Release date: 1969
This Japanese film has the title on IMDb of The Haunted Castle, though I have also seen the name translated to Secret Chronicles of the Ghost-Cat.
The connection between cats and vampires is not unusual. Carmilla could transform into a cat and, when it comes to the Japanese traditions, the fantastic film Kuroneko was, without a doubt, a vampire film that featured cat creatures. There was also a traditional Japanese story, dating to somewhere between 14th and early 17th century and Anglicised in 1871, which is now known in English as The Vampire Cat of Nabéshima. In fact this is a loose production of the aforementioned story.
|Lord Nabeshima Tango-no-kami|
|possessed by the cat|
The film is a wonderful example of Japanese cinema, merging the historical Samurai film with a ghost/vampire story. The film is moody and atmospheric, mainly shot at night. The acting is good throughout and whilst the direction may not be as utterly glorious as that offered by Kaneto Shindô in the previous year’s Kuroneko it does the job masterfully. 7.5 out of 10.
The imdb page is here.