KAIBYO ARIMA GOTEN (1953)
aka Ghost-Cat of Anima Palace
Article 4170 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Ryohei Arai
Featuring Takako Irie, Michiko Ai, Yoshitaro Sadato
What it is: Ghost-cat woman
A murdered woman returns as a vengeance-driven ghost cat.
Many ghost-cat movies were made in Japan during the fifties. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were pretty similar, but I haven’t seen a lot of them yet. The plot is a little vague to me as my copy is in Japanese without English subtitles, but the general thrust of the action is straightforward enough; a woman (who seems to be part of a harem of sorts) is unpopular with the other women, and is murdered. She returns as a ghost-cat, and one of the most striking scenes in this one is watching the ghost, her hands folded in like a cat’s paws, forcing two of her victims to perform tumbling routines. There’s a few scenes of disembodied heads flying around as well. It’s entertaining enough, and some of the horror sequences are effective, but parts of it seem a bit silly as well.