Impecunious samurai Iemon and his conniving servant Naosuke commit multiple murders to secure the affections of two sisters, Iwa and Sode. Iemon soon tires of Iwa, and given the opportunity to marry a wealthy man’s daughter, he removes the inconvenience of an existing wife by poisoning her and slashing to death the masseur he’d bribed to seduce her. The two bodies are nailed to opposite sides of a shutter and sunk in a pool. Both victims’ disfigured ghosts return to haunt the two murderers, leading them to further crimes and, ultimately, retribution. —eofftv.com
Nobuo Nakagawa (18 April 1905 — June 17, 1984) was a Japanese film director, most famous for the stylized, folk tale-influenced horror films he made in the 1950s and 1960s. Nakagawa began his film career as an apprentice to Masahiro Makino in 1934 and made his directorial debut with Itahachi Jima (1938). To Western audiences, his most famous film is Jigoku (1960), which he also co-wrote. The film was released on DVD by the Criterion Collection in 2006. His last film was 1982’s Kaiidan: Ikiteiru Koheiji. —Wikipedia
It may start out like a fairly conventional Japanese melodrama, but as the story gets darker and the horror elements kick in, it deliriously goes over the edge. Director Nobuo Nakagawa infuses what could be a familiar story with great style and atmosphere, cementing his reputation as a pioneer of the horror genre. A classic.