Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
Original title: Hausu
Japan, 1977. PSC, Toho Company. Story by Chigumi Obayashi, Screenplay by Chiho Katsura. Cinematography by Yoshitaka Sakamoto. Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Yorihiko Yamada, Nobuhiko Ohbayashi. Music by Asei Kobayashi, Mickie Yoshino. Production Design by Kazuo Satsuya. Film Editing by Nobuo Ogawa.
Campy horror film about an unhappy young girl whose father announces that he is getting remarried, prompting her to write to her long estranged aunt and ask if she can visit for the summer. Her aunt happily agrees to put up not only her niece but her best friends as well, so the group of excitable girls (with names like “Fantasy”, “Kung Fu” and “Mac”) goes out to the countryside and looks forward to a fun break from school. What they get instead is a haunted house whose owner, it turns out, has been dead for years and enjoys feasting on young women in the most creative ways imaginable: sometimes the piano eats them, other times they get beheaded. Full of terrific special effects and wonderfully committed performances, it’s something of a Japanese version of Suspiria, much more humorous but not at all shy about goriness. It’s a great one for the midnight madness crowd.
The Criterion Collection: #539