Scorpion (and Scorpion 2) (1998) from Tuna

Scorpion (1998) is a Japanese Women in Prison film that translates the genre to Japan, while preserving its essential elements, and tossing in a homage to Cool Hand Luke with a weak hero battling forever in a cat fight against the meanest prisoner. Chiharu Komatsu was a doctor, and runs into an accident victim who was responsible for kidnapping her sister 15 years before. When she revenges her sister's death by killing him, she learns that the sister was actually killed by his accomplice, and is sent to prison for 10 years. We have the evil lesbian warden, the innocent prisoner who was framed by the governor, cat fights, strip searches, and our personal favorite, the shower scene, but this time translated into hotsy-hotsy baths.

All in all, it is a worthy addition to the genre, and, as an added bit of flavor, Japanese women in heat, while just as depraved as any, are always very polite to each other, even when beating each other to a bloody pulp. Near the end, the film did lose credibility in one scene. The doctors best friend is hung. She cuts her down, then revives her with CPR and electric shock. I am not a doctor, but  I didn't know CPR fixed severed spinal columns. This is a solid genre effort, and it is interesting to see the genre in a Japanese setting. C.


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Scorpion II (1998) is packaged on the same DVD as Scorpion, and the nudity details are exactly the same. Chiharu Komatsu shows her breasts, and a bunch of unknowns show breasts and buns. That is where the similarity ends however. Where the first film was a solid example of the WIP genre, this one is a jumbled mess. Komatsu keeps trying to kill one-armed men, because she thinks they are the one who killed her sister, but someone always does it first in front of her. Turns out to be the wrong low-life every time anyway.

One of the guys who kills one of her targets gets shot, and she patches him up, then enters the same prison she is a fugitive from with eyeglasses as a clever disguise, acting as a new prison doctor. She is to save the girlfriend of the man she patched up. During the big break, she discovers that he was actually the one who killed her sister, and that he had an arm transplant. He is shot (for the third time in the film) and she is holding him over the edge of a high bridge by the transplanted arm, which tears off and he falls to his death.
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 I wish I made the above up, but it is all true. Not only did they make a terrible mess of the plot, which includes mobsters who actually run the prisons, but they got artistic with the photography, making most scenes too dark to see. If you rent this double DVD, watch the first one, and take a big pass on the sequel. E-

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