Jigoku [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1960]

  • SKU: 9021373
  • Release Date: 09/19/2006
  • Rating: NR
  • 5.0 (1)
Criterion has assembled an informative package for this chilling cult favorite. Jigoku is given a strong anamorphic, letterboxed transfer that does a good job of capturing the film's stark, shadowy look with an impressive depth of detail (the primary colors used in the film's creepy second look positively startling here). The audio portion of the disc sticks to the original Japanese mono soundtrack, which is presented with clear, well-translated English subtitles, and the track sounds pretty good for its age and its mono-based limitations. Criterion has also assembled a tidy little package of extras for the film. First up is "Building the Inferno," a 40-minute featurette that covers the making of Jigoku, the career of Nobuo Nakagawa and how the film influenced many modern Japanese horror film directors. It provides a loving tribute to the film and its creator and those who are new to Japanese horror cinema will be happy to note that this featurette goes into detail about Japan's uniquely personalized approach to the genre. Elsewhere, the disc features the film's original theatrical trailer and a gallery of posters from selected Nakagawa films and Shintoho releases. The package is rounded out by a booklet with an insightful, detailed essay on Jigoku and Nakagawa by critic Chuck Stephens. All in all, this is another strong release for Criterion and a great introduction to vintage Japanese horror.
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Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • "Building the Inferno," a documentary on director Nobuo Nakagawa and the making of the film, featuring exclusive interviews with actor Yoichi Numata, screenwriter Ichiro Miyagawa, Nakagawa collaborators Chiho Katsura and Kensuke Suzuki, and Cure and Doppelganger director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Galleries of posters from selected Nakagawa and Shintoho Studios films
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: A new essay by noted Asian-cinema critic Chuck Stephens


When a young college student had his sadistic friend leave a respected yakuza to die after inadvertently running him down on a lonely stretch of road, their fate is sealed in director Nobuo Nakagawa's Japanese horror classic Jigoku. Shiro's life seems to be going well; he's in love with pretty Yukiko and just received her parent's permission to take her hand in marriage. When his roommate, Tamura, runs down a drunken yakuza and refuses Shiro's plea to return to the scene of the crime and help the man, Shiro's conscience burns, and he soon admits his crime to Yukiko. As the two rush to Yukiko's father for advice, their taxi crashes and Yukiko dies in Shiro's arms. Overwhelmed by the tragedy that surrounds him, Shiro's life descends into a haze of alcohol and loose women until he receives word that his mother is gravely ill. Though he makes it to the senior citizens community in time to see her before she dies, Shiro is followed to the community by both Tamura and Yoko, a prostitute out to avenge the death of her yakuza boss. As Shiro is sent screaming into hell, his horrifying journey into darkness has only begun. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Shigeru Amachi
  • Image coming soon
    Utako Mitsuya

Overall Customer Rating

5 out of 55.0
1 Reviews
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