Posts Taged sadako

Horror Series 3 – Twilight Zone Episodes (season 1 1959) scarier than Sadako

This post is, decidedly, part 3 of the horror series. To read the freshly renamed part 1 and part 2 of the horror series. Follow the links. Halloween is over, but you know me, I do declare 31 Oct my personal christmas since the TV tends to yield the best of horror on that day. So much horror…it almost feels lovingly personal. Not sure how long the horror series is going to last for but I’m guessing it’ll continue till until my brain combusts or the minions revolt. 😛

This week, instead of a continued stay in the organic folklore of South East Asia (I promise we’ll return to that…but it’s a time-eating post and since I spent the weekend entertaining brain eating birds from North pole) I thought we’d leave the creepy humid jungles of SEA and speak instead of the Twilight Zone series made in the 1950s.

Truth is, Dad has been ranting and raving about the series for as long as I can remember but really, it’s hard to take Dad as a reliable reference for pop culture. Especially when his idea of selling 50s entertainment is mock killing me with random broomsticks and declaring himself SHINTAROOOOOO!

All this just about wipes out any potential for him to be a reliable taste maker in my books.

That is…until I stumbled onto 21 gigs worth of 1950s twilight zone episodes. I brought them to Singapore for dad, who looked at me like it was double Christmas on speed. We watched one of them together sometime last year and to date it’s become (almost) my sole source of entertainment.

For those not in the know, Twilight Zone is a Scifi/ Fantasy anthology TV series. The original series ran from 1959 to 1964. The original concept was so sucessful it birthed 2 series remakes. Each episode is lovingly introduced and closed by the main writer Rod Serling where he sprouts general interestingness and morals to the tale. The style might be deemed too theatrical for the modern age, but really remains quite endearing.

My progress is slow, there are over 150 episodes in the full 5 seasons and I’ve only just started on season 2 , these are my highlights to date. Video embedded and -again – in my opinion, scarier than tv-crawling Sadako. Your Royal Madness says you must watch. Especially when she has spent the entire afternoon finding/embeding complete videos for your amusement.

*** Enter boring as batshit legal banter here…episodes are property of CBS, but yeah, if u like it, buy it etc etc 🙂 ***

Here we go. Episodes and some DIY Rod Serling style wisdom… 😛

season 1:
PERCHANCE TO DREAM – is what happens when you take too much Red Bull and spend WAY too much time in carnivals. I don’t know why, it reminds me of a horror classic called “Carnival of Souls” but in a bite sized horror filled 20+ mins.

THE SIXTEEN MILLIMETRE SHRINE – is reverse Sadako. Instead of things coming OUT of TV it’s things going IN.
Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3

WALKING DISTANCE – more beautiful than scary. If interactive, mind reading, 3D polaroids that could directly interact with neurons were invented. Our journeys would look like this.

A WORLD OF HIS OWN – where the writer character reprogrammes reality like Neo from the Matrix. Except this happens half a century earlier.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

A STOP AT WILLOUGHBY – where a funeral services owner gets new clientele by sending subliminal messages of happy death. This is quite funny to me because I do live rather near the suburb of Willoughby.
Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

AFTER HOURS – See this is what happens when you eat too much food out of plastic containers. For added creepy strange, I think the main actress looks like Bjork

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

This selection is brought to you by Your Royal Madness, who woke up realising her “time-verse” shrunk and is doing a Shintaro style battle with time to finish all she needs to this week.

Horror Series 2 – South East Asian ghouls that are scarier than Sadako

** Album related news flash**

This week we take to figuring out how to get animation pre-shoots happening in time for the main video shoot hopefully by end Nov (or early dec) . In the meanime, I shall be praying to all superhumans, gods and psychic spiders that this happens according to schedule.

Oh…and my manager has convinced a very cool principle to let his choir sing about cults and murders. YAY – All part of the glorious, epic efforts of finishing this monster of an album.

