Illusion of Blood (1966)

aka Yotsuya kaidan
Article 2676 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-25-2008
Posting Date: 12-10-2008
Directed by Shiro Toyoda
Featuring Tatsuya Nakadai, Marko Okada, Junko Ikeuchi
Country: Japan

A samurai poisons his wife, and then finds himself haunted by her spirit.

This is the second version I’ve seen of this particular story; the other is THE GHOST OF YOTSUYA. I have to admit to being a little disappointed by this one; though it’s quite well made and has some very effective and eerie moments, it also gets a little dull on occasion. Furthermore, there’s something a little distracting about the comic relief in the movie; it’s another case where the comedy element detracts from the power of the story. Still, I do have to wonder what I’m missing; the running time of the Japanese version of this movie goes over three hours, which means the movie was virtually cut in half for the print I’ve seen, and apparently huge amounts of the violence and nudity was removed. Still, there’s something compelling about the story, and I like the concept that ghosts can create illusions that can cause the characters to perform acts against their own best wishes.


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