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Female Prisoner # 701: Scorpion

Director: Shunya Ito

1972. English subtitles. Colour. 83 min.


A very big influence on Quentin Tarantino, Female Prisoner is everything Kill Bill wanted to be—a lean, taut, ruthless and visually excessive exploitation gem. Stunning ’70s pin-up Meiko Kaji brings a fearsome intensity to her role as a young woman wrongly condemned to a brutal prison and utterly bent on revenge. Lesbianism, cat fights, eye gouging, nudity and torture feature prominently, yet this is also lauded as a feminist work. Director Shunya Ito’s uncanny control of excess lifts several scenes of this intensely visual film to a level of pure psychedelic overload. A wonderfully satisfying and brutal finale tops off 80 minutes of ceaselessly entertaining cinematic mayhem.

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