Three weeks later we reconvened to show “Female Prisoner #701” and “Female Slave Ship” and were greeted with hugs by our buddy Graeme because he had missed movie nights so much while we’d been gone. It was a good crowd with 12 people in attendance although we almost booted Bob for his lack of cell phone etiquette. We were a little thrown by the fact that the subtitles for the copy we had were in Comic Sans, but we didn’t let that deter us from the Mod-sploitation goodness we were about to witness. “FP #701” was first and is the first film in the series. It is more overtly stylish than “Beast Stable” but not as emotionally complex as “Jailhouse 41”. It also features the most boobies of the three films and includes a naked monkey bars sequence (again, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried).
Basically we find out how she became a convict in the first place when her no good corrupt cop of a boyfriend set her up and sold her out. Her early attempts at revenge are unsuccessful and she goes to jail for attempted murder. There are numerous plots to have her killed while in jail orchestrated by her ex and his Yakuza buddy which only serve to strengthen FCS’s resolve. There is also hot girl on girl love, a topless Kabuki monster, lots of weird nationalistic overtones (blood on a sheet becomes the Japanese flag…), female on male rape and S&M action. About 10 minutes in my Fiancé declared it his “favorite. movie. Ever.”
Needless to say the next film had a lot to live up to and unfortunately it couldn’t even come close, even though it did have pirates. Made in what I have to assume was the late ‘50s/early ‘60s since I can’t find any information on the film, “Female Slave Ship” is kinda like a weird combination of a John Wayne war movie, “Faster Pussycat” and “The Seahawk” starring a very young and dashing Bunta Sugawara. I could try to recount the plot for you but it is very convoluted and this column is already too long. To some up, the upper hand changed 15 times and the pirate queen changed alliances 7 times. There were also no monkeys or parrots despite the presence of pirates and the pirates all wore shiny shirts like they were on “Iron Chef” or something. I still recommend checking it out if you can find it, especially to see Bunta as the hero, which is a trip. And there are some wicked model airplane fights during the W.W.II moments at the beginning of the film if you dig that sort of thing.
Rumblings from the peanut gallery: It always gives me a little thrill to be able to expose my friends to something really cool, and their reaction to FCS was one of the most satisfying feelings I’ve had in a long time. Graeme, who was the only person present who had seen FCS #2 and knew what to expect was particularly enthusiastic and made numerous declarations of “Female Convict Scorpion’s gonna f**k him up,” which also helped to rile everybody else up. Bob was ready to give my Fiancé a pass on his previous selection of “Dragonstorm” until I pointed out that I had picked the movies these weeks, not the boy. Everyone else just argued about which frame grabs they wanted on a t-shirt.
I on the other hand now have to choose who I will be for Halloween. Will it be FCS in her fashionable tie-dyed convict shirt-dress, Mako in her stylishly mod hat and miniskirt, or will I stuff myself into one of my old yukatas and go as Lady Snowblood? I can’t choose. Both “Stray Cat Rock” and “FCS: Jailhouse 41” are available on DVD in North America finally and I highly recommend checking them out, especially if you think you’re a fan of Miike Takashi or Quentin Tarantino. In fact, Tarantino uses the theme from Female Convict Scorpion (sung by Meiko Kaji) in “Kill Bill Vol 1” and O-Ren Ishii (the Lucy Lui character) is obviously modeled on Kaji characters, particularly Lady Snowblood. However, Meiko could easily kick Lucy’s a*s nine ways to Sunday. And look better doing it too.
Mariko McDonald and her fiancé host a weekly film night in their apartment, affectionately known as the Den of Sin. It’s kinda like evil film school. Monthly screening schedules are available at http:filmgurlland.blogspot.com and if you happen to live in the Vancouver, BC area and are interested in catching a screening please drop her a line at filmgurl79@hotmail dot com. Suggestions, hate mail and cute pictures of cats also accepted.
And of course you can always offer up some juicy Back Talk>>>