Synopsis: A wave of gruesome murders is sweeping Tokyo. The only connection is a bloody X carved into the neck of each of the victims. In each case, the murderer is found near the victim and remembers nothing of the crime. Detective Takabe and psychologist Sakuma are called in to figure out the connection, but their investigation goes nowhere. An odd young man is arrested near the scene of the latest murder, who has a strange effect on everyone who comes into contact with him. Detective Takabe starts a series of interrogations to determine the man's connection with the killings.
Genre: Crime, Horror, Mystery
Director(s): Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Production: Cowboy Pictures
  9 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
111 min


"Once upon a time...

in a forest lived a man

and his beautiful daughter.

One day...

a golden carriage drawn by six horses

stopped before their house.

Out of the carriage stepped a king.

'Would you give me your daughter

to be my wife?' he asked the man.

Delighted, the man agreed.

Truth be told,

the king was very handsome...

his only flaw being his beard,

which was blue.

Apart from this, there was no fault

to be found with him."


- What is it?

- Nothing.

Enough of the book.

Let's talk about something else.

Yes, please.

- Feeling all right?

- Yes.

I know how...

the story ends.

In the end,

the daughter kills Bluebeard.

- You are?

- Takabe, from headquarters.

Thank you for coming.

Mr. Takabe,

do you want to see the cleaner...

- who found the body?

- No.

A prostitute. Something like this

was bound to happen someday.

- I'm Takabe.

- Yasukawa, from the precinct.

Find anything?


If it was this Kuwano guy,

he took off in the raw.

And he left us his ID.

Excuse me.

She was struck with a blunt object,

but she died from loss of blood.

It wouldn't have taken long.

Both carotid arteries

have been neatly severed.

Have you ever seen wounds

like this before?


I see.

But the perp is no ordinary character.

You don't have to go this far

just to kill someone.

The suspect may have

a motorcycle or a bicycle.

Check all the service roads.

I'm on my way.

I'm going to check out his neighborhood.

You want to come?

Takabe, here.

Then there was blood everywhere.

Lots of it.

Sakuma, this came

from the Shibaura Precinct.

And then...

I looked at her face--

He looks okay to me.

They've requested a psychiatrist.

What's the point?

So he's like the rest?

Yep. Admits intent,

then says afterwards he was stunned.

The devil made them do it

is all I can guess.

Three cases in two months.

What's going on?

The media don't know?

No. We haven't released any details.

No TV or book plots like this?

None. We checked.

There've been no leaks, either.

Unless you've said something

in one of your lectures.

Give me a break!

The perps aren't related in any way,

and they're all perfectly rational.

- So it just happened.

- "Just happened"?

People like to think

a crime has some meaning.

But most of them don't.

So somebody "just happened"

to do this?

Where is this?

Shirasato Beach.

Where is it?

Shirasato Beach.


Shirasato, in Chiba.

Shirasato? Where's that?

Where are you going?



What's the date?

February 26th.

Where is this?

I just told you!

When was that?

Just over there.

Uh, do you know who I am?


I don't know who I am.

You what?

Help me.


I don't remember anything!

Could he use a drink?

No, coffee's fine.


What's that sound out there?

The waves.

It's so quiet.

"Mamiya" is written here.

Could that be your name?

I don't know.

You could be "Mr. Mamiya."


That's fine.

Mamiya can be my name.

It probably is.

Maybe we should ask the police.

No. No police.

Why not?

Then let's talk some more.

Perhaps your family, your work.

First tell me about yourself.


I teach elementary school,

and I'm married. That's it.

Where's your wife?

Sleeping upstairs.

Why is she doing that?

She has a cold.

Who does?

Mr. Mamiya.

Mr. Mamiya.

Who's that?

You, Mr. Mamiya.

Well, I've told you about me.

Now you tell me about you.

About me?


Doesn't the name Mamiya

bring back anything?


Why were you on the beach?


Shirasato Beach.

I don't know

what you're talking about!

Okay, let's talk about

something else then.

I want to hear about you.

I've already told you.


I don't remember.

I teach school.

There's just me and my wife.

What does your wife do?

Nothing. She's a housewife.

Who is?

My wife.

Oh, the woman in the pink negligee...

You saw her?

I don't remember anything.

You do.

Tell me more about your wife.

I'll be right back.

Hello. Could you give me a minute?

Bunch of idiots!

What did I do wrong?

I do things my way!

What? Go to hell!

Damn right I'm mad!

Stop f***ing around, you dumb sh*t!

Sorry to keep you.

Here we are.

There you go.

Good. Thanks.

Thank you very much.

Mr. Takabe, one moment.


Sorry. Did I wake you?

I'll do that.

No, I will--

No, I feel good today.

Where's the opener?


- I poured you some beer.

- Thanks.

How's work? Busy?

Yeah. How about you?

Me? I just did nothing all day long.


When this case is over,

let's take a trip somewhere.

Oh, that's all right--

No, I'd like to go somewhere.

We're definitely going.

You decide where.


I'll leave that up to you.

Okinawa, Hokkaido, anywhere.

From one extreme to the other.

You decide.

All right.

The victim is...

Tomoko Hanaoka, 26,

the suspect's wife.

Her carotid arteries were cut.

"Suspect teaches elementary school.

Committed to his work, a good teacher.

High school classmates,

married two years.

Neighbors describe them

as a fine couple.

No trouble with debt or anything."

The devil made him do it?

Mr. Hanaoka...

last night you killed

your wife Tomoko.

Is that correct?

Mr. Hanaoka?

You sliced her open with a knife...

from throat to chest.


Why did you kill her like that?

I don't know. Why did I do it?

Did you read some novel

or see some movie like that?

Did someone talk to you?


I see.

Did you hate your wife?

Things weren't going well

between you, were they?

No, that's not true.

Then isn't it strange?

What is it, Mr. Hanaoka?

I remember everything.

I killed Tomoko.

At the time it just seemed...

the natural thing to do.

- Was there a quarrel?

- No.

It's weird. You murdered

your wife for no reason?

That's right.

There was no reason.

But I killed her!

I killed Tomoko!

Mr. Hanaoka, crying won't help.

I'm going to keep on asking you

until you tell me.

- I'm sure this is hard for you--

- That's enough, Takabe.

- No.

- That's enough.

Take him.

He's not lying.

He remembers everything.

Chances are he's completely sane.

Hey! Stop that!

Would a person cut someone up like that

because the devil made them do it?

What if they all had some similar

trauma in their childhoods?

It lies suppressed for years,

then they explode.

Could that happen?

Since when did you become a shrink?

I've been reading up.

You know, my wife...

Don't laugh. Beginners' books.

Don't believe everything you read.

Well, it's in a book.

No one can understand

what motivates a criminal...

sometimes not even the criminal.

No one understands.

You're getting in too deep.

No. All I want is to find words

that will explain the crimes.

That's my job.

Yeah, I guess so.

How is your wife, by the way?

She's going to the hospital

you recommended.

She's a lot better.


At least, it seems that way.

I don't know if she really is.

Thank you very much.

That's all right.

- I might have to come again.

- You might?

Could you contact this officer

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Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Kiyoshi Kurosawa (黒沢 清, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, born July 19, 1955) is a Japanese film director, screenwriter, film critic and a professor at Tokyo University of the Arts. Although he has worked in a variety of genres, Kurosawa is best known for his many contributions to the Japanese horror genre. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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