Another potential Edinburgh Film Guild season for next year...
Although most western audiences only became aware of Japanese horror cinema with the release of The Ring, Dark Waters, Audition and so on, the genre has a long history in the country. With this mini-season we showcase six of the best Japanese horror films from the late 1950s through the 1970s.
Jigoku -- Right from the opening credits, projected onto a naked woman's body and accompanied by a John Zorn-esque soundtrack, you know you are in for a trip as a university student falls foul of a demonic figure to find himself plunged into hell, the depiction of which still packs a punch and shows how those rumours of Hammer producing extra-gory versions of their films for the Japanese market arose.
Matango -- Survivors from a shipwreck find themselves on an island populated by mushroom people. The condition turns out to be contagious...
Irezumi -- After being kidnapped, made to work as a geisha, and forcibly tattooed with a large spider, Otsuya seeks bloody revenge upon those who have wronged her. The title Irezumi refers to the traditional Japanese tattooing methods depicted in the film.
Goke Bodysnatcher from Hell -- After their plane crash lands in an isolated area a mixed group of characters discover that there is a body-jumping alien parasite amongst them. Tarantino referenced Goke in Kill Bill Vol 1 as the bride flew to Japan against a blood-red sky.
Horror of Malformed Men -- Suffering from a de facto ban in Japan, this complex and at times avant-garde production based on a story by the pseudonymous Edogawa Rampo -- i.e. the Japanese Edgar Allan Poe -- must be seen to be believed.
House -- A group of school pupils venture into the house of a witch, with bizarre and frequently fatal consequences. At times reminiscent of Dario Argento's Suspiria, but incredibly upping the what-the-fuck factor even higher.
Should Kwaidan/Kaidan be there? Or one of the Toho Dracula films?