January 11 only

Nippon Nights brings in the new year with the return of incredible singer/actress/icon Meiko Kaji as Sasori ( “Scorpion” ) in FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION: BEAST STABLE, the third and rarely screened follow-up to FEMALE CONVICT: JAILHOUSE 41!

After the amazing, over the top pyrotechnics of FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 4!, the production team ( director Shunya Ito, composer Shinsuke Kikuchi, editor Osamu Tadaka, and set designer Tadayuki Kuwana ) returns to the series, bringing all the skills they used in the previous entry to produce a curiously dark, introspective character driven piece. In an epic opening chase sequence involving the recently escaped Sasori and a pursuing policeman in the subway, the filmmakers show off right away the type of small epic we’re about to see, as a scene in a cramped, mundane place becomes invested with extreme heightened emotions all through bizarre camera angles, soundtrack cues, strange editing choices and of course the acting performances. After her escape from the subway into the city, our heroine runs a crowd of people, soon to take a normal job as a seamstress while living in the “red light district” and become submerged in a Noir-ish, LOWER DEPTHS style drama involving a renegade prostitute who runs afoul of local gangsters. Soon the drama around her and her own past catch up with our hero as she meets one her fellow ex-inmates from the previous film, now transformed into an outrageously outfitted sadistic madam with a crow fetish who keeps a birdcage-style prison cell for those who transgress her! In these murky environs, our hero is forced to confront the ultimate in depravity only to become, in an incredible Bunuel inspired sequence, a transcendental force of vengeance, literally by the end of the movie rising out of the sewers in a sequence as jarring and terrifying as anything in THE THIRD MAN or KANAL. In their farewell to the SCORPION series, Ito and his team produce a “pulp masterpiece,” a piece of what critic Manny Farber once called “termite art,” or a work that uses small touches and simple ideas to recall epic ideas and produce big feelings.

Please join us for this rarely screened example of intimate art! Very violent and dark, so please be warned, but hopefully those that take the journey will experience the thrills that myself and many others experienced in what we feel is the best entry into one of the cinema’s great pulp series! 87 mins.


Nippon Nights: FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION: BEAST STABLE: Upcoming Showtimes