in time, which just about sums up the lunacy and the horror of the time as the son/husband struggles between individuality and conformity, duty and conscience, personal will and hierarchical laws; an irreconcilable human tragedy.

hotfuzz Jun 05, 2012

MUST have

Apr 24, 2012

I like the old school, pre-Ringu Japanese horror element of this film. It's refreshing but at the same time quite slow. The black-and-white style was well done too but I just couldn't appreciate this film as much as I wanted to. I think it was a combination of the drawn-out rape scene in the beginning and multiple scenes of how the ghosts of the women killed many samurai that bored me ultimately. This film could have been shortened because the parts mentioned above made it feel like they had dragged it on because they've run out of ideas.

francois_viquesnel Apr 05, 2012

Excellent movie from 1968, who should have probably received a palm at Cannes if the festival hadn't been cancelled.
Be ready for long views - typically Asian - full of interesting symbolism.

View All Comments


Add Notices

Apr 24, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: One of the ghost women's arm gets severed and then transforms into a grisly cat one. A samurai holds a decapitated head of another.

Apr 24, 2012

Sexual Content: Two women get raped. There is an intimate scene between a human and a ghost.

Apr 24, 2012

Violence: Samurai get killed by supernatural cat-women. Woot!


Add Age Suitability

Apr 24, 2012

ausnos thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CALS

To Top