So it’s back to Your Royal Madness’s attempts to distract/entertain minions with blog posts….while the album continues with it’s journey at glacial speeds and she STILL isn’t allowed to talk about it. She will, however, see about getting some snippets on site, or maybe play them via a vlog, if she can manage to hide the overall concept while doing so. 😛

** End news flash**

In my last post I mentioned that it was quite a pity that most of female related horror had gone the way of Sadako and I had some to add from Singapore, which is pretty much where I grew up. A lot of it is pretty much oral history, from neighbours, grandma, family etc and rather than have it ferment and mutate at the back of my brain from forgetting, it’s good I get to place them here.

The culture/ background of these tales:

I grew up in the far northern parts of Singapore, where, compared to the rest of the island, was quite underdeveloped. It meant that I was still living within walking distances to the last remaining Malay Villages (aka. Kampungs) until I was in my early teens. Dad used to be able to take us into the villages so we could have a look at village life, we had a great time exploring empty atap houses, broken down schools and old chinese/malay graves…oh..and we always could buy the freshest vegies.

No, we don’t eat things that grow on graves, I can hear you you know.

Oh…and did I mention, “The goat ate my homework” would be an excuse worth trying, given that goats really did crowd around the bus station where I waited at to go to school. (Though most times, I got rides from Dad) Also, if you listened carefully to the old men gathered at the nearby coffee houses, you would understand that they were verbal curators to some very strange tales which was always good fodder for a very young brain. Then the villages got torn apart and replaced by army bunkers which basically broke my pre-pubescant heart.

Of course, these villages still exist on a sister island called Palau Ubin and some rare parts of Singapore and I’m thinking a visit to these places have been long overdue.

I hail from a Chinese family that had been living in South East Asia for awhile — 3 generations from Dad’s end, 4 generations from Mom’s – who moved from Malaysia to Singapore. (Actually I think one of my grandmothers might be a Strait Chinese – which probably means one of my ancestors married a Malay – not sure – it might explain some of my features. From memory she was always wearing the Strait Chinese garment…who knows? I tried asking, but never quite got a straight answer. I am increasingly curious too…)

Like many Chinese families that settled in South East Asia, eventually, you mix DNA, cultures languages and spiritual beliefs. In my case, we become very familiar with the Malay, Chinese, Indian and Western realms of ghouls, demons and other supernatural in-betweens. Not too surprising to find that we share alot of ghostly equivalents with our South East Asian neighbour, Thailand as well, since tales do travel and ghosts are assumed to be a bit less aerodymamically challenged. Video below is an overview of some of the best ghouls in South East Asia.

In many cultures, the definition between demons and ghouls blur after awhile. These beings I will mention here are no Sadako. Since Sadako is like Spice Girls for ghouls and is about to die the gruesome death of media exposure, these ghosts will trump her on the scary ratings simply because they are not her. IMHO of course.

I shall start with Malay ghosts first…because they are my favourite on the gory/scary scale. You might soon see why. The source of stories come from the elders in the family and 3 brothers who have gone to serve in the army (which is apparently a hotspot for hauntings or major nightime hallucinations), oh and the internets. I could send you the best forum links for these things, but they are coated with a strong dose of the local lingo – which, unless you speak Singlish, Hokkien, Mandarin and some bits of Malay, is guaranteed to sound like absolute gibberish.

And if you must go to the source to see for yourself. This is a good one to try but I wish you luck. Kyochiro’s Ghostly Tales. is, without doubt, my absolute favourite.

Otherwise you might want to let your Royal Madness play your guide on these matters.

Like most oral records, it is in the nature of folklore to behave like crazy DNA with jumping genes -These tales do not quite stay as one ultimate CORRECT version – but rather, come in variety packs that point to some general idea of story. So bear with me while I try not to confuse you. yeah? Here’s 4 of my favourites.

Pregnant Ghosts

Ghosts that return to attack nearby villagers, pregnant women and children because they died of childbirth and are generally pissed off about what they cannot have. Sad really 🙁 Malay ghosts have a common association with a flower named “Frangipani” and if they are anything to go by, you will fear them after these tales as well.

