Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time as a movie fan, it’s that if there’s one thing the Japanese have down pat, it’s how to be good and sleazy. This film, about a woman set up by her police officer boyfriend and sent to a jail where all the female prisoners are routinely stripped naked and leered at by their male jailers and abused by the sexy female prisoners that help run the place, is about as perfect an example as one could give.

The film (the first in a series) follows a girl named Nami, whose cop boyfriend sends her undercover to get the dirt on a drug lord. Things go badly, and she’s brutally raped while there, only for her boyfriend to reveal that he just wanted dirt on the druglord as leverage to weasel his way into the druglord’s business. Naturally, his girlfriend knew too much by then, so he has her jailed on false charges. The bulk of the film is set in jail, as she slowly plots her revenge while dealing with a group of evil convicts that help run the show there. She eventually becomes a champion of the disenfranchised prisoners there, leading a rebellion and riot against the guards, leading to a deadly confrontation with all of the evil convicts there.

It’s not really the most original plot there (I don’t know that I’ve ever once seen a women in prison film that didn’t have a riot or jailbreak as its climax), but that’s generally not the point of such films. All we really require is some proper sleaze, and this film pays off on that end in droves. We’re given a constant barrage of nudity, some over the top violence, and some fairly insane manic camerawork and random lighting work that one would expect to find in, say, Kill Bill. It also manages a fairly difficult task in taking a story that essentially boils down to “here’s a bunch of attractive women, let’s strip them naked and degrade them for 90 minutes” without ever going so far in their degradation that it becomes uncomfortable to watch. I’d offhandedly guess that this is in large part due to most of the degradations being perpetrated by women against women, but for whatever reason the movie remains fairly fun and exciting all the way through. The best part? It comes in a box set with two other films from the series, giving me something to review for tomorrow and Thursday as well! Score!

Rating: ***

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