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 opportunity to escape along with six other female prisoners. Their surreal flight from prison pits the convicts against the guards, the warden and each other.Written by
I was fortunate to see this film on the big screen and I was very impressed with the cinematography. There isn't much character development, but the simmering hatred between Scorpion and a rival inmate creates significant tension. Those who enjoy Eastwood's "man with no name" films, other unusual Japanese films from the same time period (Black Tight Killers, Ecstasy of the Angels, etc.) will find this interesting... my only caveats have to do with the rape scenes, which for some reason often find their way into offbeat Japanese films. Some of the scenes aren't entirely fulfilling... at times I wished for more (unbelievably) violence so the characters are more fully able to avenge themselves. Some of the editing is a little awkward, but there are a few scenes that have breathtaking cinematography... particularly in the hut toward the end of the film where the camera focuses on Scorpion as the contents of the hut rotate around her... and the amazing transition "dream" scene on the bus. Great stuff... I thoroughly enjoyed it. Will be buying on DVD....
I wrote that review in 2001, but thought I'd add a comment four years later. This film has worked it's way into my subconscious and has become one of my all-time favorites. Not only do I own the U.S. DVD, but the Japanese Region 2 as well (the print quality is much higher... no English subtitles, though). I have since seen all four of the Sasori films, and this film (Joshuu sasori: Dai-41 zakkyo-bô), the second in the series, is the best one.
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