The Movie: Kuroneko (1968)
What Is It?: A samurai horde storms a cottage and rapes and murders the mother and daughter-in-law who live there. A black cat licks the women’s charred bodies, and a demon spirit grants them renewed life in exchange for a vow of vengeance. The women are happy to oblige, as they must now drink the blood of all samurai who cross their vampiric path. Director Kaneto Shindō takes this seemingly simple premise into astoundingly complex territory with Kuroneko (Black Cat). Most provocatively, his script does not spare these wronged women the dehumanizing effects of waging war. Like all great antiwar films, Kuroneko is harsh and profoundly tragic. It is also an eerie horror film and a dazzling showcase of cinematic magic tricks.
Why Today?: Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day.