One of the greatest female revenge stories of all time, Female Prisoner Scorpion, gets a spectacular Limited Edition release from Arrow Video with brand new 2K restorations of all four films in one stunning box set. An absolute must have for fans of both Japanese and exploitation cinema.
Starring the iconic and beautiful Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood, Stray Cat Rock) in a role that came to define her career, the four-film Female Prisoner Scorpion series charts the vengeance of Nami Matsushima, 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.
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.
Spiritual kin to Ms. 45, Coffy and The Bride Wore Black, the Female Prisoner Scorpion is the pinnacle of early 1970s exploitation cinema from Japanese grindhouse studio Toei, and one of the greatest female revenge sagas ever told.
In the grand tradition of Japanese revenge sagas, the four Female Prisoner Scorpion films focus on a strong woman in a male-dominated world who seeks vengeance on the man who has wronged her. In this case, that woman is Nami Matsushima, played to perfection by Meiko Kaji in the role that came to define her career. Kaji is a joy to watch as she plans her escape, fights for her life and plots her revenge in a brilliant mix of action, violence and gripping plot.
We also love the way each of the four films has its own distinct look and feel as the series ranges between revenge saga, gothic horror and the avant garde, helping the series to become a true icon of 1970s Japanese cinema that has helped inspire so much modern popular filmmaking around the world. This is particularly notable when you consider that with Female Prisoner Scorpion, Toei as a studio was years ahead of its US counterparts.
The Arrow Video presentation in particular is a beautiful thing for cinephiles and collectors. Limited to 3,000 copies, the release features brand new 2K restorations as well as a host of special features including newly filmed appreciations by top filmmakers and critics. The box set also includes an interview with Toru Shinohara, creator of the original Female Prisoner Scorpion manga.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
· Limited Edition Blu-ray collection (4000 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 new writing on the film by critic Chuck Stephens, a brand new interview with Toru Shinohara, creator of the original Scorpion manga and an archive interview with Meiko Kaji by Chris D. illustrated with original stills
FEMALE PRISONER #701: SCORPION
· Newly filmed appreciation by filmmaker Gareth Evans (The Raid)
· Shunya Ito: Birth of an Outlaw, an archive interview with the director
· Scorpion Old and New, a new interview with assistant director Yutaka Kohira
· Theatrical Trailers for all four 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
· Designing Scorpion, a new interview with production designer Tadayuki Kuwana
· Original Theatrical Trailer and Teaser
FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: BEAST STABLE
· Newly filmed appreciation by critic Kat Ellinger
· Shunya Ito: Directing Meiko Kaji, an archive interview with the director
· Unchained Melody, a new visual essay by Tom Mes on the career of Meiko Kaji
· Original Theatrical Trailer and Teaser
FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: #701’s GRUDGE SONG
· Newly filmed appreciation by filmmaker Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Kichiku: Banquet of the Beasts)
· Yasuharu Hasebe: Finishing the Series, an archive interview with the director
· Japanese cinema critic Jasper Sharp looks over the career of Yasuharu Hasebe
· They Call Her Scorpion, a new visual essay by Tom Mes on the film series
· Original Theatrical Trailer