Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Female Prisoner # 701 Scorpion: Grudge Song

So here it is, the fourth and final film in the Scorpion series, surprisingly much-delayed (the review, not the movie). This one, as I mentioned before, was by a different director, though thankfully Yasuharu Hasebe (mostly) manages to keep the same general great madness and style of the first three movies.

One thing that’s noticeably different about this film is in how much more plot there generally is compared to the earlier movies. Once again Scorpion is free to roam the streets, where she runs into an old classmate of hers, and the two begin to embark on a Bonnie and Clyde style crime spree. Unfortunately her new man turns out not to be as strong as she is, and after he’s captured by the police they eventually break him and get him to spill the beans on where his chick is hiding. Back in prison once again, she’s again menaced by the various inmates, guards, wardens, police, and politicians, until it becomes time to either escape or face the noose.

It’s always a bit of a frightening things when a new director jumps onto a series of films, particularly one as fun as this has been, but outside of some awkwardness at the big climax between her and the vengeful cop hounding her, it manages the same over-the-top delightfulness that has been a trademark of the series. It’s got all the violence and nudity that is pretty much required in a film like this, and knows how to pace itself well enough that there’s never a period where it starts to drag. It doesn’t quite have the brilliantly mad ending of Beast Stable, where the police make the city’s sewers explode to try to get at Scorpion, but it works well enough on its own merits. Unlike what I’ve seen so far of the Drive-In Cult Classics set, this is a box set that is definitely worth checking out.

Rating: ***

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