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Produced by Matsuda Film Productions in 1979
(A new version of the silent film Jigoku no Mushi (Hell Worms))
(Premiered on 1 December 1979 at Yurakucho Subaru-za)

Jigoku no Mushi (Hell Worms)


Original story/Screenplay/Supervision Inagaki Hiroshi
Director Yamada Tatsuo
Cinematography Kuramochi Tomoichi
Art Director Toriizuka Seiichi
Music Director Sugiyama Koichi
Producer Matsuda Shunsui

Kokuun Danjuro Tamura Takahiro
Tobei the Hatchet Izawa Ichiro
Shichi the Ryanko (samurai) Mishima Ken
Sanji the Wildcat Imamura Tamiji
Gokumon Gonkuro Sawa Ryuji
Osaraba Denji Mihori Suguru
Masa the Sumo Wrestler Amakata Tamotsu
Otoyo Miyashita Junko
Chokichi Matsuyama Shoji
Empty-stomached ronin Yanagisawa Shinichi
Fujiki Yakuro Togami Jotaro
Shigebei, a pilgrim Kagawa Ryosuke
Wife, Otsune Hanaoka Kikuko
Ohisa Matsudo Hisae
Villager, Okame Sawato Midori
Teahouse owner Yuki Ichiro
Traveler, retired elderly man Yanagiya Kosan
Traveler, young master Sanyutei Enka
Traveler, bird chaser Sato Yoko

Commentary: A film produced in commemoration of the 20th anniversary since the establishment of the Friends of Silent Film Association. It is a new version of the silent film Jigoku no Mushi (Hell Worms) produced with a unique style of recording only music and sound effects together with images on black and white film under the belief that silent film is the original form of films and its draws absent in talkie films shall be appreciated by the viewers. It is a remake of Jigoku no Mushi which was produced in 1938, starring Bando Tsumasaburo and directed by Inagaki Hiroshi. In this film, Tamura Takahiro, Bantsuma's first son, plays the leading role. As Bantsuma's version of Jigoku no Mushi was revised into a product against their will due to the censor conducted by the Ministry of Interior, upon remaking the film after 41 years, Director Inagaki Hiroshi himself newly wrote the script true to the philosophy that was intended in the original script and supervised its production. The film became Inagaki Hiroshi's posthumous work.

The music was directed by Sugiyama Koichi, who is recently garnering attention in the area of game music such as Dragon Quest, and music performed by Tokyo Octet, lead by Tokunaga Tsugio, the concert master of NHK Symphony Orchestra.


Summary: At the end of Edo period, there lived a wealthy farmer and a nasty loan shark Yazaemon in a rustic mountain village called Tsuchiyu Village in the castle town of Fukushima governed by the Fukushima Clan of Oshu.

One night, a thief Kokuun Danjuro and his gang raid this wealthy farmer's place and kill all eight in the family, running away with six money boxes. While the villagers rejoiced inside thinking that the family deserved such punishment, a government official orders a team to make a sweeping search of the mountains to be formed.

The Kokuun gang consists of eight members: Gokumon Gonkuro, Tobei the Hatchet, Osaraba Denji, Sanji the Wildcat, Masa the Sumo Wrestler, Shichi the Ryanko (samurai), and Danjuro's mistress Otose. They are criminals each with complicated background and characteristics, who after their attack decides to flee to the land of the Yonezawa Clan passing over Tsuchiyu Pass and down along the Azuma mountain range.

They escape high up in the mountains of Tsuchiyu, but the gang finds themselves wandering around deep in the heavy forest running away from the hands of their relentless pursuers.

With heavy money boxes on their backs while running out of food, they become mentally unstable from hunger and fatigue which hinders the gang members' relationship. Then a quarrel over gold coins triggers the members to turn on each other. Some flee and others get killed, and the gang reduces in size one by one. The pursuers close in on what has now become a barbarous gang. Mother Nature also imposes a great challenge on the gang. As the mountain covered in horrendous weather with cold heavy rain mercilessly gnawing at their skins, the gang arrives at Chokichi's lodging at the mountain peak...

The end is nearing the fearless Kokuun Danjuro. Danjuro, now cornered into Mt. Azuma Kofuji, tells Otose who had been loyal and stayed with him until then to escape. However, Otose refuses telling Danjuro, "I will die with you," and smiles even as Danjuro kills her. Carrying Otose's hair as a keepsake, Danjuro performs a great swordfight with his pride as a criminal...



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