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KAIJU DAISENSO
(1965/Toho/Maron) 95mins. Japan.
Aka: MONSTER ZERO; INVASION OF THE ASTRO-MONSTERS; GODZILLA RADON KING GHIDORAH; BATTLE OF THE ASTROS; INVASION OF PLANET X; GODZILLA VERSUS MONSTER ZERO.
Credits: Dir: Inoshiro Honda; Prod: Tomoyuki Tanaka; Ex.Prod: Henry G. Saperstein & Reuben Bercovitch; Sc: Shinichi Sekizawa; Ph: Hajime Koizumi; Ed: Khyohei Fuji; Art: Takeo Kita; Sfx: Eiji Tsuburaya; Mus: Akira Ifukube.
Cast: Nick Adams, Akira Takarada, Kumi Mizumo, Akira Kubo, Keiko Sawai, Yoshifuji Tajami, Jun Tazaki, Yoshizo Tatake, Goro Naya, Kazuo Suzuki, Koshio Tsuchiya, Tadashi Okabe, Gen Shimizu.
The World Space Authority sends astronauts, led by Glenn, (Adams), to Planet X, an hitherto unknown planet, after their appeal to borrow Earth's monsters Godzilla and Rodan to help them destroy Ghidorah, a winged beast that forces the Planet X inhabitants to live underground. However, all the monsters are programmed by Planet X scientists to attack and conquer the Earth so that the aliens can take advantage of the world's water supply. After much destruction, Earth scientists discover that loud noises can harm the aliens and they develop a way to stop the alien signals controlling the monsters. People are asked to play their radios loudly which causes the aliens to commit suicide and blow up their spaceships.
Godzilla nonsense in one of the better entries to the series not released in America until 1970, after Nick Adams' suicide in 1968.
Sequel: Nankai No Dai Ketto.

KAIJU SOSHINGEKI (1968/Toho) 85mins. Japan.
Aka: DESTROY ALL MONSTERS; OPERATION MONSTERLAND; ATTACK OF THE MARCHING MONSTERS.
Credits: Dir: Inoshiro Honda; Ex.Prod: Tomoyuki Tanaka; Sc: Kaoru Mabuchi & Inoshiro Honda; Ph: Taichi Kankura; Ed: Kyohei Fujii; Sfx: Eiji Tsuburaya & Sadamasa Arikawa; Art: Takeo Kita; Mus: Akira Ifukube.
Cast: Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Kyoko Ai, Kenji Sawara, Kazuo Susuki, Hisaya Ito, Yukiko Kabayashi, Susumu Kurobe, Yutaka Sada, Koshibumi Tajima, Nadao Kirino, Naoya Kusakawa, Ikio Sawamura, Wataru Ohmura.
"What nation will survive?!"
In 1999, an underwater research station has been established near Monster Island where Angillius, Barugon, Godzilla's son, Godzilla, Gorosaurus, Mothra, Rodan, Skree and Varan are kept safely behind electronic shields. Aliens from the planet Klaak manage to control the Earth's monsters, free them and send them to attack the major cities of the world, intending to build their base on Mount Fuji. Earth scientists eventually break the control the Kilaaks have on the monsters and send them to attack the alien base, but the aliens despatch their own monster, Ghidorah to face the threat. A bitter battle ensues, but Godzilla and the other monsters send Ghidorah and the Kilaaks fleeing when they break their control device.
A long winded plot is heightened somewhat by the appearence of most of Toho's stock monsters amid some impressive special effects.
Special effects master Eiji Tsuburaya died shortly after this project while he was working on Oru Kaiju Daishingeki.

KAIRYU DAIKESSEN (1966/Toei) 86mins. Japan.
Aka: GRAND DUEL IN MAGIC; FROOGO AND DROGGO; THE MAGIC SERPENT.
Credits: Dir: Tetsuya Yamauchi; Sc: Masaru Igami.
Cast: Hiroki Matsutaka, Tomoko Ogawa, Ryutaro Otomo, Bin Amatsu, Nobuo Kaneko.
When a wicked nobleman kills a Lord in order to assume his title and position he encounters the Lord's sorcerer son who vows to avenge his father's death. The nobleman is forced to hire a magician to try and vanquish the son, and a fiery sorcerer's battle ensues each changing the other into an array of different creatures.
A colourful and entertaining film based on an ancient Japanese fairytale.

