Saturday, August 14, 2004


I just finished watching Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion, the first film in the Scorpion series, which was recently released on DVD in the U.S. This is one case in which the sequel is far superior to the original: Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41, the second film in the series, is a classic, but the first film, though directed by the same person, is pretty much your standard women-behind-bars exploitation flick, complete with lots of gratuitous nudity. There's even a brief soft-core lesbian scene, though this is actually one of the better scenes in the film, thanks to Meiko Kaji's aggressive performance. Shunya Ito, the director, tosses in some "arty" lighting and camerawork; and there's a memorable, bizarre scene in which the female prisoners gleefully gang-rape the male guards they've taken hostage. But the main reason for watching the movie is Meiko Kaji's intensity as Scorpion. I would recommend watching Jailhouse 41 first (it doesn't depend on knowing what takes place in Prisoner #701 at all), and only then, if you feel like it, going back to Prisoner #701.

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