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Poster for The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch (1968) with Hardcover Hotties Book Club
Watch trailer for The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch (1968) with Hardcover Hotties Book Club Watch trailer

The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch (1968) with Hardcover Hotties Book Club

Opens on June 4

Director: Noriaki Yuasa Run Time: 82 min. Release Year: 1968

Starring: Mayumi Takahashi, Sei Hiraizumi, Yachie Matsui, Yoshirô Kitahara, Yûko Hamada

Country: Japan
Language: Japanese

In partnership with Hardcover Hotties Book Club, the Film Center presents Noriaki Yuasa’s cult classic horror film. Before the screening, join us for a happy hour in The Festival Lounge from 5PM – 6PM. After the film, the Hardcover Hotties will host a structured discussion in the theater centered on Junji Ito’s Gyo, the Book Club’s May Book of the Month, and putting Ito’s work in conversation with the film. All reading experience is welcome!

Hardcover Hotties Book Club is a collective of readers & learners, who seek to explore a diverse array of cultural perspectives through structured readings and discussion, with the hope of cultivating a community of curious, intentional, and caring members of society.

About the film:

A young girl named Sayuri is reunited with her estranged family after years in an orphanage – but trouble lurks within the walls of the large family home. Her mother is an amnesiac after a car accident six months earlier, her sullen sister is confined to the attic and a young housemaid dies inexplicably of a heart attack just before Sayuri arrives. Is it all connected to her father’s work studying venomous snakes? And is the fanged, serpentine figure that haunts Sayuri’s dreams the same one spying on her through holes in the wall?

This rarely-screened, nightmarishly disorienting creepshow not only displays a seldom-seen side of kaiju auteur Noriaki Yuasa, but its skillful blending of horror manga pioneer Kazuo Umezu’s comics (published in English-language markets as “Reptilia”) arguably anticipates many of the trends seen in J-horror decades later.

About the filmmaker:

Noriaki Yuasa was a Japanese director primarily known for his dramatic and surreal kaiju films. He made his directorial debut with the musical comedy If You’re Happy, Clap Your Hands (1964), followed by his first kaiju film Giant Horde Beast Nezura (1964), the story of a swarm of giant mutant rats overrunning Tokyo. Most notably, he was the main director of all but one of the original, much-beloved films about Gamera, a giant flying turtle that befriends small boys and battles giant monsters. He also directed the gothic horror film The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch (1968). Yuasa’s final full-length feature was Gamera, Super Monster (1980). In the following years, he worked on Ultraman 80 (1980) for Tsuburaya Productions, as well as numerous other television and direct-to-video projects.

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