KAITEI DAISENSO (1966/Toei) 85mins. Japan.
Aka: TERROR BENEATH THE SEA; WATER CYBORGS.
Credits: Dir: Terence Ford (Hajime Sato); Ex.Prod: Masafumi Soga; Ed: Fumio Soga; Art: Shinichi Eno; Sfx: Nobou Yajima.
Cast: Shinichi Chiba (Sonny Chiba), Mike Daneen, Peggy Neal, Franz Gruber, Hideo Murota, Beverly Kahler, Gunther Braun, Andrew Hughes, Eric Nielson, Tsuneoi Miemachi.
A mad scientist, and ruler of an underwater city is trying to turn men into underwater breathing robot monsters that obey his command.
The scientist is similar in many ways to Jules Verne's character, Captain Nemo.
An English language version was filmed simultaneously.

KAITEI GUNKAN (1963/Toho) 96mins. (79mins. US). Japan. Released US: 1965.
Aka: ATRAGON; ATORANGON, THE FLYING SUPERSUB; UNDERWATER WARSHIP.
Credits: Dir: Inoshiro Honda; Ex.Prod: Tomoyuki Tanaka; Sc: Shinichi Sekizawa; Ph: Hajime Koizumi; Sfx: Eiji Tsuburaya; Mus: Akira Ifukube.
Cast: Tadao Takashima, Yoko Fujiyama, Yu Fujiki, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kenji Uchara, Jun Tazaki, Kenji Sawara, Akemi Kita, Tetsuko Kobayashi, Akihiko Hirata.
"See the juggernaut of destruction challenge the incredible empire beneath the sea!"
The commander of an atomic-powered submarine named the Atorangon encounters a creature called Manda and the subterranean people of Mu who worship the creature and have harnessed the power of the centre of the earth and are causing earthquakes on the surface.
A better than average Japanese science fiction story with some good special effects.
One scene shows the arrival of a package to a government office with a return address to "The Mu Empire".
The American version is produced by James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff of American International Pictures.
The Manda returns in Kaiju Soshingeki (1968).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE KEEPERS OF THE EARTH
(1958) see The Brain-Eaters

KESSEN NANKAI NO DAIKAIJU (1970/Toho) 84mins. Japan.
Aka: YOG-MONSTER FROM SPACE (US); SPACE AMOEBA.
Credits: Dir: Inoshiro Honda; Prod: Tomoyuki Tanaka & Fumio Tanaka; Sc: Ei Ogawa; Ph: Yasuichi Sunokura; Ed: Masahisa Himi; Art: Takeo Kita; Sfx: Sadamasa Sunokura, Sadamasa Arikawa, Yoichi Manoda & Yasuyuki Inoue; Mus: Akira Ifukube.
Cast: Akira Kubo, Atsuko Takahashi, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Kenji Sahara, Noritake Saito, Yukiko Kobayashi.
"Twice the monsters. Twice the terror!"
An experimental rocket sent to Jupiter encounters a mysterious alien life form that returns to earth attatched to the craft and unleashes it's alien's spores on the local animal population in an attempt to conquer the earth. An octopus, some crabs and a turtle become gigantic creatures that take over a Pacific island near Japan and are only destroyed when a volcano erupts.
Toho's special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya died during filming forcing his assistants to take over the job, but unfortunately they lacked their mentor's talent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KILL BABY KILL
(1966) see Operazione Paura

KILLER APE (1953/Columbia) BW. US.
Credits: Dir: Spencer Bennett; Prod: Sam Katzman; Sc: Carroll Young & Arthur Hoerl. Based on the King Feature Syndicate comic strip "Jungle Jim".
Cast: Johnny Weimuller, Nestor Paiva, Max Palmer, Carol Thurston, Tamba the talented chimp.
"Johnny battles monster man-ape!!!...and goes after the mad scientist who enslaves jungle beasts with drugs - and is out to enslave the world!"
At his jungle laboratory, Dr. Andrews, (Paiva), experiments on the animals to perfect a drug that he believes will control the human mind, and in this way he plans to rule with absolute power over a new nation of his making. While the local natives are capturing animals, they disturb a giant ape creature who they bring to the doctor. Jungle Jim arrives to stop the doctor's evil plans, and has to confront the man-ape which has escaped. A box of dynamite accidentally ignites and the creature is killed, while the natives rise up and kill the scientist.

