Kuroneko (1968)

KURONEKO (1968)
aka Yabu no naka no kuroneko, Black Cat
Article 3815 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-14-2012
Posting Date: 1-24-2012
Directed by Kaneto Shindo
Featuring Kichiemon Nakamura, Nobuko Otowa, Kiwako Taichi
Country: Japan
What it is: Ghosts and samurais

A man, taken away to fight in the wars, becomes a samurai after defeating a terrible enemy. He is sent on a mission to destroy monsters who are killing and drinking the blood of samurai warriors. He discovers the monsters are ghosts of his wife and mother, who have sworn to drink the blood of all samurais.

I’ve seen enough of these type of Japanese horror movies that they don’t seem quite as novel as they used to be for me. As a result, this one didn’t startle me quite as much as it might have done had I seen it earlier. Nevertheless, I think it’s a very solid movie, and it anchors itself in fascinating dramatic problem in which the samurai must choose between the honor of his profession and his love for his family, while the ghosts also have the same issue, with a conflict between their oath to the evil gods and their love for their son/husband. This tragic air is what gives the movie its extra power, and, like several other Japanese horror movies of this type, it has some wonderful imagery. This one is recommended.

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