IMDb > Joshuu sasori: Kemono-beya (1973)

Joshuu sasori: Kemono-beya (1973) More at IMDbPro »


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Hirô Matsuda (screenplay)
Tooru Shinohara (comic)
View company contact information for Joshuu sasori: Kemono-beya on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 July 1973 (Japan) See more »
User Reviews:
Very Japanese, very seventies, very much something else entirely See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order)

Meiko Kaji ... Nami Matsushima (Sasori)
Mikio Narita ... Detective Kondo
Reisen Ri ... Katsu Samejima
Yayoi Watanabe ... Yuki Nakagawa
Kôji Nanbara ... Sameshima
Seiya Satô ... Takahashi
Takashi Fujiki ... Tanida
Tomoko Mayama ... Yasue
Mitsuru Mori ... Shinobu
Chie Kobayashi ... Woman in Nude Studio
Kôji Fujiyama ... Yamazaki
Kôji Sekiyama ... Yamashita
Nobuo Yana ... Adachi
Toshiyuki Tsuchiyama ... Yagi
Hiroshi Date ... Sameshima's Henchman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tako Hachirô ... Visitor
Emi Jô ... Woman in Nude Studio
Kazuko Kamei ... Woman in Nude Studio
Osamu Kimura ... Policeman
Kôji Sawada ... Sameshima's Henchman
Bun'ei Shô ... Woman in Nude Studio
Masami Sôda ... Woman in Nude Studio
Takashi Takano ... Prison Guard
Tomotaka Ueda ... Detective
Kôichi Yamada ... Detective

Directed by
Shunya Itô 
Writing credits
Hirô Matsuda (screenplay)

Tooru Shinohara (comic)

Original Music by
Shunsuke Kikuchi 
Film Editing by
Osamu Tanaka 
Production Design by
Tadayuki Kuwana 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Japan:87 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Canada:16+ (Québec) | Germany:18 | UK:18 (2007)

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Movie Connections:
References Yojimbo (1961)See more »


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Very Japanese, very seventies, very much something else entirely, 1 December 2006
Author: Blaise_B from Pittsburgh

This is Shunya Ito's final entry in the FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION series, starring the great Meiko Kaji. The series, based on a Japanese manga, follows the exploits of a woman unjustly imprisoned, brutalized by guards and fellow inmates, who defends herself with such aplomb, she becomes a jail-house legend. The other convicts nickname her Sasori, which means Scorpion. Over the course of two films, she escapes to wreak vengeance against the man who got her busted, is sent back for his murder, and escapes again; the second film ends with Sasori on the loose.

This, the third film, focuses on Sasori's life as a fugitive outside the walls. In an eye-opening first scene, Sasori evades detectives on a subway train; she comes out of it handcuffed to one of the detectives' arms, but not the rest of him. She flees to a slum which consists of a red-light district run by a forced-prostitution ring and a residential area made up of a mud street and shacks, where she is put up for the night and befriended by a lonely prostitute named Yuki. We soon discover that Yuki gives of herself on a nightly basis to her brain-damaged brother, who she keeps locked in a closet. Sasori tries to lead a normal life, taking a job as a seamstress and renting her own apartment, but she and Yuki soon meet again and are both embroiled in a plot that involves the Cruella De Ville-from-hell madam who runs the prostitution ring and the detective from the subway (Mikio Narita, a regular in Kinji Fukasaku films), who by God wants his arm back.

What follows is an atmospheric noir/horror yarn--it takes elements from both and uses them well--that applies Ito's flair for the visual to a mood that is different from the first two SCORPION films, yet bears the same unmistakable signature. A scene involving lit matches falling into a sewer tunnel is especially beautiful. Ito's use of sound, like when Sasori is incessantly scraping the handcuffs with the arm against a tombstone in an attempt to free herself, is as effective here as ever. He also employs silence more than usual, as if by virtue of a newly honed minimalism. This goes along with the relatively subdued tone of the first section of the film, which allows space to explore Sasori's and others' characters. Things pick up by the end, though it's all handled with a dreamier rhythm than the previous films. This is an asset. Each of the three films has its own style, I realize now, and seeing this one made me go back and watch the first, appreciating it more than before.

Meiko Kaji gives her usual amazing performance as Sasori, emoting silently, standing or moving or pouncing or maiming with a grace that switches seamlessly between human and animal. The pathos present in all three films is largely due to the human side of this grace, which never inhibits the films' darker aspects. Reportedly, Kaji, who did one more SCORPION film after this one, had as much to do with developing the character for film as Ito, not only in her performances, but off-camera as well. This film is a worthy swan song for the collaboration. Very Japanese, very seventies, very much something else entirely.

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