GIRL DIVERS OF SPOOK MANSION (ama no bakemono yashiki) (1959 JAPAN) D: MORIHEI MAGADANI W: AKIRA SUGIMOTO/TADASHI AKAJI P: MITSUGU OKURA
Fourth entry in Shin-Toho's "ama" (or woman diver) series (that began with REVENGE OF THE PEARL QUEEN). Yoko Mihara comes to a fishing village on the request of her frightened friend who lives in a big old family house, alone. She tells of how her brother went missing, and her sister-in-law went mad, committed suicide by jumping in a well and cursed her. She also claims to have seen her ghost, wearing a string of black pearls. Mihara calls in her Tokyo cop boyfriend (a young Bunta Sugawara), because one of his murder cases involved a dead girl with black pearls in her stomach. There's a ghost, a search for treasure, underwater caves and a hunchback among other things, so this entry is slightly less boring than previous (although I would hesitate to call it watchable). Shots of the girl divers at work are slightly more risque too, with the occasional visible nipple (Masayo Banri is the main eye-candy on display). That villain who looks like Ken Ogata is in fact Yoichi Numata. With Yoji Misaki, Kyoji Kokonoe, Hiroshi Hayashi and Hideo Sasaki. In b/w, it apparently played American drive-ins in an English dub, but nowadays raw Japanese is the only way to go. I think it may be based on a novel by Kahara Kozo. Mihara, Sugawara and Numata were also in the same Director's controversial BLOOD SWORD OF THE 99TH VIRGIN the same year. GHOST OF THE GIRL DIVER concluded the series.

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