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Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (1973)

Joshuu sasori: Kemono-beya (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 29 July 1973 (Japan)
Matsu is sheltered by an incestuous prostitute on her run from the police, her ex-prison mate and a cop whose arm she hacked off.

Director:

Shun'ya Itô

Writers:

Hirô Matsuda (screenplay), Tooru Shinohara (manga)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meiko Kaji ... Nami Matsushima (Sasori)
Mikio Narita Mikio Narita ... Detective Kondo
Reisen Ri Reisen Ri ... Katsu Samejima
Yayoi Watanabe Yayoi Watanabe ... Yuki Nakagawa
Kôji Nanbara Kôji Nanbara ... Sameshima
Seiya Satô Seiya Satô ... Takahashi
Takashi Fujiki Takashi Fujiki ... Tanida
Tomoko Mayama Tomoko Mayama ... Yasue
Mitsuru Mori Mitsuru Mori ... Shinobu
Chie Kobayashi Chie Kobayashi ... Woman in Nude Studio
Kôji Fujiyama Kôji Fujiyama ... Yamazaki
Kôji Sekiyama Kôji Sekiyama ... Yamashita
Nobuo Yana Nobuo Yana ... Adachi
Toshiyuki Tsuchiyama Toshiyuki Tsuchiyama ... Yagi
Hiroshi Date Hiroshi Date ... Sameshima's Henchman
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Storyline

Sasori is outside the prison and on the run from the police, wanted for breaking out of prison and murder. She takes refuge with a woman who has a brother with a learning disability. The woman and her brother are also involved in an incestuous relationship. Both the police and an ex-prison mate of Sasori's pursue her. Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

29 July 1973 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toei Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

References ghost stories of old Japan on demon folklore; the story of Tsuna Watanabe battling a demon and severing his arm, and the story of a brother and sister from a forgotten village committing incest as a means of supporting each other. This is the cinematic world Shunya Ito wanted to create for this installment of the Scorpion series. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Kuruwase tai no
(uncredited)
Performed by Linda Yamamoto
Can be heard playing on Tanida's portable radio
See more »

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User Reviews

Very Japanese, very seventies, very much something else entirely
1 December 2006 | by Blaise_BSee all my reviews

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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