Review

Synopsis:

After being used and betrayed by the detective she had fallen in love with, young Matsu is sent to a female prison full of sadistic guards and disobedient prisoners.

Review:

Talk about bad luck: Young beauty Nami (Meiko Kaji) falls in love with a police detective, who utterly and completely betrays her, resulting in her gang rape by a bunch of thugs. As revenge, she attacks her ex-lover in public with a butcher knife, which gets her sent to prison. She spends the next months being systematically tortured on a daily basis by the inmates and guards, who take great pleasure in making her life a living hell. She breaks out of prison, but gets caught almost immediately afterward, making her next few months even worse. She transforms herself into a nearly silent “scorpion” everyone calls Matsu, and her transformation leaves behind all that made her identifiable to the human race. She becomes a ruthless machine, plotting her revenge on those who wronged her. Her captors see her as a danger, and her ex-lover hires an assassin in the prison to murder her, but it all backfires when Matsu coldly brings the prison collapsing all around her. When she eventually is able to escape again, she does it for good, with only one mission in mind: To get her revenge.

At times shockingly grotesque and sexually explicit, complete with rape, degradation, and I Spit on Your Grave-type violence, Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion is a bona fide cult classic based on an adult comic book. Over the years it has garnered a fervent fan base and with its artistic touches and chilling performance by Kaji, the film evokes a definite sense of “manga” with its unique approach to its rape/revenge storyline. It was such a hit that it spawned three sequels. Director Shunya Ito, the movie is bound to please hardcore fans of Japanese crime / action / revenge films.

Arrow Video is about to unleash a massive box set entitled Female Prisoner Scorpion: Complete Collection that includes 8 discs (4 blu rays, 4 DVDs), a huge fold out poster, a hardcover book (over 50 pages) that chronicles the series with essays, and a plethora of special features. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion has been remastered in a 2K restoration in high definition, and some of the features include a newly filmed appreciation by The Raid director Gareth Evans, an archive interview with the director, as well as new interviews, trailers for the whole series, and a reversible slip case with newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan. This set is limited to 4000 units.

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About the Author

david j. moore
david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor's Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and the upcoming book The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars, coming April, 2016 from Schiffer Publishing.