Name: Pontianak (full name according to this site is : Hantu Pompuan Mati Anak) Pet names include : Miss P, Cik Pon
The Bad Google translate will say:
Hantu = Ghost
Pompuan = Female
Mati = Dead
Anak = Child
therefore = “Ghost Female dead child”
The locals will say: Female who died at child birth.
Etymology: Malay
Version 1: Died during childbirth, seeks revenge
Version 2: Abused by male associates, seeks revenge
Version 3: Did not get enough pre-natal care, died as a result, seeks revenge
Hollywood equivalent: Vampire-like/ Vengeful spirits
Habitat :Banana trees, or in Tree tops.
Feeds on: (Different versions different diet) Nearby villagers. Your internal organs// Blood of other newborns// Blood of pregnant women
Looks like:
Pre attack : A beautiful woman, in white. Long hair. (Long hair is a pre-requisite in most female ghosts), In scarier versions, they are shapeshifters.
Attack Mode: Scary, old wrinkly with long black nails, long fangs.
Smells like: Arrival heralded by strong smell of frangipanies, which slowly turn to smell of rot when you get too close

Sounds like: Arrival is heralded by dog howling or a baby’s cry
Special Attack Move:
– Digs nails into your gut, makes spaghetti out of your intestines. Loves internal organs.
If after revenge on certain male individual: will rip out/ devour sexual organs…ouch.
– Locates prey by smell of clothes – that’s why it’s a bad idea for clothes to be left out to dry overnight. Also said to be able to respond to specific invitations.
Can we tame it?: YES WE CAN!
Driving a nail into the back of the neck, where the feeding hole is, will turn it back into a beautiful woman. It will even live normal lifetimes as nice wifey. (Gotta keep the nail in though, removal of nail causes a resurgance of organ eating tendencies.
Can we frighten it?: YES WE CAN, she’s apparently afraid of naked women. So erhm…when you see a multi-fanged woman after you with long nails. Ladies…you got the power. Gentlemen…RUN.

Name: Langsuir
Gender: Female
Etymology: Malay
The Bad Google translate will say: NA
The locals will say: Female who died at child birth. – Similar to Pontianak
Grudge: Died from post natal depression, or specifically dying earlier than 40 days after birth (esp bad because 40 days after birth is considered the “unclean” period in the culture. Some variations say that the tendencies to become a Langsuir is genetic. – passed down from the female side to later generations like mitochondrial DNA
Hollywood Equivalent: Banshee/ Vampire Hybrid — variation of Pontianak.
Habitat :Tree tops forests
Feeds on: More specialised – loves blood.
Looks like:
(There are many versions of this)
Pre attack : Owl with giant claws./ Woman with long beautiful green robe

Attack Mode: Ugly, long nails, red eyes etc.
Smells like: Arrival heralded by strong smell of frangipanies, which slowly turn to smell of rot when you get too close
Sounds like: Arrival is heralded by the sound of babies crying.
Special Attack Move:
Acts like a blood parasite – possesses the victim and drinks their blood from inside out – involves long painful death. (Sexualise THIS Twilight! – then again….maybe not. Maybe never…erhmm…please don’t. The last thing I need is a glittering Langsuir)
Can fly, shrieks like a banshee.
Can we tame it?: YES WE CAN!
Break off the teeth and hair of the langsuir and shove the mixture into the feeding hole, also at back of neck. Will live normal lifetimes as nice wifey. I’ve heard legends that tell of a Langsuir living amongst normal homo sapiens for a good long and then turning back to her true form when she dislodged her teeth/hair mixture in some random ancient dance party.
Can we prevent it?: (other than making sure that women get the best post-natal care possible) YES WE CAN!
Stuff eggs under armpit (prevents her from flight) , marbles in mouth, needles in palms. All these reduce post death aero-dynamism. In many versions, the dead woman suddenly re-animates, becomes an owl and flies away. Then returns at night to feed. Other versions, dead woman re-animates, flaps arms and flies. No owl-ey transformations.

(Other versions to confuse us with: in some Indonesian versions, the Langsuir is said to be the “Vampire” mother while the “Pontianak” is said to be the stillborn of the Langsuir)

Detachables…More than meets the eye.

