Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Female Prisoner Scorpion: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]

 

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)                   Jailhouse 41 (1972)

 

Beast Stable (1973)                     #701's Grudge Song (1973)

 

 

Starring the iconic and beautiful Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood, Blind Woman's Curse, 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.

 

 

Posters

 


Titles

 

 

 

 

Box Cover

 

 

 

   

Distribution

Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Subtitles

English, None

Features

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Edition Details:

FEMALE PRISONER #701: SCORPION
• Newly filmed appreciation by filmmaker Gareth Evans (The Raid) (24:34)
• Shunya Ito: Birth of an Outlaw, an archive interview with the director (15:47)
• Scorpion Old and New, a new interview with assistant director Yutaka Kohira (14:46)
• Theatrical Trailers for all four films in the series

FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 41
• Newly filmed appreciation by critic Kier-La Janisse (28:04)
• Japanese cinema critic Jasper Sharp looks over the career of Shunya Ito (10:49)
• Designing Scorpion, a new interview with production designer Tadayuki Kuwana (16:35)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (3:11) and Teaser (1:47)

FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: BEAST STABLE
• Newly filmed appreciation by critic Kat Ellinger (25:48)
• Shunya Ito: Directing Meiko Kaji, an archive interview with the director (17:33)
• Unchained Melody, a new visual essay by Tom Mes on the career of Meiko Kaji (21:30)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (3:08) and Teaser (1:46)

FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: #701 s GRUDGE SONG
• Newly filmed appreciation by filmmaker Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Kichiku: Banquet of the Beasts) (11:14)
• Yasuharu Hasebe: Finishing the Series, an archive interview with the director (19:49)
• Japanese cinema critic Jasper Sharp looks over the career of Yasuharu Hasebe (16:54)
• They Call Her Scorpion, a new visual essay by Tom Mes on the film series (40:01)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (3:14)
• About the Director
• Meiko Kaji, Rie Yokoyama, Yoyoi Watanabe

4 DVDs of each film
 

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
 

Blu-ray Release Date: August 8th-9th, 2016

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Firstly, the 4 films are divided on the 4, separate, Blu-ray discs as follows:

Disc 1) Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)

Disc 2) Jailhouse 41 (1972)

Disc 3) Beast Stable (1973)

Disc 4) #701's Grudge Song (1973)

This is a limited edition (to only 4,000 copies.) This is the four-film Collection - all in 1080P.

 

This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the pond...

 

NOTE: As Michael Brooke informs us on Facebook in regards to Day of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximise compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.' The Female Prisoner Scorpion Collection is the same situation - the discs are region FREE.

I will make a few general comments.

Video: This package consists of four dual-layered Blu-ray discs each with one feature film and extras. There are also 4 DVDs of the same content. The visuals are consistent and look solid enough in 1080P - all four have max'ed out bitrates and can look authentically thick, very rich, and saturated depending on the sequence style. Grain is visible and the visuals are heavy and very film-like via the 2K restorations. I saw no egregious damage and very few marks - there is some teal-leaning - notably in Beast Stable. Colors have some impressively bright and deep moments. In short I can't imagine these four films looking any better on digital - as, hopefully, evidenced by the screen captures below.  As Arrow state:

"A set of low-contrast 35mm prints struck from the original 35mm film elements were supplied by Toei Company, Ltd. These prints were scanned in 2K resolution on a pin-registered 4K Northlight Scanner. Picture grading was completed on a DaVinci Resolve and thousands of instances of dirt, debris and light scratches were removed using PFClean software. Overall image stability and instances of density fluctuation were was also improved. All restoration work was completed at Pinewood Studios.

The images on all four Female Prisoner Scorpion films favor a noticeably cyan/blue look throughout. This look was inherent in the film materials supplied and relates to how these lab materials were created, as well as how the original elements have faded over time. With these restorations, we have aimed to present the films as close to their intended original style and appearance as possible.
"

Audio: is all liner PCM mono and most of the imperfections remain minimal. These seem to be accurate-to-original audio transfers - flat and the occasional explosive music - usually in conjunction with a rapid close-up - and the audio exports some notable depth and a crisp high-end - both in the effects and scores. There are optional subtitles for each film. I always remark how awkward the dialogue is - not a function of the translation but more part of the genre and cultural differences - it can be so literal that it is funny. The four Blu-ray discs are Region FREE.

Supplements: I won't comment on every extra feature but there are some excellent, and in formative appreciations, visual essays and interviews. Included in this are appreciations by filmmaker Gareth Evans for Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion, critic Kier-La Janisse for Jailhouse 41, critic Kat Ellinger for Beast Stable and filmmaker Kazuyoshi Kumakiri for #701's Grudge Song. There are archival interviews with directors Shunya Ito (on directing Meiko Kaji and 'Birth of an Outlaw') and Yasuharu Hasebe as well as production designer Tadayuki Kuwana. Tom Mes provides two fabulous visual essays - one on the career of Meiko Kaji and a lengthy one on the entire film series. Japanese cinema critic Jasper Sharp informatively looks over the career of Shunya Ito and the career of Yasuharu Hasebe. There are teasers, trailers (for all four films) and the package contains a double-sided fold out poster of two original artworks, reversible sleeves for all films featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan and a liner notes 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. Magnificent.

