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Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion: Beast Stable
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Following her succuessful prison break, Scorpion begins this third episode in the series hiding out in a brothel. Her prostitute friend tries to keep her identity secret, but the brothel's madam discovers that Scorpion is the ex-girlfreind of the vice officer who killed her lover.
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All three of these movies were directed by Shunya Ito. What is great about them, though, is that, even though they all feature the same lead character (wonderfully played by Meiko Kaji), they are each vastly different from the others.
The first movie (Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion) is more or less a typical Women In Prison movie. But the character of Scorpion is very intriguing - very reminiscent of the anti-heroes of many spaghetti westerns. And the director often used some very interesting and unusual visual approaches to the material.
The second movie (Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41) is a real tour-de-force. Not so much a WIP movie as the bulk of the film has Scorpion and six other escaped inmates on the lam.
This movie (Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable) is the third in the series and the last one directed by Shunya Ito. This one plays out as much more of a crime drama. Once again, our heroine is on the run. But this time out, she has managed to maintain a certain amount of normalcy in her life (relatively speaking anyway). She gets a job, she finds a place to live, she makes a friend on the outside. But, of course, everything has to unravel eventually. FPS: Beast Stable has a more straight-forward story that is told at a more leisurely pace than its predecessors. But I found it to be engaging from beginning to end. And don't worry: there is still plenty of depravity to go around in this movie! But I think these movies transcend most exploitation films because the more disturbing elements are played in a straighter tone rather than being used exclusively for in-your-face shock value. Yes, there were definitely moments in this movie where I cringed mightily. But I didn't feel that they detracted from the value of the story (well, maybe a time or two).
I would highly recommend this movie to anyone interested in out-of-the-ordinary films. FPS: Beast Stable can be enjoyed as a stand-alone piece (as can the first two movies) but I would also recommend watching the others first if you have not already done so.