THE KILLER LACKS A NAME (1966) Italy.
Credits: Dir: Tullio Domichelli.
Cast: Lang Jeffries, Olga Omar.
A villain with a steel hand discovers that it operates with enough electrical voltage to enable him to kill his enemies.

THE KILLER SHREWS (1959/McLendon Radio/Hollywood) 70mins. BW.
Credits: Dir: Ray Kellogg; Prod: Ken Curtis; Sc: Jay Simms; Ph: Wilfred M. Kline; Ed: Aaron Stell; Des: Louis Caldwell; Mu: Connie Daniel; Mus: Harry Bluestone & Emil Cadkin.
Cast: James Best, Ingrid Goude, Ken Curtis, Gordon McLendon, Baruch Lumet, Judge Henry Dupree, Alfredo Desoto.
A scientist, (Lumet), developing a serum to try and control overpopulation on an isolated island, inadvertantly creates a strain of giant flesh-eating shrews that weigh close to 100 pounds each. A hurricane forces a captain and his mate to seek shelter on the island where they find that they have to fight for survival with the scientist and his assistants.
Homemade horror from Texas originally double billed with the equally inept The Giant Gila Monster. Although in the so-bad-it's-good catagory, this becomes much too talky and therefore quite boring.
In 1957, Miss Goude became Miss Universe.

THE KILLER WITH THE THIRD EYE (1965) see Il Terzo Occhio

KILLERS FROM SPACE (1953/RKO.) 71mins. BW. Released May 24th.'54.
Aka: ALIENS FROM SPACE.
Credits: Dir. & Prod: W. Lee Wilder; Sc: Bill Raynor; Ph: William Clothier; Sfx: Peter Graves; Mu: Harry Thomas; Mus: Manuel Compinsky. From a story by Myles Wilder.
Cast: Peter Graves, Barbara Bestar, Frank Gerstle, Steve Pendleton, John Merrick, Shep Menken, Mark Scott, Jack Daly, Ron Kennedy, Burt Wenland, Lester Dorr, Robert Roark, Ruth Bennett, James Seay.
"Attack by monsters from another planet!"
"With your next nuclear test these animals will multiply at a rate beyond imagination. When the time comes we will unleash them. They will spread and devour every living thing on the surface of the Earth." - Deneb-Tala (alien).
Aliens from the planet Astron Delta arrive on Earth and base their operations from some caves in the Nevada desert close to an atomic testing site. The aliens harness the power of the atomic devices to create huge reptiles and giant insects with which they try to wipe out mankind so that the rest of their race can migrate to Earth. They kidnap and reanimate a dead scientist, (Graves), to use as their slave, but he foils their plans and blows up their base.
Low budget nonsense that becomes too tedious to even be unintentionally funny.
Director Wilder is the brother of Bill Wilder.

KING DINOSAUR (1954/Lippert/Zimgor) 59mins. BW.
Aka: THE BEAST FROM OUTER SPACE.
Credits: Dir: Bert I. Gordon; Prod: Bert I. Gordon & Al Zimbalist; Sc: Tom Gries; Sfx: Howard A. Anderson Co. From "The Beast From Outer Space" by Bert I. Gordon.
Cast: Bill Bryant, Wanda Curtis, Douglas Henderson, Patricia Gallagher. Narrated: Marvin Miller.
"We sure have done it...brought civilisation to the planet Nova." - a crewman after exploding the bomb.
Four astronauts land on Nova, an alien planet that has just entered Earth's solar system and discover a tropical climate and dinosaurs on a volcanic island. A large prehistoric creature chases the visitors until they blow up the island with a atomic bomb.
Gordon's first project as a director utilised footage from One Million BC. for all the dinosaur scenes, and was shot in one weekend at a cost of $14,000. The rear projected giant gilla monster and giant armadillo attack the cast.

