maandag 18 juli 2011

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Grudge Song (1973)

Grudge Song is the fourth film in the series. Still starring the amazing Meiko Kaji as Matsu a.k.a Sasori (Scorpion) but with a different director. Yasuharu Hasebe is no stranger in the Japanese exploitation bizz, but it's still hard to follow up such a brilliant director such as Shunya Ito after three incredible films. Was he the right man for the job, or should they've sticked to three parts?

Very much like the third film it all goes down in an urban enviroment, staying clear from prison untill the last part. It's the fugitive storyline you'd come to expect by now. You can't detain Sasori forever, so escaping becomes a big part of the action yet again. She's facing dead sentence, forcing her to do whatever it takes to stay clear from the authority.
It's as entertaining as the first films but the cinematography wasn't as eye-catching. It's all in comparison, since it's still a gorgious film and there are tons of nicely shot sequences. Just not as good as the first three. It's not easy to dodge the repetative bullet, not for Hasebe and not for me as I'm writing about the same serie for the fourth time in a row.

Should I once again explain how Meiko's acting influences the impact of the film, how she's the one who keeps you on the edge of you seat and so on? Her quality acting is not something that just vanishes, so succes was guarenteed on this part. The entire cat and mouse game remains intriguing because of her presence, the love and hatred can be felt from both sides.
A nice addition to the final part are the female wardens. They have a different attitude which makes it interesting to revisit this setting. Here we see some of the better scenes, mainly when she escapes once again. Bringing forth some of the best looking shots with those familiar painted backgrounds and enchanting music.

I'll be remembering her song of vengeance for quite some time, that's for sure. I'll place a youtube video on the bottom for everyone to listen to. It's a fantastic film but it didn't have the same effect as Ito's Scorpion films had. A rewarding final, even though I still crave for more Meiko action. Lady Snowblood...here I come!

Score: 89/100

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