Friday, February 9, 2007

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)

The story concerns the beautiful Nami Matsushima (aka Matsu the Scorpion) who has been double crossed by her corrupt cop/mafia boyfriend and sent to a women’s prison. Whilst making an escape attempt she is captured and placed in solitary confinement where she is tortured, but using her cunningness she is able to turn the tables on her tormenter. The prison’s guards know she is too blame, but don’t have the proof, so they try to break her anyway they can. Nami is a strong prisoner and whatever tactic they try to use to make her confess does not work. Eventually her resilience leads to all the other prisoners becoming involved.

Being a ‘women in prison’ movie, it contains all the usual clich├ęs - lesbianism, catfights etc., but this Japanese movie is different. The cinematography is stylish and the artistic direction is amazing leading the viewer to never feel bored. One scene which stands out involves Nami remembering her past with her boyfriend. This is played out like a large stage play with the action moving from one part of the stage to the other with the scenery revolving to create the next scene. It’s a clever ploy and very mesmerizing in what could have been just another women in prison movie. Another scene of significance is when a fellow prison is trying to attack her in the showers and in her fury the prisoner temporarily transforms into a possessed witch.

The prison guards are typically sadistic, but also comedic at other times. One notable moment is the scene in the shower and what happens to a piece of broken glass. I won’t say any more, but will leave you to watch it instead.

For lovers of the female flesh there’s plenty to keep you happy and Meiko Kaji, who plays the heroine, is just perfect and very sexy. She is well known for her lead role in the samurai movie Lady Snowblood

All in all, this is a much better than your average prison flick with some good use of sound and a great catchy title theme. Recommended to connoisseurs of the genre as well as novices. Arty sleaze at it’s best!

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English subtitles: Female[1].Prisoner.701.Scorpion.1972.DVDRip.XviD-SAPHiRE.(

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