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STARRING
Meiko Kaji, Rie Yokoyama, Yoyoi Watanabe
DIRECTED BY
Shunya Ito, Yasuharu Hasebe
SCREENPLAYS
Shunya Ito, Fumio Kunami, Hiro Matsuda, Tooru Shinohara (Comic)
MPAA RATING
NR
RUNNING TIME
353 Mins. (8 discs)
DISTRIBUTED BY
Arrow Films (Blu-ray/DVD)
BUY THIS COLLECTION

 Arrow Releases "Female Prisoner Scorpion: The Complete Collection" 
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The four-film Female Prisoner Scorpion series charts the vengeance of Nami Matsushima (Meiko Kaji), who assumes the mantle of “Scorpion,” becoming an avatar of vengeance and survival, and an unlikely symbol of female resistance in a male-dominated world. In many ways, the Female Prisoner Scorpion films are seen as the pinnacle of early 70's exploitation cinema even if some find them less familiar than more notably recognized films such as Coffy, Ms. 45 and The Bride Wears Black.

Released as a complete collection by U.K. based indie distributor Arrow Films, the collection includes "Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion introduces Nami, a gullible young woman unjustly imprisoned, who must find a way to escape in order to exact revenge upon the man who betrayed her. The visually avant-garde Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 sees director Shunya Ito and star Meiko Kaji re-unite as Nami and six other female convicts escape prison once more. The Gothic horror-inspired Beast Stable finds Nami branded public enemy #1 and on the run. She soon finds refuge with a sympathetic prostitute, but runs afoul of a local gang. The final film in the series, #701′s Grudge Song (from director Yasuharu Hasebe, Retaliation, Massacre Gun), shows a gentler side of Nami as she falls in with Kudo, an ex-radical suffering from physical and psychological trauma caused by police torture."

The extensive eight-disc collection includes:

  • Limited Edition Blu-ray collection (3000 copies)
  • Brand new 2K restorations of all four films in the series presented on High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD
  • Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays) for all films
  • Optional English subtitles for all films
  • Double-sided fold out poster of two original artworks
  • Reversible sleeves for all films featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan
  • Booklet featuring an extract from Unchained Melody: The Films of Meiko Kaji, an upcoming book on the starby critic and author Tom Mes, an archive interview with Meiko Kaji, and a brand new interview with Toru Shinohara, creator of the original Female Prisoner Scorpion manga

FEMALE PRISONER #701: SCORPION

  • Newly filmed appreciation by filmmaker Gareth Evans (The Raid)
  • Archive interview with director Shunya Ito
  • New interview with assistant director Yutaka Kohira
  • Theatrical Trailers for all films in the series

FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 41

  • Newly filmed appreciation by critic Kier-La Janisse
  • Japanese cinema critic Jasper Sharp looks over the career of Shunya Ito
  • New interview with production designer Tadayuki Kuwana
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: BEAST STABLE

  • Newly filmed appreciation by critic Kat Ellinger
  • Archive interview with director Shunya Ito
  • New visual essay on the career of star and icon Meiko Kaji by critic Tom Mes
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: #701’s GRUDGE SONG

  • Newly filmed appreciation by filmmaker Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Kichiku: Banquet of the Beasts)
  • Archive interview with director Yasuharu Hasebe
  • Japanese cinema critic Jasper Sharp looks over the career of Yasuharu Hasebe
  • Visual essay on the Scorpion series by critic Tom Mes
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

There aren't many times that I fancy the opportunity to sit down and watch an entire collection such as the Female Prisoner Scorpion collection, but Arrow has done it right and this collection was a  joy from beginning to end. If you think you've seen the best of 70s exploitation cinema, you need to get your hands on this collection.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic

    The Official Rating Guideline
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