KING KONG ESCAPES (1967) see King Kong No Gyakashu

KING KONG NO GYAKASHU (1967/Toho) 104mins.(96mins. in UK and US) Japan.
Aka: KING KONG ESCAPES; KING KONG'S COUNTERATTACK.
Credits: Dir: Inoshiro Honda; Prod: Tomoyuki Tanaka; Sc: Kaoru Mabuchi; Sfx: Eiji Tsuburaya; Ph: Hajime Koizumi; Art: Takeo Kita; Mus: Akira Ifukube. Additional US. shoots by Rankin/Bass. Dir. & Prod: Arthur Rankin Jnr.; Sc: William J. Keenan.
Cast: Mie Hama, Akira Takarada, Eisei Amamoto. Added US. cast: Rhodes Reason, Linda Miller.
Dr. Who, (Amamoto), develops a mechanical Kong-like creature to mine element-X for him and ensure his nuclear supremacy. However, the ape machine fails to work properly, so the evil doctor resolves to capture the real Kong who has just been discovered on an island in the South Java Sea. On the submarine responsible for sighting the giant ape, is Dr. Susan Watson, (Miller), whom Kong falls in love with and protects from a Gorosaurus. Dr. Who kidnaps the submarine crew, and threatens to freeze Dr. Watson if Kong refuses to help him at his mine. Enraged, Kong escapes, battles with the robotic Kong and destroys Dr. Who's ship before wading out to sea towards home.
A lively rubber-suited monster movie with better actors than usually found in this Japanese genre.

KING KONG TAI GOJIRA (1962/Toho) 90mins. Japan/US.
Aka: KING KONG VERSUS GODZILLA.
Credits: Dir: Inoshiro Honda & Thomas Montgomery; Sc: Shinichi Sekizawa; Sfx: Eiji Tsuburaya.
Cast: Michael Keith, James Yagi, Tadao Takashima, Mie Hama, Kenji Sahara, Akihiko Hirata, Ichiro Arishima, Tatsuo Matsumura, Yu Fujiki, Harry Holcombe, Eiko Wakabayshi, Senkichi Omura.
While a pharmacutical company are harvesting narcotic berries on the Faroe Isands, they discover that King Kong resides there. The company's executive, (Arishima), recognises the potential publicity in capturing the creature and taking him back to Japan. Meanwhile, Godzilla has thawed out from an iceberg and is causing chaos and destruction in Tokyo. Kong escapes from the raft taking him to captivity and descends on the capital to combat Godzilla. Kong is eventually gassed and transported to Mount Fuji by balloons, where he uproots a tree and rams it down Godzilla's throat. When they fall into the sea only Kong emerges to wade back home.
An endless torrent of fisticuffs and body bashings by actors in rubber suits. The decent effects don't help the long periods of talky tedium.
The third Godzilla film and a sequel to Gojira No Gyakushyu.
Michael Keith was added to the version made for the American market that altered the ending to make King Kong victorious.
Sequel: Gojira Tai Mosura.

KING KONG VERSUS GODZILLA (1962) see King Kong Tai Gojira

KING KONG'S COUNTERATTACK (1967) see King Kong No Gyakashu

KING OF KONG ISLAND (1968) 92mins. Spain.
Aka: EVE, THE WILD WOMAN; KONG ISLAND.
Credits: Dir: Robert Morris.
Cast: Brad Harris, Marc Lawrence, Esmeralda Barros, Adrianna Alben, Mark Farran.
A bounty hunter, (Harris), is on the trail of a mad scientist who is experimenting with ape brains and creating ape creatures under his control to further his plan to dominate the world. A descendant of King Kong arrives to stop the evil plot and save his monkey friends.
Low grade nonsense that provides mild entertainment for lovers of bad films.

