NABESHIMA KAIBYODEN (1949)
aka Nabeshima kaibyou den
Directed by Kunio Watanabe
Featuring Ureo Egawa, Nijiko Kiyokawa, Soji Kiyokawa
What it is: Ghost cat movie
A haunted Go game board brings death to those that try to play a game on it.
This is perhaps the earliest ghost-cat movie I've seen yet. Most of the others are pretty similar, and I've gotten used to the standard scenes from these movies. This one, however, doesn't seem to follow the same game plan; for example, there's no scene where the ghost-cat causes its victim to perform tumbling routines via manipulative hand gestures. In fact, the only the thing the ghost-cat does here is appear, which causes her victim to go frantic. I would like to know how the ghost-cat dovetails with the story about the Go board, but my copy of the movie is in Japanese without English subtitles, and almost all of the plot points are verbal rather than visual, so I have to confess that I didn't get much out of the movie; I certainly can't make any meaningful evaluation of it. However, I do know that there are many more cats around in this one than I usually find in a movie of this ilk; there's one popping up every few minutes. However, I think I did get one thing out of the movie; at the time it takes place, it was apparently acceptable behavior to shove a cat in someone's face during an argument; that seems to happen a lot here. Sometimes when I watch these movies without English subtitles, I can still find a lot to appreciate; however, this is not one of those times.