Amongst those in the know, the 1970's Japanese women-in-prison Sasori films - better known in the English speaking world under the Female Convict Scorpion moniker - are absolutely legendary stuff. Quentin Tarantino, for one, is an outspoken fan and used the original films as a major source of inspiration for his Kill Bill films and so the news that Hong Kong's Sameway Pictures was tackling a relaunch of the series with their Japanese production partners Artport it was met with a mixture of nervousness and excitement. This was, after all, truly legendary material being brought back to life not only in a different era but in a different culture.
The nervousness went away, for me anyway, at the 2007 Hong Kong Filmart when the first reel of film - shot that very same week - was shown at the Sameway booth. It was raw stuff, fresh out of the camera, but it showcased the visceral, ballsy style that Samewya has quickly become known for thanks to their work on Dog Bite Dog and Shamo. Less a remake than a re-envisioning, the Hong Kong and Japanese influences are equally felt thanks both to the international cast - Simon Yam, Sam Lee and Lam Suet represent Hong Kong; Miki Mizuno and Ryo Ishibashi represent Japan - and the fusion of the raw kinetics of 1980's Cat III Hong Kong film with Japanese flair. Yeah, the footage was raw, but it was good and I've been waiting for something official to turn up ever since.
And now the wait is over, the good folks at international sales agent Easternlight having just granted ScreenAnarchy readers an exclusive first look at a quartet of stills from the picture, to my knowledge the first shots of this to appear anywhere. Hit the link below to admire.
When a band of assassins invade the home of their target HEI TAI they find only his bride to be NAMI and force upon her a cruel dilemma: either she kill her fiancee's sister or they kill her fiancee. Trapped, and unable to confide in the person she loves most, Nami kills her fiancee's sister and is sent to prison where she survives only by becoming as ruthless as those around her.
Trained to fight by a fellow inmate, Nami develops the skills and strength to escape and sets out on a quest for revenge. After killing two of the assassins she's reunited with Hei Tai who's still unaware she killed his sister. As their love is rekindled Nami decides to abandon her crusade of vengeance when the remaining assassin finds them and tells Hei Tai what Nami did. Nami realizes she can never rest until she finds and defeats the assassins' employer, but now her beloved's torn between helping her and his own personal desire for revenge.
A gripping, pulpy revenge thriller re-visioning the long running cult Japanese franchise recognized as an inspiration behind KILL BILL.