Friday, May 10, 2013

Things aren't what they seem in Matsuno's horror flick


I enjoyed watching HIROSHI MATSUNO'S 1968 horror film "KYUKETSU DOKURO SEN (THE LIVING SKELETON)" today, even though I found it difficult to follow in spots.
KIKKO MATSUOKA plays two characters, a grief-stricken woman struggling to cope with the death of her sister, and the sister who was brutally murdered when pirates slaughtered people on a freighter that was carrying gold.
Three years after the slayings, the pirates begin to be murdered and the dead sister appears to be the culprit -- getting her revenge from beyond the grave.
Things aren't what they seem in this engaging film, however, and there is no better example than a priest played by MASUMI OKADA.
Film buffs will remember the Japanese-Danish Okada as "Frank," the finger-snapping Amerasian in the 1956 classic "KURUTTA KAJITSU (CRAZED FRUIT)." 
In "The Living Skeleton," Okada's character has a connection to the freighter tragedy we don't learn until late in the film -- a plot twist that surprises other characters as much as it does the film's viewers.
I will need to watch "The Living Skeleton" again before I fully understand it. One viewing, however, was enough to know I like it.

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