Monday, September 17, 2012

Why Can't These Ladies Stay Out Of Prison?


This sequel to Nikkatsu's TRUE STORY OF A WOMAN IN JAIL is really just more of the same. Hijinks in a woman's prison, with plenty of bare skin, some sex and a healthy dose of unpleasant violence to keep things moving. And a really funky score too.

The movie is structurally the same as its predecessor. A group of young women enter the prison, emotionally unprepared for the violence and struggle ahead of them. They are immediately sexually abused by the other inmates. But lucky for them MAYUMI is out of solitary confinement. Mayumi does not suffer fools lightly and starts several extended fights to protect the young fish in the tank. Soon we see there is more going on here than just rehabilitation. A guard takes photos as the gang sexually assault the fresh meat, a young girl wanted for shop lifting. These photos play a large role in forcing her to be sold to the Yakuza and become a prostitute. Meanwhile back inside the prison Mayumi has managed to gain some respect and through flashbacks we learn that she killed a man who raped her and her mother in a field. But will she go on a killing spree again?

Like all the Nikkatsu films this is exceedingly well made, it is no slouch of a production. But it feels unfocused and messy sometimes as the narrative switches back to her past and the sins Mayumi is responsible for. The whole rape flashback feels awkward because we are not too sure the characters we are seeing. Her mother and the guys make an appearance later in the film though.

There is plenty to recommend though, including a side plot about the transsexual inmate, or how the head guard gets another girl pregnant, leading to a violent forced miscarriage. There is a nude catfight in the baths that is sure to put a smile on the face of any sleaze fan as well.

TRUE STORY OF A WOMAN IN JAIL CONTINUES is worthwhile, but not groundbreaking like some of the other Nikkatsu titles Synapse/Impulse has released so far. The movie gets in there and is very functional, with sex scenes every five or ten minute, punctuating that with violence. It is a fun movie but not the peak of the Nikkatsu releases. 

Review © Andrew Copp

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