Thursday, March 11, 2010

Female Convict 701:Scorpion Review

Female Convict 701: Scorpion, 1972
Reviewed By; Dan S.
Directed by: Shunya Ito
Written by: Fumio Konami, Hirō Matsuda
Starring: Meiko Kaji

First time director and future Japanese Academy Award winner, Shunya Ito, and iconic leading lady, Meiko Kaji, are much more ambitious and talented than your average W.I.P. creative team. Disguising the modest budget, Ito pulls out every wild camera trick in the book and probably invents some new ones as well, keeping each scene tense, fresh, and exciting. The lighting and colors are bright and psychedelic, often abruptly shifting with the mood of the scene. The whole design of the film is exaggerated and surreal, occassionally venturing into nightmarish Avant Garde visuals. While this is definetly a product of the 70s and Shunsuke Kikuchi's cool but time capusle jazz/funk soundtrack only confirms this, there is also something timelessly unique about this incredibly bizarre looking film.

Present in nearly every scene, the hypnotic and silent Ice Queen, Meiko Kaji, doesn’t display the same depth she did in her now more famous role as Lady Snowblood but Matsu the Scorpion is far more menacing and convincingly tough. Where as most actresses would be begging for the audiences’ sympathy she just coldly stares into the camera, the worst intentions seething beneath her stoic gaze. Surprisingly, the movie shows some restraint in terms of content. While the viewer is forced to endure the harsher moments as they happen, it is never too graphic as the more explict violence and rape somehow manage to escape the camera's view. Despite a consistent amount of nudity and blood, the violence is more comic book than disturbing and the soft erotica is only stiumlating when appropriate. Don't be mistaken this is still a nasty cruel movie but there is always progessively harsher payback in store for the villians, climaxing with a satisfying coda that sees Kaji at her coolest and creepiest as a black draped avenging angel.



  1. I NEED to see this. Looks very entertaining. TO NETFLIX!

  2. Jailhouse 41 is a great sequel too. Less exploitative and as evident by the youtube clips, much more surreal and cryptic supernatural elements come into play. Might review that one someday but for now can barely remember that one. Thanks for fixing up the spacing problems and adding the icons, had trouble editing it the other night.