The Lady Vampire

Onna Kyuketsuki

Nakagawa Nobuo

Japan 1959

14.02. 24:00 CineStar 8 (Eng. subtitles)
15.02. 14:00 Delphi Filmpalast (Eng. subtitles)

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"A horror action film based on the novel by Tachibana Soto'o, a combination of vampires and the Amakusa Shiro folklore. Twenty years ago, Miwako disap­peared, but returns looking as youthful as she did before. Itoko, Miwako's daughter, discovers a nude picture of a woman resembling Miwako at an art exhibition. Itoko and her fiancé Tamio, a newspaper reporter, search for the truth, but a suspicious man makes off with Miwako. Itoko and Tamio pursue them to Shimabara. While in line with the "eroguro" (erotic and grotesque) that Shintoho hammered out back at the time, the film is skillfully directed to evoke horrify­ing imagery and to carry qualities of an action drama, resulting in this preposterous story to unfold sharply. Amachi Shigeru is the embodiment of the dandyish yet ferocious vampire, exhibiting his nihilism as the tragic nature of a man entrapped by fate. The climax leads Itoko, Tamio, and the cops to the vampire's mountain-entombed castle, which is quite a set to behold, complete with all mod cons (even an acid bath). The vampire's motley crew of henchmen includes a bald brute with a musket rifle, a white­haired witch, and a scurrying dwarf. Nakagawa regu­lar Amachi is amusing as the dandyish dracula. The crisp black and white cinematography and intention­ally non-Japanese settings (the hotel, the castle, even the streets chosen) give the film a low-budget European feel." Jason Gray

 

Production: Shintoho

Screenplay: Nakazawa Shin, Nakatsu Katsuyoshi, nach dem Roman von Tachibana Soto'o

Cinematographer: Hirano Yoshimi

Art Direction: Kurosawa Haruyasu

Composer: Iuchi Hisashi

Cast: Amachi Shigeru, Wada Keinosuke, Nakamura Torahiko, Mihara Yoko, Ikeuchi Junko, Mizuhara Baku

Format/screen ratio: 35mm, 1:2.35, b/w

Running time: 78 minutes, 24 frames/sec.

Language: Japanese

Print Source: National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

 

Foto: ©Kokusai Hoei