Young painter Hanimei is hell-bent on becoming the apprentice of famed
painter Shigenobu - not so much because he respects his talent though but
because he admires his wife Kise. Thanks to his friend Takeroku, he
ultimately manages to get the job, and when the master is out painting a
mural, Hanimei forces Kise to have sex with him, threatening to kill her
baby son otherwise. When a maid witnesses the scene, he kills her. This in
turn is witnessed by Takeroku though, who starts blackmailing Hanimei.
their first night together, Hanimei becomes more and more possessed with
Kise - so much so that he eventually sets out and kills her husband.
However, both the maid and Shigenobu return from the grave to haunt
Hanimei, and eventually they even scare him into killing
Kise is overcome with grief and despair by all of
this, and she thur totally dries up and is unable to produce milk to feed
her son anymore - but the ghosts of Shibenobu and the maid take care of
the boy and take him to the mother tree that feeds the boy. Eventually,
Hanimei figures the ghosts of the dead must be somehow linked to the baby
boy, so he tries to get rid of him - but without the least bit of success.
Before long, the ghosts go so far as to frightening Hanimei to death, and
Kise, who has long lost her will to live, only makes it to the temple
where Shigenobu was painting his mural alive, handing her son over to the
priest before dying ...
An extremely atmospheric piece of
horror cinema that somehow manages to combine its artificial sets, basic
special effects, theatrical acting and stagey direction to a great mood
piece that's definitely more than just the sum of its elements.