At the risk of greatly simplifying his career, Kaneto Shindo was probably a bit lost by 1979. His world renowned horror pictures like Onibaba and Kuroneko were already a decade gone. He hadn’t kept up with the output of the Japanese New Wave, but his career stayed afloat.
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2.5 Shindo over-eggs the pudding. What I thought could have been an interesting story about troubled youth rebelling against the traditional patriarchy turns out to be a highly sensational and melodramatic tale about filicide and motherloving. Shindo's later film Black Board (1986) is a far more compelling and believable look at innocence lost.