“Kuchisake onna” in “Constantine”

Desde SemiRandom dudamos mucho que ‘Constantine’ llegue a España después de que se haya cancelado la serie, pero mantenemos la esperanza. Mientras tanto, podeis echarle un vistazo a la aparición de la kuchisake onna en inglés.


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We were amused when watching the recently cancelled ‘Constantine’ (adaptation from ‘Hellblazer’, DC comics) to find a kuchisake onna in New Orleans. Hellblazer is a “contemporary horror comic book series” whatever that means, where the main character confronts magic, spirits, demons and the such. The TV adaptation works a lot of with the Christian and Voodoo mythologies. That was why I was very amused to see this. In my wrapped mind, this could only be a kuchisake onna on episode 5 ‘Danse Vaudou’.

The kuchisake onna (口裂け女) which translates to “Slit-Mouthed Woman” is a Japanese yōkai (unexplainable creature). According to the legend, it is the spirit of a woman who was mutilated and killed by her husband. The kuchisake onna asks people (generally youngsters or children) “Do you think I’m pretty?” while wearing a mask.

If the answer is no, the kuchisake onna kills her victims using scissors. If the answer is yes, she takes off the mask and follows up with “what about now?”. Then the consequence varies, but it is bloody again (either she slits the interlocutor’s mouth open like hers or she cuts them in half). In order to escape the kuchisake onna one has to answer “you’re average” or excuse oneself under the pretence of an appointment.

In “Constantine” the kuchisake onna is played by Chasty Ballesteros. In her first appearance, she is wearing the masks and asks a young lady if she is pretty. The girl answers no and is killed with scissors.

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In the second appearance we get to see what happens when the answer is no – she takes off the mask and kills the person.

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In the third, the ‘confusion’ technique is used, the answer being “I don’t know, do you think I’m pretty?” (said by a big hairy bearded guy played by Charles Halford ) or “do you think you’re pretty?”

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Not going into the otherwise spoilery story of the woman and the reason why she is there, we were amused of the use of a Japanese spirit. Kudos too to the person who wrote the episode for doing their research. Even though the Voodoo thing… reality suspension struggling here…


Constantine screenshots courtesy of NBC.

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About Sakaki Delijah

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