My late grandmother mentioned these after a long badger-badger-badger-tell-me-a-ghost-story-prettyprettyplease session, although I didn’t know the name of this ghost at the time of the stories…).

Name: Hantu Penanggalan (in Malaysia) Krasue (Thailand) Leak (Indonesia – according to wiki);

Gender: Female ( there is a unisex equivalent, might mention more later)
Etymology: Malay, Thailand, Cambodia, sighted/mentioned in much of South East Asia
The Bad Google translate will say:
Hantu = Ghost
Penanggalan = Dismantlement
The locals will say: Ghost that separates.
Grudge: Was some holy woman/ priestes – Broke her neck in shock because someone ninja-ed into her abode while she was meditating. Apparently, while soaking serenely in a vinegar Vat, a man popped in, and asked her what she was doing. In extreme shock, she jerked her head upwards so violently that her head came out along with rest of internal organs. She is afterwards (understandably so) pissed off as hell.
Some legends have it that the detachable head thing happens when women (why is is always women) spend too much time drinking young virgin blood/ practicing black magic. Never really said why, but maybe a magical non-wrinkley existence probably draws resources from other parts of the body, weakens neck-spinal cord muscle connection. etc etc….
Something of note: Apparently vinegar soaking features quite abit in purification rituals.
Hollywood Equivalent: Pissed off Ghost/ Demon
Habitat : Normal houses/ Lairs (depending on the version)
Feeds on: When desperate, will not be picky. Otherwise, listed in order of prefences
1) blood of little kiddies
2) pregnant women.
Looks like:
Pre-attack mode: Older yet beautiful woman, smells strongly/ slightly of vinegar.
Attack mode: Has fangs, not 2, but an ENTIRE Mouthful. (sexualise THIS Twilight!!)
Head: Head detaches with entrails and internal organs trailing. Does not look very aerodynamic but is able to fly around entrails and all
Body: When headless, is weak and vulnerable to attack/ normal decomposition (it is said that pre-detachment, the spirit/demon will soak the body in vinegar, keeping it from oxidising further
Smells like: Arrival heralded by strong smell or vinegar
Sounds like: screaming women
Special Attack Move:
Has fangs, shrieks alot before drinking victims’s blood.
Her entrail’s juices (eek!) cause sores and diseases, also cause weed growth and the growth of a thorny plant, jeruju. You can find her lair by following a line of Jeruju’s pointing to her place of rest
Entrails also strangle/ constrict victim Cobra style.
Can we tame it?: NO WE CAN’T
Can we prevent it?: YES WE CAN! This is why your mother told you not to sneak up on people. You can prevent her attack on little kiddies by using thorns from jeruju grown from her own entrail juice. Lace doorways with it. There are versions that say that she can get around that by coming up under floorboards. Grandma’s version: she can get you by crawling up through erhm…sewage portals.
How violating.
Can we kill it?: YES WE CAN!!
Hear headless body is the weakest part of her. Find her lair, mix crushed garlic into her vinegar vat, where her detached torso rests. Instant kill.

Note: I know heaps more detachables. My favourite species. They are SO like biological Constructicons from the way they detach and reassemble bodyparts. *love* Contemplating an entire post devoted to the detachables — If minions request.

Ghosts with very un-streamlined appendages

Ok, I planned to keep the post to ghosts with grudges, but really, the 2 below are too funny/ scary to not mention.

No one pays homage to appendages more than the lore of these ghosts. These species of ghosts own appendages that are actually portals to the other world. I’m really REALLY trying to keep a straight face and replacing some words so that this post doesn’t become NSFW. (Which, given that some of you are reading this from work, this post is SFW)

Name: Hantu Tetek
Gender: Female
Etymology: Malay
The Bad Google translate will say (unnecessary bad PG translation so sad) :
Hantu = Ghost
Tetek = Girl
The locals will say: erhm….Breast Ghost
Grudge: No known.
Hollywood Equivalent: Bogeyman (in this case Bogeywoman)
Habitat : Unknown – Comes out in the evenings.
Feeds on: I’m guessing little children

