Cruel Ghost Legend (found Japanese horror film; 1968)
Many of Japan's 1960s and 1970s horror movies have, more or less, a reputation for being surreal, artistic, and well-crafted. While many (including Jigoku, Kuroneko, Kwaidan, and Onibaba) have gained steady cult followings thanks to remastered releases from companies like Criterion, some others (like Tatsumi Kumashiro's 1979 reimagining of Jigoku) remain elusive, sometimes only available with subtitles absent. One that seems to have faded into obscurity since its 1968 theatrical showings are Kazuo Hase's Cruel Ghost Legend.
Very little is known about the film, aside from a plot synopsis (which states that the film is about a blood curse that leads to "numerous bloody deaths, incest, a ghostly manifestation, and ultimately suicide") and two posters. The film, if uncovered, would likely be of interest to fans of early splatter movies (as the 1960s Jigoku is agreed to be the first true cinematic gorefest, even predating 1963's Blood Feast, which is commonly regarded as the first of its kind in the United States).
A second-hand VHS copy was recently located on amazon.co.jp, (for a whopping 15,000 yen, which equals $122), proving that, while rare, an official VHS release did indeed eventually occur (in 1990). However, until such a time that a philanthropic owner of one of the said VHS copies provides a rip of the tape, it remains one of those highly-priced rarities that fall just out of reach.
On March 7th, 2014, an anonymous contributor uploaded an unsubbed VHS rip of the film.
- A Japanese Amazon page on the 1990 Japanese VHS release of the film. Retrieved 15 Jan '14
- MEGA file of the rip of Cruel Ghost Legend. Retrieved 14 May '19