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Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion 18 rating

The iconic Meiko Kaji's career-defining turn as 'Scorpion', an unjustly imprisoned young woman who must escape to exact revenge upon the man who betrayed her.

Crime 1972 87 mins

Director: Shunya Ito

Overview

After being betrayed by the detective she had fallen in love with, young Matsu (Kaji) is sent to a female prison full of sadistic guards and disobedient prisoners. Enduring gruelling conditions, She becomes determined to escape in order to exact revenge upon the man who betrayed her.

Shunya Ito's heavily stylised take on the 'women in prison' picture kickstarted a hugely successful four-film Female Prisoner Scorpion series. While Kaji, building on her roles in the Stray Cat Rock series, establishes her career-defining character, 'Scorpion', an avatar of vengeance and survival and an unlikely symbol of female resistance in a male-dominated world. Sporting the black trenchcoat and hat that would become her trademark, Kaji's Scorpion character and her near-silent, single-minded pursuit of revenge would later be a key influence on Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.