Kaidan Semushi Otoko (lost original audio from Japanese horror film; 1965)

Kaidan Semushi Otoko (original Japanese audio)
Japanese advertising poster.
Japanese advertising poster.
Status Lost
Poster for Il pozzo di Satana.

Kaidan Semushi Otoko (怪談せむし男), also known under the English titles The Ghost of the Hunchback and House of Terrors, is a 1965 Japanese horror film produced and released by Toei[1]. It stars Ko Nishimura, Yuko Kusunoki, Kazuo Kitamura and Shinjiro Ehara and was directed by Hajime Sato[1]. The plot concerns a woman, Yoshie Munakata (Kusunoki), who learns of her mentally ill husband's death that the man led a sort of double life in a remote and luxurious villa, tended by a hunchbacked caretaker (Nishimura) who is not what he seems to be.

In 1966[2], a year after the film was released in its native Japan, Kaidan Semushi Otoko was picked up for distribution by Filmar, an Italian company. Filmar changed the film's title to Il Pozzo di Satana (Satan's Pit) and produced a relatively faithful Italian-language dub, changing some of the principal characters' names. The Italian-language dialogue was written by Franco dal Cer. Filmar also added new titles to the film, giving the cast and primary crew English pseudonyms.

The Filmar version of the film has been released on both a rare VHS and a widely-available DVD; before the DVD premiere in October 2013[3], however, even the Italian version was quite rare, most commonly seen in a bootlegged form of an inferior and damaged print of the film. The original Japanese version, with Japanese-language dialogue and titles, is not known to have been released on any home video format. It is also not known to have ever aired on television and is therefore considered lost.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kinema Junposha K.K. via Eiga.com, http://eiga.com/movie/70270/
  2. Edizioni MCMLXVI, Film poster
  3. CG Entertainment SRL, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac2XTpMg5hE



Drew Simels

15 months ago
Score 0++
Is there any information known to the staff here that Toei does have a print of this movie?


15 months ago
Score 0++
Since the writing of this article, I've learned that the Laputa Asagaya theater in Tokyo ran a Ko Nishimura retrospective in 2012, and among the films shown was this one. I assume then that it means the original Japanese version is not completely lost, but it still remains unavailable for viewing. Also interesting is that their website notes a running time of 82 minutes; the Italian DVD version runs for about 77 minutes.
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