Everyone has their staples for Halloween watching, like John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and “Nightmare Before Christmas.” But be forewarned, gentle reader, because your master of Scarimonies (God, I sound like the Crypt Keeper), Dukey Flyswatter, will suggest some gems and themes that may have flown drastically under your radar, like a schizophrenic Vampire Bat.
This week’s theme is Horror Obscura: The foreign market. Most scream fanatic fiends will know these flickers from across the pond and beyond, but I’m always surprised at how many of these get the short shrift on the Devil’s A-List.
Thursday Oct. 13th. Blind Woman’s Curse 1970.
Japan. Director: Teruo Shi. Stars: Meiko Kaji, Hoki Takuda, Mokoto Sako.
An ancient type of ghost story modernized to be a jittery and psychedelic mix of sword fighting, the supernatural, gore and off-kilter humor. When I first saw it at the age of 18, I found it to be an artistic assault that I would come to appreciate more as the years came and went. For a while, this film was so rare that when I described the discombobulated mix of mayhem, people questioned its existence. Fortunately, there is a first rate Blu-Ray that you should snag before it goes out of print. It is the type of film that Robert Rodriquez’s El Rey network could show on Friday nights with other horror and cult films, so you might get lucky.
A badass, modernized female Yakuza Boss engages in a war with another clan over turf rights. Just when the older male crime boss is about to meet his maker, his daughter intercedes to plead for his life and receives a slice of the blade across her eyes, blinding her. Once she crumbles to the ground, a black cat licks her wounds, thus becoming her spirit guide and cohort in a revenge plot. Years later, the blind woman returns as a virtuoso Samurai and proprietor of a bizarre carnival with a hunchbacked servant. Don’t try to guess the outcome, or make sense of it, just knock back a Kirin and let the madness wash over you.