KING ROBOT (1952) see Mother Riley Meets the Vampire

KISS AND KILL (1968) see The Blood of Fu Manchu

KISS ME QUICK (1963/G&S Productions)
Aka: DR. BREEDLOVE OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE; DR. BREEDLOVE.
Credits: Dir: Pete Perry & Max Gardens; Ph: Laszlo Kovacs.
Cast: Frank Coe, Jackie De Witt, Althea Currier, Claudia Banks, Sexton Friendly.
An alien, (Coe), arrives on Earth from the planet Sterilox to ask Dr. Breedlove, who specialises in manufacturing women, to accompany him back to his sterile planet. However, the Frankenstein monster seduces the alien, and he mistakingly leaves Earth with a vending machine to take to his planet.
Soft porn drivel trying to parody Kubrick's DR. STRANGELOVE, filmed entirely on one laboratory set and featuring Dracula and a mummy.

KISS ME MONSTER (1968) Spain.
Credits: Dir: Jesus Franco.
Cast: Janine Reynard.
A mad scientist on a Carribean island conducts strange experiments on animals.
Franco fares better with this borderline action thriller than he usually does with his horror films.

KISS OF EVIL (1962) see Kiss of the Vampire

KISS OF THE VAMPIRE (1962/Hammer/U-I) 87mins. UK.
Aka: KISS OF EVIL (US).
Credits: Dir: Don Sharp; Prod: Anthony Hinds; Sc: John Elder (Anthony Hinds); Ph: Alan Hume; Ed: James Needs; Des: Bernard Robinson; Art: Don Mingaye; Sfx: Les Bowie; Mu: Roy Ashton; Mus: James Bernard.
Cast: Jennifer Daniel, Edward De Souza, Noel Willman, Noel Howlett, Clifford Evans, Barry Warren, Jacque Wallis, Isobel Black, Peter Madden, Brian Oulton, Marianne Harcourt, Carl Esmond.
"You must not expect your Queensbury rules here Mr. Harcourt!" - Prof. Zimmer (Evans).
A honeymooning couple arrive at a small village and are promptly invited to a mysterious chateau by Dr. Ravna, (Willman). That night the husband is drugged and his wife is abducted. When he awakes, the villagers deny all knowledge of his wife until in desperation he visits Prof. Zimmer, (Willman), who explains that the man's wife is to be used as a sacrifice for the family of vampires who live at the chateau. Through his knowledge of the occult, Zimmer, summons a hoard of bats to attack the chateau's occupants during their ceremony, while the man rescues his wife.
An effective and engrossing vampire tale with some inventive new twists to the much filmed myth.
Christopher Lee at the time of casting, was refusing to play another vampire for fear of being typecast.
The American television version cut some scenes, but replaced them with new scenes featuring Carl Esmond and some clips from The Evil of Frankenstein.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KONCHU DAISENSO
(1968/Shochiku) Japan.
Aka: WAR OF THE INSECTS; GENOCIDE.
Credits: Dir: Kazui Nihonmatsu; Sc: Susumu Takahisa.
Cast: Yusuke Kawazu, Emi Shindo, Keisuke Sonoi, Cathy Horan.
A girl who was a prisoner in Nazi Germany's Auschwitz death camp, discovers that she has the power to control swarms of insects. She uses this power to crash a plane carrying an atom bomb.

