The Vampire Doll (1970) Michio Yamamoto

 The Vampire Doll (1970)
aka Chi wo sû ningyô: Yûrei yashiki no kyôfu
Genre: Horror 
Country: Japan | Director: Michio Yamamoto
Language: Japanese | Subtitles: English (Optional, embedded in Mkv file)
Aspect ratio: Cinemascope 2.35:1 | Length: 71mn
Bdrip H264 Mkv - 1280x544 - 23.976fps - 2.65gb

Presumably inspired by the success of Hammer's many Dracula sequels, this is the best of the Japanese 'Dracula' trilogy, even though Dracula isn't in it. In fact, it's the best Japanese vampire film I've seen.

A young man visits an isolated mansion in the country to reunite with Yuko, the love of his life. But her mother tells him that she's recently died in a car crash. As he pays his respects at her grave near the house, he's attacked by a shrouded figure...

Next day, Keiko and her boyfriend come to the mansion, looking for her brother. They discover (gasp!) a bloodstained cuff-link in the family cemetary. They decide to investigate further...

With a strong cast, especially Yoko Minakaze as the mother, the film sustains a creepy atmosphere, helped by an effectively modern sound mix to put you on edge. The constant use of harpsichord music is a little annoying, and may remind you more of The Addams Family.

Though the story starts off with the familiar set-up of a missing relative, there's sufficient surprises and plot twists in store. It packs in gory scenes as well creepy ones. It also beats Hammer to the modern-dress vampire tale.

The film succeeds because it's grounded more in Japanese legend, with its shrouded vengeful spirit, rather than trying to adapt to the Dracula mythos of the west. Source Black Hole Reviews.

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