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Kuroneko (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]


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Kuroneko (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Eyes Without a Face (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The Devil's Backbone (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kichiemon Nakamura, Nobuko Otowa, Kiwako Taichi, Kei Sato, Taiji Tonoyama
  • Directors: Kaneto Shindo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005D0RDRA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,520 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

In this poetic and atmospheric horror fable, set in a village in war-torn medieval Japan, a malevolent spirit has been ripping out the throats of itinerant samurai. When a military hero is sent to dispatch the unseen force, he finds that he must struggle with his own personal demons as well. From Kaneto Shindo, director of the terror classic Onibaba, Kuroneko (Black Cat) is a spectacularly eerie twilight tale with a shocking feminist angle, evoked through ghostly special effects and exquisite cinematography.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Its also very sexy in its own way.
Mr. Andrew Elphick
The contrast between pitch black and silver light creates a sense of the otherworld - a technique perfectly suited to a ghost story.
Gerard D. Launay
The video is clear and crisp- the audio is very good- extras are minimal but well worth it.
Dr. Morbius

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 149 people found the following review helpful By 4-Legged Defender on August 18, 2011
[KURONEKO aka BLACK CAT - (1968) - Directed by Kaneto Shindo - Widescreen Presentation] From the director of 'Onibaba' and 'The Island', this genuinely creepy, atmospheric (and somewhat obscure) classic finally gets a stateside release; even more blessed are we that it's getting the Criterion treatment. Riding the critical wave after 'Onibaba' was released, Kaneto Shindo, along with Kiyomi Kuroda, whose award-winning cinematography sets the tone for this film, brilliantly delivers the chills with an underlying tragic story of lost love and revenge, and its Chiaroscuro/Noir visuals are nothing short of breathtaking.

In feudal Japan, a warring group of marauding Samurai seeking food emerge from the dense forest when they come across a house that should have what they require. Upon entering the house, they find it indeed has what they want and a whole lot more...it has women as well. The inhabitants, an elderly woman and her young daughter-in-law are both subjected to continuous sexual assault as each Samurai takes his turn while others plunder the women's food stocks. After the Samurai have satiated their appetites, they leave the women, now unconscious, for dead and set fire to their home as they flee. When the fire eventually burns out, all we see are the burned and battered bodies of the women amid the ruins and their vulnerable black kitten as it licks their charred bodies, a dark and grisly moment captured purrrfectly.

Later on, one night a Samurai approaches on horseback and is met by the spectral vision of a woman, who tells him she is too frightened to make her journey home because she has to pass the Bamboo Grove, which is a known haven for bandits and highwaymen. The Samurai agrees to accompany her to her home, where he is plied with sake.
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67 of 76 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Sharp on August 16, 2011
This is a film I have only seen on a crappy foreign bootleg copy --the picture was washed out and even muddy in patches and the sound was boxy, but the shortcomings of the poor transfer (from who knows what sources) were soon forgotten as I was immersed in the masterful storytelling and lovely atmospheric world of the filmmakers. This is a classic, old-school, Japanese ghost story, told at a measured pace and more creepy than shocking (which means it may not hold the attention of restless viewers who demand a rock'em-sock'em, CGI rollercoaster ride, and OMG --it's in black & white!), but it's just my cup of tea. I look forward to seeing this film decently presented, and you can always count on Criterion to get the job done.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Andrew Elphick on November 2, 2011
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I was blown away by this film.

I have really enjoyed films by Akira Kurosawa and wanted to branch out to other Japanese Director's work.

I bought this on a whim.

Its a haunting story that is tragic and romantic. Its also very sexy in its own way.

if you want to take chance and watch something startling and unique please give this film try.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gerard D. Launay on November 25, 2011
It has been a long, long time since I have seen a film and became so enthralled with it that I chose to watch the same movie the very next day.

The film begins with a view of a forest as white fog glides through the trees. A kodo drum beats furiously...this changes to the sound of a cats' claw on a brick wall, then the sound becomes an eerie rattle. A quiet cottage by the edge of a bamboo glade is a scene of peace. Very silently, we see twenty poor samurai who emerge from the bamboo, drink like beasts from a spring, then discover the cottage, Inside the home are two peasant woman who farm for a living. After stealing their food, gang raping and leaving the females for dead, the warriors maliciously burn the cottage to the ground. Only a black cat remains, licking at the womens' bodies.

These two women, a mother and her daughter-in-law, become cat spirits who can shape shift into their former selves, albeit with strange cat eyebrows. In the next world, they pleaded with the god of evil to let them live as vampires so that they could wreak vengeance and bring death to all the samurai. Their aim is to lure the warriors into their forest home, seduce them, then tear out their throats. When victim and victim pile up, the cat spirits discover that the newest samurai they have targeted turns out to be the older woman's treasured son and the younger woman's dear husband. Alas, alas, he has been given the difficult instruction by his lord to rid the land of the cat ghosts. How can he do this?

The black and white photography is moody, sensual, abstract, expressionistic...and absolutely sensational. The contrast between pitch black and silver light creates a sense of the otherworld - a technique perfectly suited to a ghost story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Morbius on January 2, 2012
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Like others of its kind, this film was made for black and white. It wouldn't be as eerie in color. The bamboo forests are dark and foreboding places indeed, as two wronged women pick off unsuspecting samurai one by one. Kuroneko is one of the best of its kind. Criterion has done a fantastic job with this film. The video is clear and crisp- the audio is very good- extras are minimal but well worth it. Highly recommended Japanese horror.
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