The most uncomfortable films I have ever seen. They are listed by how much discomfort I think they might cause.…
Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41
Matsu, known to the prisoners as Scorpion, is locked away in the bowels of the prison as revenge for disrupting the smooth operation of the prison and for her disfiguring attack on the warden. Granted a one day reprieve due to the visit of a dignitary, she takes advantage and attacks the warden again. This leads to more brutal punishment and humiliation. But the punishment gives her an oppurtunity to escape along with six other female prisoners. Their surreal flight from prison pits the convicts against the guards, the warden and each other.
I accidentally watched these out of order, but nothing was really spoiled by watching the sequel first. What saved this from the heap of standard prison exploitation/revenge movies is that it just gets outright trippy. There's a strange, mystical element here, dare I say, magical realism to this over-the-top, violent, exploitatively sexual film.
The ugliest moments of this film surround the rape sequence, which results in the heroine, called Matsu or Scorpion, being ostracized by some of the other prisoners for reasons passing my understanding. It's a death blow to most films, but not long after this, a woman dies, gets buried by leaves, and is blown away as dust in the space of a few minutes, which is such…
Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 is the second of the four Sasori films starring Meiko Kaji.
She's imprisoned again and from the start with it's Dutch angle tracking shots down the empty hallways of a prison and a female voice calling "Sasori! Sasori!" this is an even better shot, more surreal and even spiritual film.
Sasori flees with a group of other women with tensions arising from both the group and the guards chasing after the women.
Like in the first one the abuse of the women, be it through rape, torture or any other form of cruel violence is an exploitative thing that gets reversed, when the women take revenge and inflict the same horrors on their tormentors.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Darker and even more surreal, the second in the Scorpion series sees Matsu escape and go on the run with some rather unhinged and traitorous prison inmates . The now one-eyed Inspector Goda (Fumio Watanabe) makes some dubious and inept decisions with Matsu that ultimately leads to his death.
I found this installment enjoyable but hard going in places, not just in its content, but due to the pacing of the story and a grating performance from Kayoko Shiraishi, as Oba, Matsu's prison/er nemesis in this one. Still a worthy follow-up, just lacking in some places.
An impressive and momentous sequel
This film was inconceivable of its own world and I am a different person for having watched it.
The second film in the Female Convict Scorpion series, Jailhouse 41 also stands on its own as a brilliant, visually astounding, ultra-violent, extreme, and uncompromising piece of filmmaking that will have you wincing during its numerous shocking moments and then shouting in glee with its beauty and badass-ery. Not for the faint of heart, Shunya Ito directs with a zeal and madness that is a truly unique vision, telling this tale of revenge and vengeance with numerous artistic styles and gorgeous cinematography while retaining the ugliness of violence and humanity. It's an absolute must-see!
You know what revenge garbage needs more of? Random segues into impressionism and dream logic.
The times this gets surreal are the best moments.
It should be noted that the release came 5 months after Deliverance (1972), and was likely intended to capitalize on the infamous whitewater rafting rape/revenge sequence.
A film about a group of women who escape prison, shoot men & police who violate them, and run off free toward us
Much more formally daring and experimental than its predecessor, which was more of a standard for a women-in-prison film. And in this case, that might be somewhat detrimental to its overall appeal: whereas the first film was a white-hot blast of barebones revenge exploitation, this one feels a little less satisfying and a little more meandering. That's not to say that there isn't bravura filmmaking going on here, with some psychedelic and gonzo imagery that's heavy on symbolism and disturbing in its execution. If you're a fan of watching men being stripped naked and killed in bizarre ways, this will make your day.
An impressive and momentous sequel
Not as good as the first one but still pretty solid. This was quite a bit more surreal. There are entire sequences that seemed to be hallucinations. One of the scenes even kind of reminded me of the "He had it comin'" scene from Chicago. Meiko Kaji is still a total badass.
Great piece of Japanese exploitation cinema.nToo bad the OOP DVD transfer is on the rough side. This film is in dire need of a HD re-master. PLEAAAAASE....Criterion.....pick up this film along with is predecessor......PLEEEEEAAAASSSSEEEEE
In early June, 2013, my best friend killed herself.
She took a cab to the middle of nowhere and vanished,…
Preserving this list for posterity as it will disappear from here:
- after number 70, "In a Land…