New Female Prisoner Scorpion

April 11, 2008

The original Female Prisoner Scorpion series ran four installment, with Meiko Kaji starring in all of them. Two years after ending the series Toei came to have second thoughts and resurrected the franchise with new talents. The first film was New Female Prisoner Scorpion #701 (1976). Yumi Takigawa, best known from Norifumi Suzuki’s Convent of the Sacred Beast, was picked for the title role. Dragon Princess director Yutaka Kohira was given the directing responsibilies.

Expectedly the reborn Sasori is no match for the magnificent originals, however, it’s also not a bad attempt at all. It’s essentially a remake of the original, but enough variations to make it stand on its own. Takigawa lacks Kaji’s strong charisma, but her sweet face and and cold presence make her rather fit for the role. Kohara manages standard although not all that graphic women in prison entertainment sufficiently. Enjoyable supporting performances and jaw droppingly great ending add the final touch. Sasori mythology is put into surprisingly good use.

The second film, New Female Prisoner Scorpion: Tokushu-bo X (1977) – 3/5 takes yet another clean start, this time with Yoko Natsuki in the lead role. She’s the least impressive of the three actresses that have played Sasori, but thankfully not without merits. With the correct clothing she looks very good, and… well that’s something at least. Quality graph follows a similar pattern to the previous film, with the final 30 minutes being notably better than the somewhat uninspired first 60. Supporting cast is strong. The warden is played by none other than Toei’s uncrowned evil karate king Masashi Ishibashi. He doesn’t do any martial arts in this movie, but for once he gets to play a good guy. No, wait, in WIP movies the warden is the biggest crook of them all. His right hand men are played by Hiroshi Tachi and Takeo Chii. Both are superb.

New Female Prisoner Scorpion #701 (1976) – 3,5/5
New Female Prisoner Scorpion: Tokushu-bo X (1977) – 3/5



  1. I was wondering if the non-Kaji films were worth looking into. Have you seen the reboot with Miki Mizuno? She certainly looks the part.

  2. No, I haven’t seen the Mizuno one, or any of the other new (since 1990’s) films. I doubt any one them are good…

    I do dig Mizuno, though. Hard Revenge Milly: Bloody Battle is just about the best Japanese action film of the 2000’s (not that there’s much competition, but still… one hellava movie).

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