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!