Looks like:
A woman with huge double D..mammaries that will dwarf the most stupendous breast enlargement attempts…except that they grow on her back (yes just directly above her arse)
Mammaries are also eternally rotting, overcrowded with maggots.
Smells like: Unknown
Sounds like: NA

Special Attack Move:
Short version: Death by BOOOBS!!! Devours like a giant Macrophage
Long version:

Her breasts are rumoured to be portals to the mythical world. Unlike, human mammaries, her appendages are apparently highly mascular and can hide/ squash her victims to death. Also, when the death is complete, her nipples are said to “unite into one”. ( No I am not making this up….I can still hear you you know.)
It is said that she comes out in the evenings, goes for young men and little children, and literally “absorbs” them with her boobs, like a giant humanoid Macrophage. Her victims literally disappear into her boobs while she runs off at the high
speeds – before Dr Who uses her bits to improve his TARDIS’ inter-dimention space travel capabilities
Can we tame it?: No
Can we prevent it?: No
Can we kill it?: No
What then?: Don’t go out wandering at night.- You can see how she’s the perfect bogeywoman for little kiddies who don’t return home in time for dinner. Not sure about the young men bit though.

Note: Would love to credit the hilarious drawing of Hantu Tetek but found it on forums that google linked to

Now to be fair, the male version (Bonus ghost since I said I was only going to do 4)

Name: Hantu Kote
Gender: Male
Etymology: Malay
The Bad Google translate will say (unnecessary bad PG translation so sad) :
Hantu = Ghost
Kote = Kote
The locals will say: Testicle Ghost
Grudge: No known.
Hollywood Equivalent: Bogeyman
Habitat : Unknown – Comes out in the evenings.
Feeds on: I’m guessing little children
Looks like: Ghost with Huge testicles that hang off like a tumorous kangaroo pouch. Appendages are said to be rotting and filled with maggots.
Smells like: Possibly Rot
Sounds like: NA
Special Attack Move:
Short version: Death by TEABAG!!!
Long: His testicals are also rumoured to be portals to other worlds. Also unlike normal humans, his appendages are apparently highly mascular and can hide/ squash his victims to death.
It is said that he comes out in the evenings, goes for young men and little children, and literally “absorbs” them with his privates. A fast moving creature, he escapes faster than the speed of light – before NASA captures him and uses his bits as a teleportation devise, after the deed is done.
Can we tame it?: No
Can we prevent it?: No
Can we kill it?: No
What then?:
“Don’t go around tonight,
Well, it’s bound to take your life,
There’s a bad moon on the rise.”

This post is brought to you by Your Royal Madness, who hopes that her minions will have sweet dreams thereafter. She also wants to let her minions know that this is dangerous territory for everyone and if you don’t stop her, she will post more articles just like these — she genuinely thinks they are educational and good for your psychological health

She also says “HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!” and wants pictures if minions intend to dress like the above described ghouls

Horror Series 1 – Sadako Crawl = Maracena dance to the ghostly world — Everyghoul’s doing it.

I do love a ghostly tale. Especially one of vengeance. What’s not to like? The idea of death being an actual equaliser, where the weak can come back bad ass as hell is a lovely thought. I have used it myself in the story in writing Lenore’s Song (which incidentally has hit 100 000+ views thanks to everyone)

Watch here again or pass it on…while I get busy with another.

Then of course, being a ghost and supposedly unbound by boring laws of physics ( or biology for the matter) oh wow, the potential, it really means that there are countless ways to cause mayhem and destruction, which are exciting possibilities for the ghost or the storyteller for the matter. Fertile fertile grounds for creativity….

You would think.

I have recently been given access to a whole lot of horror movies made in the last 10 years, and I have pretty much discovered that despite all the room for possibilities, our female vengeance characters have mostly been limited to

1) Hairballs
2) The classic Sadako Crawl
3) Classic Sadako Crawl coming out of portals – not limited to TVs and Toilet bowls.

To make me point. Here’s a few examples.

WARNING: Scary scenes.

