KAIDAN FUKAGAWA JOWA (1952)
aka Tragic Ghost Story of Fukagawa
Article 5220 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Minoru Inuzuka
What it is: Japanese ghost story
A woman is killed and returns as a ghost to avenge herself on those that have wronged her.
The Japanese churned out a plethora of ghost stories during the fifties, and most of them are interchangeable. This is one of the more obscure, based partially on the fact that it actually ended up on my “ones that got away” list as well as the lack of information about it on IMDB. Amazingly enough, though, it was released on DVD in Japan, and I managed to get a copy. As you might expect, there’s no English subtitles, and the generic plot description above is largely the result of the fact that I found it mostly very difficult to follow. Still, I’ve seen enough of these to know the routine; it’s usually a long ways into the movie before you get to the ghost action, and what happens before that usually involves a woman going through a series of painful situations (including an accident which scars them physically) before being killed and returning as a ghost. This movie is almost three-quarters through before we reach the death scene, and most of the plot seems to involve a love triangle of sorts. I found the first three-quarters very dull; however, the ghost section is moody enough, though it does use a lot of the same tricks I’ve seen in the other movies, including the ghost tricking a violent man into killing an associate. As I believe I stated in an earlier review, it’s interesting to see one or two of these; after that, it gets old.