Female Prisoner #701 - Scorpion (1972)
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Critic Reviews for Female Prisoner #701 - Scorpion
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Audience Reviews for Female Prisoner #701 - Scorpion
This was my first Meiko Kaji film. My only other encounters with any of her work were her songs that were featured in the Kill Bill films before I learned more about both her music career and her career as an actress which made me curious to see more of her work. Needless to say, I was impressed when I ventured into her career paths. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion is a trashy, but stylish revenge film/female prison drama. Some might even call it immoral because of its content involving brutal violence and some rather gratuitous sexual content for good measure. However, I love revenge films, and I found this film to be a superb example of how well a revenge film can be made and acted. It's well written, features excellent acting, dark humor, sex scenes and nudity, nasty violence, beautiful visuals, kick-ass 70's music, and solid direction. It's pure 70's exploitation goodness and I loved every minute of it. If you enjoy a 70's flick from the seedy underbelly of the era, this is one to definitely check out.
A fetching Japanese woman, Nami falls in love and dedicates her existence and virginity to the policeman of her dreams, Sugimi. Sounds nice so far, what could go wrong? Unfortunately, she is a bad judge of character, and after agreeing to go undercover and infiltrate the Yakuza for a marijuana bust, turns out the suave and confident Sugimi was just using Nami to further his police career as he tips her a handful of Yen for getting gang raped. Unlike forgetting an anniversary or not noticing a new hair style, Sugimi's thoughtless treatment is unforgivable. After a failed stabbing attempt, Nami finds herself in a Japanese prison, seething and bent on revenge. From there the story takes one violent turn after another. While this movie was made in the 70's, the storyline, acting and dialogue are still relevant. Only drawbacks may be the out-dated special effects and three-stoogish sounds. A woman's scorn may be timeless. There are some great scenes that are as funny as they are memorable. Definitely worth a watch for those interested in Japanese thrillers, Japanese babies nursing, or lovers of redemption through vengeance films.
A visceral, energetic film that straddles a dangerous line between art and exploitation. It's schlocky and poorly made, but you can't help but get behind Nami and her warped quest for revenge anyway. She's absolutely ridiculous - her prodigious use of knives, silence and deceptive lesbian sex make for a desperate yet strangely appealing protagonist. Meiko Kaji has exactly one look, sure, but do you really need anything more? Homegirl is fierce. Anyway, I'm definitely inexperienced in the women's prison subgenre of film, but I know that it's essentially softcore bullshit. What's magical about Female Prisoner 701 is that it fuses the softcore bullshit with some surprisingly effective seriousness. If you're into revenge films, boobs and knife violence, and have a high tolerance for poor filmmaking versus ideas and energy, then there's no reason for you not to see this movie.
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