KONG ISLAND (1968) see King of Kong Island

KONGA (1960/Merton Park/Cohen) 90mins. UK.
Aka: I WAS A TEENAGE GORILLA.
Credits: Dir: John Lemont; Prod: Nat Cohen & Stuart Levy; Ex.Prod: Herman Cohen; A.Prod: Jim O'Connolly; Sc: Aben Kandell & Herman Cohen; Ph: Desmond Dickinson; Ed: Jack Slade; Art: Wilfred Arnold; Mus: Gerard Schürmann.
Cast: Michael Gough, Margo Johns, Jess Conrad, Claire Gordon, Austin Trevor, Jack Watson, Leonard Sachs, George Pastell, Grace Arnold, Vanda Godsell, Stanley Morgan.
Mad biologist, Dr. Decker, (Gough), administers a serum he has developed from carnivarous African plants, to his pet chimpanzee, Konga, who grows into a giant homicidal ape. The biologist uses the creature to kill his enemies, but when his fiancee, Margaret, (Johns), discovers his affair with a young student, she gives the ape a massive dose of the serum, to try and subject the creature to her will. However, the creature escapes to maraude through London, taking the scientist to the top of Big Ben.
A muddled, low budget parody of King Kong that is bad enough to be enjoyable.
In the original draft of the script, Konga instinctively reads Decker's mind to know which enemies to kill.
The film led to a series of successful comic books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KRONOS
(1957/Regal/TCF.) 78mins.
Credits: Dir. & Prod: Kurt Neumann; A.Prod: Jack Rabin, Irving Block & Louis DeWitt; Sc: Lawrence Louis Goldman; Sfx: Jack Rabin, Irving Block & Louis DeWitt; Mus: Paul Sawtell. From an idea by Irving Block.
Cast: Jeff Morrow, Barbara Lawrence, John Emery, George O'Hanlon, Morris Ankrum, Robert Shayne.
A craft in space emits a beam that enslaves a motorist and then enters and possesses Dr.Hubbell Eliott, (Emery), the head of Labcentral in Phoenix. The enslaved doctor telepathically sends messages to a gigantic robotic alien as to the whereabouts of nuclear energy supplies. The creature makes its way from Mexico to Los Angeles feeding on the stockpiles of energy, while the possessed doctor convinces the military to attack the robot with a nuclear weapon, knowing that his master will also feed on the energy and become more powerful. Another scientist, (Morrow), develops a bomb of rare radioactive elements that will force the robot's destructive capabilities onto itself, reducing the metal invader to a pile of molten slush.
The monster remains an original and menacing creation despite the shakey special effects. One oustanding scene shows the gigantic alien approaching Los Angeles with the city's lights reflected on its metallic body.
Made for $160 thousand.

KUMONOSU-JO (1957/Toho) 105mins. BW. Japan.
Aka: THRONE OF BLOOD; COBWEB CASTLE.
Credits: Dir. & Ed: Akira Kurosawa; Prod: Akira Kurosawa & Sojiro Motoki; Sc: Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto, Ryuzo Kikushima & Akira Kurosawa; Ph: Asaichi Nakai; Art: Yoshiro Muraki; Mus: Masaru Sato. From "Macbeth" by Shakespeare.
Cast: Toshiro Mifume, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Akira Kubo, Takamara Sasaki, Chieko Naniwa.
Samuri warrior Taketoki Washizu, (Mifume), is encouraged to slay the Lord of Cobweb castle by his scheming wife and an old witch, (Naniwa), but the guilt caused by the murder leads to strange visitations that predict his inevitable doom.
A superbly photographed, powerfully atmospheric and violent rendition of "Macbeth" with a horrifying conclusion that involves an over-enthusiastic use of arrows.

KURONEKO (1968/Kindai Eiga Kyokai/Nihon Eiga Shinsha) 99mins. BW. Japan.
Aka: THE BLACK CAT; YABU NO NAKA KURONEKO.
Credits: Dir. & Sc: Kaneto Shindo; Ph: Kiyomi Kuroda; Ed: Hisao Enolei; Mus: Hikaru Hayashi.
Cast: Kichiemon Nakamura, Nobuko Otowa, Kiwako Taichi, Kei Sato, Takao Kanze, Rokko Toura, Taiji Tonoyama.
"Beware the haunted women who lurk in the bamboo forest as black cats, craving the blood of men!"
In the 12th. century, the wife, (Taichi), and mother in-law, (Otowa), of a farmer drafted into the service of the Mikado are raped and killed by samuri warriors. The women return as cat demons who lure lone samuri to make love, kill them and drink their blood. A soldier sent to vanquish the menacing creatures finds to his horror that they are the spirits of his wife and mother in-law.
A visually enthralling, and disturbing mixture of Japanese folklore and a pacafist theme condemning a military that abuses its citizens. One scene shows the warrior pulling at his mother in-law's arm only to find it comes away and turns into a cat's paw.