If afraid, watch this.Not sure if it’s less scary since it reminds me of telemarketers and gym memberships. 😛 “Wanna be a member? wannabeamember?”

For the rest of you, let’s play a game of spot the difference.
———Scary scenes START here———

Sadako crawl = Macarena Dance for vengeful ghouls

— Patient Zero —

Here is Sadako’s famous crawling-out-of-TV scene in “Ringu”

–The Rest —

The Ring – Sadako’s American counterpart Samara. Here’s her crawling out of a slightly bigger TV, and an upgraded apartment in “The Ring”

This is Kayako coming out of a uterus l from “Ju-on” aka the grudge

Going down the stairs…

This is Natre crawling out of the bed from “Shutter” (Thailand movie – gd plot but must Sadako do a cameo there too?) , Shutter has since spawned American and Tamil remakes.

More crawls/ frozen slug walks and eecky menstrual leakage from “Tale of 2 sisters” (Korean) which spawned the American remake of “The Uninvited”

Too many more, to my count Sadako has left her hometown of Japan and was last seen in all too many Hong Kong movies as well. This one involves a Sadako ripoff sliming her way out of a toilet bowl ( Images from “A wicked ghost”)

———Scary scenes END here, You can come back now.———

For the benefit of those who haven’t seen Ringu or the Ring, Sadako is the main ghoul character that hails from the japanese movie “Ringu”. Mostly known for making killer viral videos and crawling out of the TV. She’s also known for her crazy hair and deformed eye which seems to be the last thing victims see before they cark it from fear, frozen badger style. Her summary as follows.:

Name: Sadako Yamamura (
Movie: Ringu (The Ring – american remake)
Nationality: Japanese
Species: Onryo – Vengeful ghost (see below)
Source of power: Has a grudge – Had some step father issues and mother issues. Father brained her, mother abandoned her etc.
Special attack move:
1) Shows victims her malformed eye, whereupon they die of fright
2)makes deadly viral videos which when seen causes death in 7 days.
3) Moves like a freshly defrosted slug resulting in brown underpants and Sudden Adult death Syndrome (SADS)
Physical characteristics:
1) Is a hairball, sheds more than your cat
2) Broken/ non existing fingernails
3) When walking, manages to move like a non vertebre animal.

Of onryos and it’s origins

Onryos – otherwise known as vengeful spirits in japanese is not unique in it’s concept. Many cultures have their own variety, where a spirit, bearing great rage and hurt, are able to bridge the gap between the spiritual and physical world and wreck payback, Arnie style. These beings tend to be women. I’d imagine that in the days of lore, this would make sense — what with the uterus ripping early childbirth from child marriages, genitalia mutilation (link NSFW), honour killings and whatever other torture devices made for womenhood living in pre-feminist movement societies. Of course, the added tragedy of this is that some are instigated by womenfolk and their family, hence the which makes the setting ripe for that great rage and betrayal. Old Japan, the setting of most onryo tales, had it’s repressed women, which probably explained why female Onryos far outnumber male ones.

Typically onryos look as follows (but I must stress, are NOT limited to:
1) white/black face makeup
2) White Burial gown
3) Long unkempt hair

Really, there’s a lot of freedom with the look since we’re not talking Kabuki theatre stylings….anyways moving along.

Origin of Ringu

Sadako (Antagonist of “Ringu” herself is a type of Onryo. Raped( if you read the novel )and thrown into a well by her researcher (novel) or stepfather (if you saw the film), she eventually dies after a long time in the bottom of the well. The rest, as they say, is pop culture.

Post death, Sadako is so inspired by her rage that she becomes a well known film maker. Except that her arthouse movies kill in 7 days, and those who watch it don’t survive long enough to nominate her for any film awards. (Which probably pissed her off further)

For those who really haven’t seen Sadako’s cursed video, it looks like she’s graduated beyond video and is now on youtube as well. Warning: may have side effects on mortality blah blah blah…

Nensha (Thoughtography)

Interesting to note that, Sadako’s mother, who also has the same psychic gifts of clairvoyance and thoughtography as Sadako, might also have been based on an actual person ” Sadako Takahashi”. Real life Sadako Takahashi was said to be an expert on Thoughtography and Clairvoyance.

