Japanese 1960s Horror Classics?

Davide Gualandi basement
Tue Jun 13 22:40:22 EDT 2006

Eureka recently released Kaneto Shindo's Kuroneko in their Masters of 
Cinema series.

You can find more info here: http://www.eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/014.htm


At 02:58 PM 6/13/2006, you wrote:
>I'm by no means an authority on Japanese horror films, though I generally 
>do enjoy them. They tend to make my own problems seem trivial by 
>comparison, and a Japanese friend once told me that one reason they tend 
>to show them more in the summer in Japan is because they chill you down in 
>the heat.
>The distinction between films made primarily for kids where the monsters
>are often cute and friendly is a valuable and an important one. Some of 
>the clips from horror films I use in class, from Ju-on 1, the Korean Ring 
>Virus, Dark Water, and the Well Scene in Ring 1, really seem to scare some 
>students--while they laugh at the spooky parts of Miike's Katakuri ke no 
>Aside from "monster movies," what Japanese horror classics back in the 
>1960s would you nominate? I was a student in Japan back then, and more 
>often than I would like to admit, I and Japanese student friends would go 
>off to the movies--but I must confess that when they were horror films, 
>they all seemed to be US and UK horror films--not shown for foreigners, 
>but in really local theaters--where just about everyone in the audience 
>would be Japanese.
>I didn't find Ugetsu, or the Kwaidan movie, etc., particularly scary back 
>in the day. A lot of the monster films, Mothra, especially, seemed to be 
>obvious spoofs, really.
>On the other hand, in Juon, what seems striking is the way people seem to 
>get haunted 24/7. In many Western horror films, the scary stuff is at one 
>certain place only. In the Ring films, bad stuff follows you if you watch 
>the tape or whatever. In Juon the evil is focused in that house, but after 
>people go there, if they get away alive, the ghosts tend to follow them 
>home. The scene where one troubled woman meets a friend in a cafe to talk 
>about being haunted, and then we find that the ghost Toshio is under the 
>table they're sitting at, seems specially troubling. The scene where the 
>building guard, a complete third party, who never went to the haunted 
>house, is attacked, as seen on CCTV, also seems disturbing, to me anyway.
>I'm very grateful for the information on the Miike Yokai movie. It 
>reminded me that I ordered a copy of it months ago, but it turns out that 
>the US DVD Miike Yokai film won't be available now until at least until 
>mid-Sept. Today I found a copy that's only $8.99, and available right now, 
>but it seems too good to be true, perhaps.
>Michael McCaskey
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Aaron Gerow <gerowaaron at sbcglobal.net>
>Date: Saturday, June 10, 2006 8:25 pm
>Subject: Re: Assistance in identifying a film--There Are Three of Them!
> >
> > On 2006.6.10, at 10:02  AM, Michael McCaskey wrote:
> >
> > > I plan to use at least a few clips from one or more of these in
> > class,
> > > as examples of late 1960s horror, to compare with Juon 2, etc.
> >
> > Having seen the first two of the three films, I should stress that
> > they
> > are quite different from "horror" films (which in some ways
> > reinforces
> > my qualms about overusing the term). While there are a few scary
> > moments, Daiei made them primarily for kids and thus the monsters
> > are
> > often cute and friendly. Miike remade one of them recently with
> > Yokai
> > daisenso and the appearance of Mizuki Shigeru in that film
> > reinforces
> > how the original films were aiming for the kids who liked his
> > manga.
> > Since I would hesitate to call Mizuki Shigeru's Gegege no Kitaro
> > manga
> > "horror manga" (unlike, say, Umezu Kazuo's work), comparing these
> > films
> > with Juon can be like comparing apples and oranges. The presence
> > of
> > Yasuda, Kuroda and Yoshida is telling since they were all involved
> > in
> > the Daimajin films, something that brings these yokai films closer
> > to
> > "monster" series at Daiei like Daimajin and Gamera than to more
> > "horror" like films such as Kyuketsuki Gekemidoro, which was made
> > about
> > the same time. (A big question for those studying "horror" in
> > Japanese
> > cinema is where to fit kaiju eiga.)
> >
> > While I do understand the flexibility of genre terms, that can
> > also be
> > their danger and we must be careful of their use. There is a need
> > to
> > also think of kaidanmono or yokaimono within different perspectives.
> >
> > Aaron Gerow
> > Director of Undergraduate Studies, Film Studies Program
> > Assistant Professor
> > Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
> > Yale University
> > 53 Wall Street, Room 316
> > PO Box 208363
> > New Haven, CT 06520-8363
> > USA
> > Phone: 1-203-432-7082
> > Fax: 1-203-432-6764
> > e-mail: aaron.gerow at yale.edu
> >
> >

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