Onibaba (Kaneto Shindo, 1964)

What's it about? Set in medieval Japan, a woman and her daughter-in-law eke out a living by killing passing samurai, throwing their bodies in a deep pit, and selling their armour on the black market. Their relationship turns nasty (nastier?) when a male neighbour turns up and inflames passions.

Is it any good? A hut in a sea of grass makes a memorable setting for an effective little chiller, with some fine photography and sound design. There's political, sexual, class and gender subtext underpinning the allegorical story, but also gratifying to see that even an arthouse Japanese horror film appreciates the value of a few gratuitous tit shots. 

Anything else I should know? The title means "devil-woman" and is a creature from Japanese folklore. For a bit more in-depth analysis check out this essay.

What does the Fonz think? Nasty little folktale, but worth a look-see.





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