King Kong goes Hong Kong as a giant Himalayan beast tries to save a sexy Russia Tarzanette from a sleazy show-biz promoter. The action, locations set in India, and interracial romance made ... See full summary »
The "Female Prisoner: Scorpion" films form an incredibly popular and highly acclaimed franchise amongst the fans of the exploitation genre, but apparently the series simply stops at number four for most people, more precisely when the beloved actress Meiko Kaji stopped playing the character. This is MOST unfortunate because the resumption of the series, simply entitled "NEW Female Prisoner: Scorpion" and starring a new lead actress, definitely remains an awesome viewing experience for all fans of the older films. This fifth film admittedly doesn't add anything new and merely just recycles the themes and story lines of the previous installments, but it's nonetheless a compelling film with plenty of action and suspense, imaginative style elements, vivid sleaze and diabolical villain characters. Nami, a twenty-something and joyful girl, is worried about her older sister who works as a secretary for an obnoxious minister and stumbled upon a malignant conspiracy. Before she properly realizes it, Nami herself becomes entangled in a web of deceit. Falsely accused of murder, the poor and vulnerable girl is sent to a hellish woman's prison and even there other inmates are assigned to kill her. The endless injustice, humiliations and physical harassments make Nami more bitter and pretty soon it's only the thought of extracting blood vengeance that keeps her going. "New Female Prisoner" covers the framing and imprisonment of an innocent girl (part 1), a large-scaled escape plan (part 2), Nami in private (part 3) and an intriguing sub plot involving her romantic misfortune (part 4). The more I think about it, this actually resembles a "best of" Scorpion-compilation! More of the same, but definitely welcome. Ryôko Ema ("School of the Holy Beast") obviously is no match for Meiko Kaji, but she's a cherubic and identifiable person and the script tries hard helping her to equal Kaji. She's an eloquent and caring character now, whereas the old Scorpion barely ever spoke a word. Her intense stares are at least as deadly and menacing as those of Meiko Kaji. Director Yutaka Kohira doesn't dare to experiment with camera angles, color schemes and picture compositions as much, but there surely are some noteworthy stylish highlights. The images of Nami's reaction when hearing the verdict in court, for example, are a masterful illustration of someone undergoing a downwards mental spiral. This is a really good film and I'm sure a lot of fellow cult-cinema/exploitation fanatics would concur if only there was a decent and easily available DVD-edition on the market (like the case for the others).
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