One of the most acclaimed horror films in cinema history, Kaneto Shindo's chilling, psychosexual fable arrives on DVD courtesy of The Criterion Collection. Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is spectacular. From establishing shots of an ocean of menacing grass to the horrific nighttime encounters with a hideous, steel-faced demon, the picture is sharp, crisp, and vibrant. Blacks are solid and dark as night. Sound is presented in bold Dolby Digital Mono with optional, easy-to-read English subtitles. For those who doubt the power of a mono sound mix, the whipping wind and ominous thunderstorms that comprise the sound scheme are undeniably effective even without a 5.1 remix. For those not averse to a little reading, Criterion has also seen fit to include a wealth of information in the form of extensive liner notes. In addition to discussing the active career of director Shindo, Film Comment writer Chuck Stephens' lovingly detailed essay places the film in historical context while also making mention of Hikaru Hayashi's unyieldingly primal, driving score. The director himself also chimes in with an intimate discussion of his take on the Buddhist legend of "A Mask With Flesh Scared a Wife," and an extended interview with Shindo delves even deeper into both his own career and the origins of the film. An abbreviated version of the actual legend is also included so those unfamiliar with the tale may familiarize themselves with the cautionary religious yarn. For those who assume such a rural location would make for a quick, gun-and-go shoot for the cast and crew, detailed behind-the-scenes notes give testament to the grueling hardships of filming Onibaba, with accompanying photographs and Super-8 footage offering a detailed look at the day-to-day living conditions of the crew.