The Female Prisoner Scorpion films have their own addictive appeal, Like many of the Japanese 'Pinky' films they lean to adult content, occasionally exploitive with a dash of softcore sexuality sequences. It also has themes of female subjugation with violent rebellion, crime with unusually aggressive females, conflict, evil power figures (both men and women) and discontentment with a system that has not benefitted many characters. They are quite entertaining, in their own obvious way. It's actually hard not to get-into these films to some degree when watching this set. They retain a fun side and the Asian gals usually range from very sexy or cute and other harder-edged, often evil, women. I think those familiar and keen should probably order sooner as I don't know how long the 4,000 limited copies will last. A commentary or two would have been cool but this is still an amazing package. One to go through and indulge for a lifetime. Very strongly recommended! One of the most appealing sets of the year.    

Gary W. Tooze

 

 


Sample Menus Blu-ray


Sample Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

('Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion' or 'Josh 701-g: Sasori')

 

Based on a popular Japanese comic book, this first installment in the Prisoner 701/Convict Scorpion saga begins with our heroine Nami Matsu making a desperate bid to escape from jail.

She doesn't succeed, of course - her accomplice is something of a dead weight, cramping up with period pains at the most inopportune moment - and thus incurs the wrath of the prison governor, understandably upset at having his award ceremony for 27 years of loyal post-war service in the rehabilitation business interrupted.

So 701 is thrown into solitary and subjected to a succession of tortures by the wardens and the other prisoners. But, remaining focussed on escape and vengeance against the ex-boyfriend who betrayed her - continuing the anti-establishment theme, he's a cop secretly in league with a yakuza gumi - she just won't break...

Excerpt from Eye For Film located HERE

Bitrate:

  Arrow Video

Runtime:

1:26:56.544

Disc Size:

41,164,669,399 bytes

Feature Size:

25,485,564,096 bytes

Video Bitrate:

34.96 Mbps

Chapters:

12

Audio:

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

('Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41' or 'Josh sasori: Dai-41 zakkyo-b')

 

When charismatic Scorpion ('Lady Snowblood' Kaji, who captivates without speaking a word) leads a prison break of women inmates, soon-to-be promoted governor Watanabe vows to make her pay. Visually and sonically stunning, the movie, which is based on a manga by Toru Shinohara, grows increasingly dark as the women trek through the grey volcanic landscape and their crimes are gradually revealed. The heavily stylised result will delight devotees of Kitano's recent oeuvre [2004] and Japanese horror movies generally. The film lent some of its music to Kill Bill, and is said to have inspired Lucy Liu's O-Ren Ishii character in Tarantino's revenge drama.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:28:44.402

Disc Size:

40,439,966,912 bytes

Feature Size:

25,988,492,736 bytes

Video Bitrate:

34.98 Mbps

Audio:

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

('Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable' or 'Joshuu sasori: Kemono-beya')

 

 

Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion: Beast Stable is the third film in the Female Prisoner #701 saga. It starts off with an orgy of violence and lurid sex that is so awesome that you can almost forgive the rest of the film for not living up to its initial promise. Almost.

Scorpion (Meiko Kaji) is handcuffed by a cop while making an escape on a subway. To get away from the pesky police officer, she hacks off his arm with a meat cleaver and spends the first part of the movie cuffed to his severed arm. A hooker with a dark (and disgusting) secret helps Scorpion and offers her shelter. When Scorpion learns the girl’s awful secret (she keeps her brain-damaged brother locked up and since he's rape-happy, she offers herself to him to keep his desire in check), she takes pity on her and decides to stick around.

Excerpt from VideoVacuum located HERE

 

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:27:13.019

Disc Size:

40,698,710,606 bytes

Feature Size:

25,560,875,520 bytes

Video Bitrate:

34.97 Mbps

Audio:

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 


 

 

('Female Prisoner Scorpion: #701's Grudge Song' or 'Josh sasori: 701-g urami-bushi')

 

While on the run from the police, Nami Matsushima (Meiko Kaji), a convicted murderess who escaped from prison, is helped by Teruo (Masakazu Tamura), an employee at a pornographic theater who, years before, had, as a result of his activities as a student protestor, been tortured and disfigured by the same policeman, Kodama (Yumi Kanei), now leading the hunt for Nami. Teruo first hides Nami and then becomes romantically involved with her. Unfortunately, the lives of the pair get even more complicated than they already are after they invade Kodama's home and become embroiled in an altercation with the man's pregnant wife, during which struggle she falls off a balcony to her death. Nami and Teruo escape, but the latter is soon captured and, after having been again tortured by the police, who, eventually, get the man's mother to plead with him, admits to them Nami's whereabouts. Though she is subsequently apprehended, sentenced to death, and thrown into prison, Nami does not end her efforts to free herself and get revenge on those who have harmed her, including Teruo, with whom she had fallen in love but who had betrayed her.

Excerpt from MovieRapture located HERE

 

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:28:36.185

Disc Size:

44,415,063,100 bytes

Feature Size:

25,949,155,008 bytes

Video Bitrate:

34.97 Mbps

Audio:

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Box Cover

 

 

 

   

Distribution

Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray



Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!