Friday, July 09, 2010
Release date: 1959
Onna kyûketsuki is variously known as the Woman (or Lady) Vampire and Vampire Man and is not only an example of a very early take on vampires from Japanese cinema but also, I believe, the first Japanese horror film set in contemporary times.
The film doesn’t generate the atmosphere it should (after quite a promising start) and its lore is rather unusual. But it is exactly those unusual aspects that make it so interesting.
Weird Vampire Tales), this film predated Dan Curtis using reincarnated love as a device in Dark Shadows by several years. Anyway, it subsequently takes her twenty years to escape. He also threatens her with the golden cross – and this is interesting from a genre point of view. Takenaka uses the cross (rather than is repelled by it) and it will turn a woman forced to wear it into an eternal statue. He has done this several times before.
The film has interesting vampire lore but I was frustrated by lack of exposition as to what the monsters were. The ending drags on and, to be honest, gets a tad silly. However, this is an important piece of vampire cinema – especially as a piece of Japanese cinema. 5.5 out of 10.
The imdb page is here.
LADY VAMPIRE AKA ONNA KYUKETSUKI at Amazon