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Onna Kyuketsuki

The Lady Vampire
The Woman Vampire / Vampire Man

Japan 1959
produced by
Mitsugu Okura, Katsuji Tsuda for Shintoho
directed by Nobuo Nakagawa
starring Shigeru Amachi, Keinasuke Wada, Junko Ikeuchi, Torahiko Nakamura, Hiroshi Sugi, Den Kunikata, Masao Takematsu, Yoko Mihara
screenplay by Katsuyoshi Nakatsu, Shin Nakazawa, based on the novel Chitei-no Binko by Sotoo Tachibana, music by Hisachi Iuchi

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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20 years ago, Shigekatso's (Torahiko Nakamura) wife Miwa has disappeared without a trace. Now she returns out of nowhere, but she's in some state of trance ... and she has not aged a day since her disappearance.

Shigekatso's daughter Itsuko (Junko Ikeuchi) and her reporter boyfriend Tamio (Keinosuke Wada) discover a nude painting of Miwa in an art gallery and make the acquaintance of its painter, eccentric Takenaka (Shigero Amachi), who remains reluctant though about giving any information about his model. A short timke later, the painting gets first stolen, then delivered to Shigekatso's home. Somehow the painting finally triggers Miwa's memory and she claims she has been a vampire's captive for the last 20 years - the vampire being Takenaka of course. She managed to escape him only recently, but the arrival of the painting shows he perfectly knows where to find her.

Takenaka meanwhile has dropped his pretense to be an eccentric artist and killed several people due to his need for blood. Eventually, he fetches Miwa and returns to his hideout in the mountains. Tamio and Itsuko have meanwhile researched his background and manage to track down his hideout ... where Takenaka takes Itsuko captive, because Miwa and Itsuko's family is of some special blood. However, Tasmio has brought the police with him, and they ultimately storm the place. Then Takenaka is hit by moonlight, which eventually kills him, while his whole place crumbles. Tamio and Itsuko make it outside, but for Miwa it was already too late because Takenaka has turned her into a human statue.

 

A great if largely forgotten vampire movie, this film combines gothic atmosphere with some very contemporary, even hip imagery, but manages to remain atmospheric throughout, and manages to move along its story very swiftly with hardly ever dropping a beat (which is why most plotholes are elegantly ironed over), until everything culminates in a finale that might be campy in places but that works 100%.

Recommended!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD