Kyûketsu dokuro-sen (1968)

Directed by Hiroki Matsuno [Other horror films: N/A]

Though at times incoherent, this Japanese film, commonly known under the title The Living Skeleton, has a creepy vibe and seems to be a movie worth seeing at least once, although it may not be the most enjoyable time.

It’s somewhat hard past a certain point to keep up with who’s who, and that’s what causes much of the potential confusion toward the latter half of the film, but even so, there’s enough here to keep the viewer engaged, especially as the movie draws to a close and there’s even a pretty fun twist thrown in there.

The skeletons in the water may not have the most realistic look, but I did enjoy it when they popped up. What’s less engaging was the focus on some Japanese gangsters, but they don’t last all that long, and hell, it is a movie of ghostly revenge from the watery grave, so it works fine.

Being a black-and-white movie (which certainly isn’t a given for a late 1960’s Japanese flick), The Living Skeleton had a lot of atmosphere, and though the story itself wasn’t always the most clear, the fog throughout the film, along with the coastal town and characters attempting to locate a friend gone missing, do make this an atmospheric, beautiful film, and possibly an influential one for Carpenter’s The Fog.

Really, no characters stood out that much to me, but the story, if you can keep up with the names and faces, was still worth watching, and though this would be far from the first recommendation when it comes to classic Asian horror, The Living Skeleton still merits a look, albeit a tepid one.

6.5/10

Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

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