Onibaba (1964)

Unrated  |   |  Horror  |  4 February 1965 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 10,023 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 77 critic

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 overview:
Nobuko Otowa ...
Kichi's Mother
Jitsuko Yoshimura ...
Kichi's Wife
Kei Satô ...
Jûkichi Uno ...
Samurai General
Taiji Tonoyama ...
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 ...


After being forcefully inducted as a soldier into war in 14th century Japan, his wife and mother remain living in a swamp. They eke out their living by ambushing worn-out warriors, killing them and selling their belongings to a greedy merchant. The woman comes to mistrust her daughter-in-law who has coupled up with a deserter, and begins to wear a facial mask she has taken from a slain samurai. In this disguise she is at first taken for a demon by her daughter. Written by Michael Jurich <jurich@rummelplatz.uni-mannheim.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 February 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Devil Woman  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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


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

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User Reviews

very creepy flick
30 June 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While not the greatest Japanese movie ever made, this proves that you don't need Akira Kurasawa to direct an excellent Japanese film.

"Onibaba" is Japanese for "grandma-monster" and this refers to a story the older woman tells the younger in order to get her to stay home and stop carrying on her affair with a ne'er-do-well. Unfortunately, when the older lady dresses up AS the monster in order to scare her, things change for the worse unexpectedly.

Despite this brief description, this isn't really a horror movie, but a tale about three basically greedy people. So what did I like about it? Well, the story has such interesting twists and turns that keep the viewer guessing and it is a good study of human nature in its worst form. Overall, very odd but captivating.

19 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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