FEMALE PRISONER #701: SCORPION
Directed by Shunya Ito
Written by Tooru Shinohara
Cinematography by Hanjiro Nakazawa
Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi
Cast: Meiko Kaji, Yayoi Watanabe, Rie Yokoyama, Isao Natsuyagi, Fumio Watanabe, Yôko Mihara
2.35:1 anamorphic/Japanese/Japan/NTSC Region 1
Review from Tokyo Shock/ Media Blasters
Nami Matsushima (the beautiful Meiko Kaji) is female prisoner #701, a woman who is in jail after attempting to kill her police officer boyfriend, Sugimi (Isao Natsuyagi). He had double-crossed her to a group of scumbag drug-dealers, who gang rape. While, he just laughs it, off. She is determined to escape and get her right deserved revenge, but must first deal with the cruelties of the prison guards and the other deadly inmates, in particular the beautiful but evil Katagiri (Rie Yokoyama) and her cohorts.
This absolutely awesome film was the first in a series that would go to spawn three more sequels. The directing and camera work, in all, superb. Despite being unadulterated in its exploitative material, the movie is stunning to look at. It is amazingly stylish, with some of the most gorgeous use of color this side of Dario Argento. The movie is filled with symbolism and, at least one, surrealistic scene.
Also, excellent is the acting. Meiko Kaji , who would go on to reprise her role in the aforementioned sequels, is amazing. She is sexy, deadly, tough, and takes no shit. Yet, she also makes us care for her and her suffering. We cheer her on, hoping she will succeed. The rest of the cast rounds out nicely, as well. Thanks to all of this the movie remains enthralling and captivating to one’s interest throughout.
But, as I alluded to before, the movie is, first and foremost, an exploitation film. A pinky violence take on women in prison (WIP) films, this is like a dream come true for me! There is an amazing amount of naked, Japanese girls in this film, enough so, to have your eyes popping out of their sockets. Many of the women are absolutely beautiful. The stunning Ms. Kaji even has a hot lesbian tryst with another beauty in, of all places, solitary confinement! It also does not flinch when it comes to the graphic, bloody violence and nasty torture scenes. In the end, this might every well be the single greatest WIP ever made!
Shreik Show imprisons this movie onto our DVD players courtesy of this wonderful 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The movie looks beautiful in brightly lit scenes, but in darker ones looks a little soft. The beautiful main song and soundtrack sound great in the loud, albeit mono audio.
The only extras are a rather cool photo gallery with posters of the film and stills and its trailer. Also, included are trailers to PYROKINESIS, ICHI THE KILLER, VERSUS, and EKO EKO AZARAK II: BIRTH OF THE WIZARD. It comes in a keep case which holds a Fall 2006 Coming Soon catalogue. There is no inlet card, but the disc is broken up into twenty chapters, accessible from the static, but cool (thanks to the music) menu screen.
This Film Features:
Review by Giovanni Deldio. All Right Reserved. 2008. ©
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