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Onibaba (1964)

Unrated | | Drama, 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:
...
...
Kei Satô ...
Hachi
Jûkichi Uno ...
Samurai General
...
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
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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

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Taglines:

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

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Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Woman: I'm not a demon! I'm a human being!
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Connections

Referenced in The Mask (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sexual tension run amok in feudal Japan
18 February 2005 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Set during a very dark time of war,where weapons and food are the items of barter due to their scarceness, which sees two different Emperors on the throne of Japan and Kyoto destroyed by fire….our story is that of a Mother and her Daughter–in-law who have been left on their own to fend for themselves while the son/husband of our main protagonists is away at war….The Mother and daughter duo take care of themselves by killing any stray Samurai/warrior that passes their way and stripping them of their armour and weapons which they then trade for millet from the unscrupulous Ushi. One night Hachi a neighbour who had been at war with the missing Husband/son arrives at their hut in a very bedraggled state and tells them of his untimely death.The women are distraught…..Hachi has made his intentions clear he wants the daughter-in-Law as his woman……The Mother afraid of being left alone warns the daughter off ……….The ensuing drama is a tale of their sexual tension in the high summer heat, which is exemplified by the swaying of the reeds/grass, the faster the reeds blow in the wind the higher the sexual tension .The mother plays on the fears of the daughter by telling her tales of Demons who prey on those who do wrong….the wrong being sex outside of marriage, but this is just a smokescreen as the mother throws herself at Hachi and asks him to sleep with her…Hachi refuses, this is the final straw for the mother.The mother meets a Samurai General who is lost in the reeds, she kills him and takes the very scary Demon mask which he wore and wears it herself each night to scare the daughter when the daughter sneaks out for her nightly fix of lust with Hachi. This a very technically proficient film, not really a horror film until arguably the films last quarter…..it has surprisingly a lot of nudity which is not intrusive but is put there by Shindo to show that nudity is not really an issue for someone who has to kill every day just to survive. Shindo also uses Black and White to stunning effect at a time when it was probably easier to film in colour……..this is not a horror masterpiece……This is a Cinematic Masterpiece!


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