KAIBYO OKAZAKI SODO (1954)
aka Ghost-Cat of the Okazaki Upheaval
Article 4225 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Bin Kado
Featuring Takako Irie, Yoshitaro Sadato, Michiko Ai
What it is: Ghost-cat antics
A woman is murdered unfairly. Her ghost-cat appears to take revenge.
This is my third encounter with the ghost-cat movies of the fifties from Japan. Like the others, I once again find myself without subtitles to help me sort out the action (hence my vague plot description). Still, I do have to admit one thing; none of the three that I’ve seen have impressed me as being special in any way, and I’m beginning to get the feeling that they were churned out in much the same fashion as “old dark house” movies were during the thirties. There are no floating heads this time, but we do have the ghost-cat using her magic powers to make another woman do gymnastics, which I saw in one of the other films. Still, there’s really not much action with the ghost-cat; most of the movie seems to be a melodrama somehow involving some romantic triangles and a kidnapped child. Also, since this is a period piece (like the others), I have trouble telling a lot of the characters apart; all of the women have the same long hair piled up on their heads, and all the men have variations of male-pattern baldness with ponytails (if you’ve seem some of these movies, you know what I mean). I somehow get the feeling that if I ever develop a favorite among these movies, it’s going to be the one that actually has English subtitles; for now, I get this strong sense of sameness from these movies.