Thursday, September 13, 2018

Phil's Shudder Picks: FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 41 (1972) - September 11, 2018

Welcome back to another installment of Phil's Shudder Picks! Today's movie is the first sequel in the FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION franchise. Again, I was able to check out the film on the Shudder App, which has been awesome! So, ladies and gentlemen, let's discuss the 1972 sequel FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 41.

Original Japanese Poster (1972)
The film's official synopsis: Scorpion returns. Nami and six other female prisoners are on the run in this 2nd FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION film, a visually stunning jailhouse escape spectacle.

Once again, actress Meiko Kaji returns as our heroine Nami, who is both bad ass and beautiful beyond description!! And like the first film, she barely says a word in this one too. If anything, I believe she had one line, maybe two. But then, she doesn't need dialogue to express herself. The way she moves, her glaring eyes, the expression on her face when she's sad, angry, and when she's cutting a bitch up! She looks indescribably breathtaking while looking like a prisoner being hosed by the cops in her cell or in her trademark black hat and matching outfit!

Kaji isn't the only one to return to the series. Co-writer/director Shun'ya Itô also returns to helm the movie, and holy shit it's batshit crazy!! The movie is leaps and bounds more visually stunning than the first chapter of the series. Itô showcases his maturity for set designs, mood lighting, sweeping on-location shots, and dynamic set-ups and compositions. Now remember, this film came out in 1972, five years before director Nobuhiko Ôbayashi's film HOUSE, which looks like it copied the look from this movie!! Coincidence? I think not!!

The film was originally released to theaters in Japan on December 30, 1972 from the legendary Toei Company. It was another success, but it didn't get discovered here in the states till years later. Thanks to the VHS boom of the 1980's, the movie achieved a cult-like status unheard of at that time. Eventually, the movie (as well as the rest of the entries of the series) were released on DVD, but the source material were on the rough side; the picture and sound quality weren't all that great. But then in 2016, British company Arrow Video released Female Prisoner Scorpion: The Complete Collection in a stunning Blu-Ray/DVD boxset! Arrow did a brand new 2k restorations of all four films, bonus features, and a booklet!

FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 41 is my favorite film of the FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION franchise! It's the perfect blend of arthouse movie, experimental film, and Japanese exploitation cinema!! Fans of the series have been raving about this film for decades, and now you can enjoy it in the comfort of your home! What more do you need to know!! Go watch this movie now!! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 41 is now streaming exclusively on Shudder. To view it, sign up on its website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the horror!

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