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Onibaba (1964)

Unrated | | Horror | 4 February 1965 (USA)
Two women kill samurai and sell their belongings for a living. While one of them is having an affair with their neighbor, the other woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre mask.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Kichi's Mother
...
Kichi's Wife
Kei Satô ...
Hachi
Jûkichi Uno ...
Samurai General
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Ushi
Someshô Matsumoto ...
Runaway Warrior A
Kentarô Kaji ...
Runaway Warrior B
Hosui Araya ...
Ushi's Follower
Fudeko Tanaka ...
Old Woman
Michinori Yoshida ...
Samurai with Blood
Hiroyoshi Yamaguchi ...
Horse Riding Samurai A
Hiroshi Tanaka ...
Horse Riding Samurai B
Kanzô Uni ...
Horse Riding Samurai C
Nobuko Shimakage ...
Child
Edit

Storyline

In the Fourteenth Century, during a civil war in Japan, a middle-aged woman and her daughter-in-law survive in a hut in a field of reed killing warriors and soldiers to trade their possessions for food. When their neighbor Hachi defects from the war and returns home, they learn that their son and husband Kichi died while stealing supplies from farmers. Soon Hachi seduces the young widow and she sneaks out of her hut every night to have sex with him. When the older woman finds the affair of her daughter-in-law, she pleads with Hachi to leave the young woman with her since she would not be able to kill the warriors without her help. However, Hachi ignores her request and continues to meet the young woman. When a samurai wearing a demon mask stumbles upon the older woman at her hut asking her to guide him out of the field, she lures him and he falls in the pit where she drops the bodies of her victims. She climbs down the hole to take his possessions and his mask, and she finds he is a ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most daring film import ever...from Japan!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

4 February 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Devil Woman  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The demon mask used in the movie inspired William Friedkin to use a similar design for the makeup in subliminal shots of a white-faced demon in The Exorcist (1973). See more »

Quotes

Woman: I'm not a demon! I'm a human being!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Field in England (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Highly recommended
8 April 2005 | by (Tellus) – See all my reviews

In the 1400s raging wars between two emperors is being fought. This is not about the wars, but about the poor people struck by it. In a rural location camouflaged by a huge field of tall reeds are two huts. In one of them a young woman lives with her stepmother, her husband went to war. Having had failed crops three times that year they are stricken by poverty. The only way for them to survive is to steal, and the only things to steal are uniforms and swords from dead soldiers or heavily wounded soldiers and then sell them to the underworld. Which by the way is funny, I never thought of the underworld in rural medieval setting before.

This story is just as grim as the demon on the cover. The wind howling in the reeds make for very creepy atmosphere. The music consisting of drums and brassy wind instruments really intensifies the drama.

Just as in sand in Teshigaharas equally excellent 'Suna no Onna' serves as symbol, metaphor and is very important in creating atmosphere we have in 'Onibaba' the tall reeds.

The theme in this, the basic needs and emotions of people, will never be dated. The psychology is thick and real. They are victims of their leaders actions. With all the wars being fought today this is still happening today, please remember that.


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