** Thoughtography is the ability to imprint images on film with by sheer will of thought. **

Yotsuya Kaidan — the Kabuki

Also maybe less known is that , “Ringu” itself is mainly a tribute to an old kabuki tale called “Yotsuya kaidan” — loosely translated to “The ghost story of Yotsuya” by Tsuruya Nanboku.

Kabuki that was first performed in 1825 (says wiki) – This story was supposedly inspired by 2 real life murders.

Murder 1: 2 servants who murdered their masters.
Murder 2: A samurai who discovered that his concubine was sleeping with his servant. Apparently it was the custom at the time (perfectly legal) to nail adulterers to a wooden board, and throw them into the river, which the samurai did to the letter.

So our storyteller Nanboku mixes fact with fiction, as you do, and proceeds to pen one of the most adapted stories in Japanese entertainment — Yotsuya Kaidan.

It’s a multi part act, quite a long story but here’s a summary of the better known story arc…

Synopsis…yes with some embelishments and personal opinion thrown in….

Unemployed samurai, Tamiya Iemon (pronounced iee ye mon) double deals wife ( Oiwa) who is ailing after childbirth. It all starts when he saves random rich girl from being robbed on the streets. Random rich girl (Oume) discovers she’s in love with her saviour and insists she’s to marry Iemon and her father is to arrange this. Iemon is invited over to Oume’s residence, where upon he says he would like to but he’s married.

Family matchmaker says, “All, have some poison for your wifey, it’ll disfigure her and she’ll die shortly after.”

Iemon is all keen on this proposal, because Oume is from a rich family, and marrying into her family is good for his purse-strings and career. So,Iemon gets wife to take poison. To end the marriage more legitimately, Iemon decides to further set up wifey (Oiwa). He tells his regularly visiting masseuse that it would be a great personal favour if the masseuse would have his way with Oiwa. I think there were rewards promised to the masseuse. (Also, Iemon knew that the masseuse had a crush on Oiwa)

So Oiwa is tricked into taking poison, and is in horrible pain shortly after, to top it all off there’s a bribed masseuse trying to rape her. Oiwa puts up a huge fight and takes her husband’s samurai sword and threatens to pin-cushion the masseuse. She misses and rams the sword into the wall instead. In the midst of this mayhem, the masseuse grows a conscience, stops the nonsense and shows Oiwa a mirror instead and tells her that her husband is no good…blah blah blah, is marrying someone else and look what he’s done to you etc etc.

Oiwa then wants to go reason with Iemon. Says that her post-scuffle hairstyle is not presentable and, she needs to neaten up for her husband, because that’s what good women do **face palm**. So she, puts on a nice kimono, and starts combing her hair, hair comes out in clumps due to the poison. Falling hair reveals the extent of poison on face. Now she has a really bad skin condition on one side of her face, a funny eyeball and a few bald patches. Seeing the extensive facial damage, Oiwa finally flips and, in her hysteria, impales/slashes herself on her husband’s sword. As she dies she curses Iemon’s name and declares Iemon a lemon of a husband.

Iemon returns to his home and at seeing Oiwa’s death, feigns oscar winning theatrics of surprise and betrayal. He accuses the masseuse of having an affair with his wife, and kills the poor masseuse. He nails both corpses to a door (one on each door face) and sends them to the bottom of the river. He then attends a wedding, where he is the groom, all the end of a very long day.

Not long after Oiwa returns as a very powerful hallucinogen to Iemon – whereupon he sees her everywhere he looks, funny eye, skin condition and all. As a result, Iemon

      thought his new father in law looked like Oiwa…and killed him

thought his new wifey looked like Oiwa…killed her on the wedding night.

Thought the rest of new wifey’s family looked like Oiwa…killed them all, and goes off running weeeee……!.

Instead of checking himself into a mental health facility for what might be a self induced post traumatic stress disorder, Iemon checks himself into a temple and books himself an exorcist.

