Team Experience is assembling our own coven of preferred witches for Halloween. Here's Michael C on Kurosawa's eery old ghost woman
The Japanese title of Kurosawa’s noh-inspired adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth Throne of Blood is literally “Spider Web Castle”. So in keeping with the films pervasive arachnid imagery, Kurosawa ditches the cauldron and transforms the play’s famous trio of future predicting witches (“Double, double toil and trouble”) into a single, demonic hag, who sits out in the forest like an eerily still, deadly spider, spinning her silk and waiting for prey like Toshiro Mifune’s Macbeth equivalent, Washizu, to stumble into her web.
It’s a stretch to call her evil, seeing as she only sets the stage for her prey’s downfall. The victim still has to do all the heavy lifting. On the other hand the unexplained piles of skulls around her lair do rate a raised eyebrow!
Broom: No. The witch in question punctuates her prophecies by floating straight into the air and vanishing in a blinding white light. The broom business might qualify as overkill, don’t you think?
Favored Spell: This lovely lady’s go-to move is providing misleading, selectively edited predictions of the future. Other pastimes include cackling in your face after you’ve been foolish enough to act according to her predictions and shape shifting into ones enemies so as to goad you into make an even greater mess of things.
Pointy Hat: You don’t hide witch hair of this magnitude under a hat.
Familiar: She works alone but spider imagery is pervasive.
"Only bad witches are ugly": How to be diplomatic about this. On a scale from Glinda to Elphaba she’s definitely not going to travel by bubble, if you catch my drift. That said, if you can get over her creepy, disconcertingly masculine voice she does lack all the traditional ugly witch traits like warts and a long pointy nose, so she might have a shot with guys who find themselves strangely attracted to the ghost from The Grudge.