KWAIDAN (1964/Ninjin Club/Bungei) 155mins. Japan.
Credits: Dir: Masaki Kobayashi; Prod: Shigeru Wakatsuki; Sc: Yoko Mizuki; Ph: Yoshio Miyajima; Art: Shigemasa Toda; Mus: Toru Takemitsu. From stories by Lafcadio Hearn.
Cast: "Kurokami": Rentaro Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe. "Chawon No Naka": Ganemon Nakamura, Noboru Nakaya. "Miminashi Hoichi": Katsuo Nakamura, Rentaro Shimura, Joichi Hayashi, Ganjiro Nakamura,Takashi Shimura. "Yuki Onna": Tetsuro Tamba.
A trio of Japanese ghost stories.
"Kurokami" (The Black Hair). A young samuri divorces his wife to marry the daughter of a wealthy family. Years later he returns to his first wife to beg forgiveness, but when he awakes next to her in the morning he finds only her skeleton.
"Chawon No Naka" (In A Cup Of Tea). A samuri is haunted by a face that he sees in a cup of tea.
"Miminashi Hoichi" (Hoichi The Earless). A blind man who knows a ballad that tells of two warring families, is summoned to play for a ghostly audience who eventually rip his ears off.
A fourth episode originally intended for this collection was released seperately, but has recently been restored to the original film. "Yuki Onna". A man haunted by a snow witch promises never to tell of their meeting and therefore avoid certain death. Later on he marries a woman who reminds him of the spectral witch and eventually he breaks his promise.
The beautiful photography makes the most of the colourful sets and costumes, while the stories unfold with plenty of atmosphere and chilling moments. As a whole, the film is overlong and best viewed in two parts.
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
Kwaidan translates as "ghost story".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KYUJU-KYUHONME NO KIMUSUME (1959/Shintoho) BW. Japan.
Aka: THE BLOOD SWORD OF THE 99TH. VIRGIN.
Credits: Dir: Morihei Magatani.
Cast: Bunta Namji Matsuura.
A superstitious rural community sacrifice virgins to appease their local god. The daughter of a policeman investigating the deaths is hung upsidedown from a tree as the 99th. and final victim.

KYUKETSUKI GA (1956/Shintoho) BW. Japan.
Credits: Dir: Nobuo Nakagawa. From the novel by Seishi Yokomizo.
Cast: Ryo Ikebe, Akio Kobori, Asami Kuji, Kinuko Ito.
The only clues to a series of murders are teeth marks on the victim's necks and a bloodstained moth. However, the killer is not a vampire.
The first in a series of nine horror films by the director under the series title "Kaidan Eiga" (Ghost Story films).

KYUKETSUKI GOKEMIDORO (1968/Shochiku/Pacemaker) 92mins. Japan.
Aka: GOKE, THE VAMPIRE; GOKE, BODYSNATCHER FROM HELL; BODYSNATCHER FROM HELL.
Credits: Dir: Hajime Sato; Prod: Shochiku; Sc: Susumi Tahaku & Kyuzo Kobayashi; Ph: Shizuo Hirase; Ed: Akimitsu Terada; Art: Tadataka Yoshino; Sets: Shinei Art co.; Mus: Toshisuke Kikuchi.
Cast: Hideo Ko, Teru Yoshida, Tomoni Sato, Eizo Kitamura, Masaya Takahashi, Cathy Holan, Kazuo Kato, Yuko Kusunoki, Nobuo Kaneko, Hiroyuki Nishmoto, Toshihiko Yamamoto.
"Tody Japan. Tomorrow the world!"
An airliner that passes through a mysterious jelly-like cloud encounters a UFO. and crashlands in a remote part of the world. Not only do the survivors have to contend with the harsh enviroment, but an alien has transformed a passenger into a vampire. They eventually vanquish the bloodsucker, but the captain discovers other humans who have become vampires and realises the world has been invaded.
Gorier than the usual Japanese science fiction endeavor, and consequently more entertaining. Watch for the birds that commit suicide by smashing themselves against the windows of the airplane.

 

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