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Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (1972)

Joshû sasori: Dai-41 zakkyo-bô (original title)
After spending a year in solitary confinement, Matsu escapes from prison with six more convicts, followed by the guards led by the vengeful warden who wants her dead at all costs.

Director:

Shun'ya Itô
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meiko Kaji ... Matsu (Sasori)
Fumio Watanabe Fumio Watanabe ... Inspector Goda
Yukie Kagawa Yukie Kagawa ... Tomiko Yasuki
Kayoko Shiraishi Kayoko Shiraishi ... Hide Ôba
Eiko Yanami Eiko Yanami ... Harue Wagatsuma
Hiroko Isayama Hiroko Isayama ... Asako Noda
Kuniko Ishii Kuniko Ishii ... Rose Miyako
Yuki Aresa Yuki Aresa ... Kimiyo Oikawa
Hideo Murota Hideo Murota ... Okizaki
Kyôichi Satô Kyôichi Satô ... Tadokoro
Shinzô Hotta Shinzô Hotta ... Furuya (as Shinzo Hotta)
Fudeko Tanaka Fudeko Tanaka ... The Old Woman
Hiroshi Hasegawa Hiroshi Hasegawa
Nenji Kobayashi Nenji Kobayashi ... The Young Man
Kôji Miemachi Kôji Miemachi
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

30 December 1972 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Female Convict Scorpion Jailhouse 41 See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toei Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Scorpion female lead in this film was the inspiration for Lucy Lu's character Oren Ishi from the Kill Bill movie series See more »

Connections

Follows Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surreal Female Convicts' Road trip!
11 March 2008 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

The first film in this acclaimed Japanese exploitation cycle, entitled "Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion", literally perplexed me because it was such an atypical W.I.P accomplishment. It had a great story, a likable heroine character, stylish photography and - shockingly enough - only a minimal amount of nudity and perversion. The second entry in the series, entitled "Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41", actually astonished me even more! This time because it's such an atypical sequel. The formula of the original film clearly worked, so you would expect and even respect director Shunya Ito and his crew to embroider on the same successful elements, but they don't. In fact, the concept is completely different and easily the most innovative one ever used in a W.I.P film. Most of the action takes place outside the prisons' walls, during an escape that gradually changes into a wild and surreal 7-headed girl-power road trip across the desolate Japanese countryside. Seen from a certain viewpoint the script's drastic change of direction is actually rather logic, since the protagonist's engaging background story properly ended in part one. Scorpion successfully extracted her vengeance and returned to prison to serve a deserved sentence this time. But still, the completely alternative set-up is courageously ambitious and not just the story lines vastly changed, but nearly everything else as well, including atmosphere, imagery, editing, the depiction of violence and even the Matsu's entire persona! She now fully embodies bitterness and ferocity, which is masterfully illustrated through Ito's visionary direction. Matsu barely speaks five complete sentences during the whole film, yet her stares penetrate through the thickest skulls and she catches each suspicious sound in massive stereo. Since her virulent escapades, which even cost the headmaster's eye, Matsu spent the last year in a moist pit underneath the prison. She's allowed one day of daylight when a government inspector comes to visit and this is already enough for her to cause a major hoedown. Severe punishment ensues, but Matsu and six others manage to escape. Their journey turns into a crusade of retaliation against all (male) foes. The convicts' "road trip", if you can refer to it like that, is truly surreal and artsy and often nightmarishly macabre! They encounter a witch who eerily narrates the women's stories, rapists on tour, numerous abstract and depressing tableaux and – last but not least – collective hatred. Especially the vicious Oba battles Matsu for the honor of most respected jailbird. There's a lot of dreamy and addictive weirdness going on during the escape, but nonetheless the actual prison and revenge footage remains the best and most exciting. Both the opening and climax are tremendously brilliant, and even though everything in between is quite uniquely experimental and accomplished, it occasionally gets in the way of the good old exploitation themes. Meiko Kaji's performance is once again marvelous and she receives excellent support from Kayoko Shiraishi (who's overacting actually works) as Oba and Fumio Watanabe as the sadist head warden. Great stuff!


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