Set in feudal Japan, this atmospheric and violent ghost story (whose title literally translates as THE BLACK CAT IN THE BUSH) begins with the brutal murder of two women by a band of mercenary samurai, whose leader is subsequently tracked down, seduced, and murdered by a young woman possessed by the shape-shifting specter of his victim. Called upon to avenge the warrior's death is none other than the woman's former husband, who has been ordered by his superiors to assassinate the guilty party. Plot twists abound as the older, vengeful spirit seeks to exact poetic justice despite the younger ghost's reluctance to destroy the man who once loved her. Though not on the epic level of KWAIDAN or ONIBABA, this adaptation of an ancient folk tale benefits from the same cultural richness, as well as a touch of social allegory.
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