Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 20th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, July 29th, 1973
Director: Shunya Ito
Writer: Hiro Matsuda
Cast: Meiko Kaji, Yayoi Watanabe, Takashi Fujiki, Koji Fujiyama
DVD Released: May 2nd, 2006
Approximate Running Time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
DVD Release: Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
(Warning this review contains spoilers.)
Mastu (Meiko Kaji), is hiding from the police while riding on the subway. When the police spot her she tries to get away and after a detective puts his handcuffs on Mastu she pulls out a knife and chops off his arm. Yuki is having an incestuous relationship with her retarded brother whose mental condition was brought on by an accident while working at a factory. Yuki has just finished turning a trick in the graveyard when she behind a tombstone Mastu chewing on the detectives arm she hacked off and it is still attached to her because of his handcuffs. Yuki takes Matsu back to her place and nurse her back to health. Matsu awakens as Yuki’s brother is trying to rape her and as he drags her across the floor she grabs knife to fend him off. Yuki comes back just in time to convince Mastu not to kill her brother and they quickly become friends.
The mob doesn’t like when a prostitute turns tricks in their territory and to show Yuki they mean business they hold her down as Kastu the boss’s mistress rams a golf club up inside of Yuki. When Mastu refuses to kill Yuki’s brother Yuki grabs the knife only to change her own mind and she decides to keep the child inside of her fathered by her brother. Tanida lives in Mastu’s apartment building he knows her secret and he blackmails her. Later when he is murdered the mob blames Mastu and they torture her some before they inform her that she is now going to do everything they tell her too. Shot up on dope they keep Mastu in a birdcage and when a prostitute who is forced to have an abortion dies next to her Mastu pries from this dead girls hand an object. Mastu escape and kills all those one by one responsible for the for that girls death. The police close in on Mastu after she kills off the mob boss and they trap her in the sewer system. The police decide after all else has failed that they are going to burn Mastu out by filling the sewer with gas and lighting a match. Has Mastu finally meet her end and is Katsu safe even in prison from the Female Scorpion?
Shunya Ito director of the first three Female Scorpion films would return to direct Female Prisoner Scorpion Beast Stable which would end up being his final film as the series director. The star of the Female Scorpion film Meiko Kaji would also return for Female Prisoner Scorpion Beast Stable and one more film Female Prisoner Scorpion: #701’s Grudge Song before leaving the series. Female Prisoner Scorpion Beast Stable like it two predecessor’s Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion and Female convict Scorpion Jailhouse 41 are a exploitation fans wet dream come true. Shunya Ito expertly uses every inch of the frame and his stylized use of colors and editing make Female Scorpion Prisoner Beast Stable something more than a mere exploitation film.
A few of my favorite moments are when Yuki has just left Mastu’s apartment after telling Mastu that she is pregnant with her brothers child. Yuki stops in front of a department store window to put some makeup on and as she is doing this Mastu is back at her apartment lighting matches watching them as they hit the floor. The scene cuts back and forth between the two as a range of emotions are shown in their eyes. Another strong scene is when Mastu visits the abortion doctor to take revenge as the room is white as can be as the reddest blood splatters on everything in the room and them camera pulls back to reveal Mastu behind a glass window looking at what she has just done.
Meiko Kaji just like the previous films plays Mastu with an economy of words and it is amazing just how much Meiko Kaji can convey just by her actions and expressions. These Female Scorpion films seem getting to more and more outrageous as the series progressed. Female Prisoner Scorpion Beast Stable is out of the three Shunya Ito directed definitely his most accomplished film and it is too bad he directed so few films. Overall all the performances were pretty good and the more films I see with Meiko Kaji the more she impresses me.
Female Prisoner Scorpion Beast Stable is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Colors look vivid and nicely saturated. Flesh tones look healthy and the image looks sharp throughout. Overall the print used for this transfer is flawless.
This release comes with only one audio option the film’s original Japanese language track which is presented for this release in a Dolby Digital mono. Dialog is razor sharp and the music and effects sound full and evenly balanced. Removable English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow.
Extras for this release include two trailers for Female Prisoner Scorpion Beast Stable and a brief photo gallery. Other extras include trailers for Deathtrance, The Neighbor No. Thirteen, Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion and Kekko Kamen Surprise! Female Prisoner Scorpion Beast Stable like its predecessors is a series that relies heavily on its visuals to gets its point across and Media Blasters DVD is must purchase if you are a fan of this series.