Exorcism is Epic fail…. and he sees OIwa everywhere, even in lanterns.

At long last one of Oiwa’s close associates who learns of Oiwa’s death and comes to settle the score and makes beef tataki out of the visually distracted Iemon quite easily.

The end.

There’s a whole other back story (it’s a multi-part act of a long and complex plot) if you’d like to look at the details on good old wiki. I’ve only highlighted and simplified the main arc of the story, so this doesn’t become a history lesson.

The details here

Parallels of The Ring vs Yotsuya Kaidan:

The eye: Sadako shows her victims her eye before they die of SADS (Sudden Adult death Syndrome). Oiwa has scary eye issues too.

The combing and the mirror: Sadako’s viral killer movie shows combing of hair in mirror. Long kabuki scene of Oiwa combing her hair is documented. ( in the kabuki play, someone’s actually under the stage pushing corpious amounts of hair out through the stage boards as Oiwa combs her hair – creepy awesome)

The well vs the river…ooh the fishes: both are water burials, they had a lot of time to lie at the bottom of alot of H2O thinking about life….and getting very angry in the process. Of course, this is where I suspect that maybe “The Ring” is a little influenced by a japanese folktale – Okiku, where the protagonist drowns in a well and comes back for revenge. i that’s really where the similarity ends since Sadako from the ring is a whole lot more vengeful and Okiku is alot more gentle in her vengeance. Okiku only goes after her killer, Sadako goes on a rampage.

The assault – betrayal of key male figures in their lives: with Oiwa, it’s the attack or almost attack from the Masseuse and the betrayal of her husband. Sadako was, depending in the book or the film, was sexually assaulted by the doctor she trusted (book) or brained by her stepfather (film) before being thrown into the well. Hence the being pissed off bit, but this is Onryo requisite so maybe it doesn’t count.

Style of destruction: Post life Oiwa kills all characters involved in her tale, does not actually kill her husband, who is the main perpetuator. (Her sibling does) Sadako shows the same lack of focus, kills everyone but the actual perpetuator – Actually, correct me if I’m wrong, but I never really caught what happens to her stepfather.

Facial distortion of victims: To Iemon, Oiwa was able to make everyone look like her and they get killed by a crazed Iemon. In “Ringu” everyone that has watched the cursed video tape appears normal but their images on photographs, however, appear distorted — one eye bigger than another etc. The distortion appears like a mark of doom and they die in 7 days.

The deadly viral aspect: With Sadako it was her videotape that killed when you watched it. With Oiwa, the similarity comes, not from the story itself but the urban legend that whoever adapts the kabuki play, puts themselves at risk of freak accidents. Which is why you need to pray at the temple of Oiwa if you were to adapt this play.

White garment/ White-ish make up – All very common for a yurei (japanese ghost)

Like it’s Kabuki counterpart, Ringu did very well in the box office takings and spawned a host of adaptations, sequels, rip offs etc.. Don’t get me wrong, when “Ringu” came out a decade ago I was rather smitten by the tale. Good story, a nice scare, interesting characters.

No problems there, until, as mentioned, we realise that the classic Sadako crawl and look has affected b-grade horror worse than the macarena dance. Between the countless visual rip offs, the creepy crawly, non-vertebre hairball ghoul no longer inspires brown trouser fear but a certain wish to crawl back into the TV to attack whoever is directing the movie….even when the story is very good.

And of course,bad horror rip-offs are my problem since my muses feed on quite a bit of horror as well. The absence of sufficient good horror makes the muses dangerously cranky.

Coming post

So post next week, about vengeful/ non vengeful supernatural beings etc, from the region of South East Asia, mostly Singapore — a place where I’ve pretty much spent my childhood. Most of it is oral history anyways…so it’s probably good it gets written down somewhere, for my records. Better yet if it inspires the urge to make female ghouls that don’t involve the Sadako crawl or all too similar tales.

**This post is brought to you by Your Royal Madness, who thinks that the post could be 10 years too late,but she did just catch up with a whole lot of horror movies….**

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