True Story of a Woman in Jail: Continues
Director - Koyu Ohara
Cast - Kozue Hitomi, Natsuki Kumi
Country of Origin - Japan
Discs - 1
Distributor - Synapse
Reviewer - Bobby Morgan
The Film: 3/5
At the ďGirlsí Juvenile HallĒ prisoner Houjou Mayumi (Kozue Hitomi) is cooling her heels in solitary confinement with her arms and legs bound behind her. She is released back in the general population just in time for the arrival of a new group of fresh meat for the seasoned prisoners to have fun with. When a harmless girl who was busted for shoplifting becomes a target for sexual humiliation by one of the jailís reigning gangs Mayumi steps up to show the vicious wenches whoís really boss in this joint. The shoplifter does her time but only moments after walking out of the gates to freedom she gets kidnapped by Yakuza thugs and forced into a life of sexual slavery. Otherwise some very lascivious photos of her degradation while in jail will be circulated all around the city. Upon hearing of this Mayumi decides to seek revenge on the deviants inside and outside the jail running the operation, especially when she realizes some of the conspirators are the sick bastards who raped her and her mother prior to her incarceration.
The protocol for making a great sequel dictates that the story must either improve on the original in every possible way or at the very least take all the worthwhile aspects of the original and amp them up while kicking character and story development to the proverbial curb. A more recent example of the latter would be The Expendables 2, and that flick was pretty hardcore. Needless to say, True Story of a Woman in Jail: Continues will never be mentioned in the company of classic sequels like The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part II, but I would definitely call it the Expendables 2 of the True Story of a Woman in Jail trilogy. That still isnít saying much. The first True Story movie was a fine bit of Japanese sexploitation but it was patently inoffensive and made little impact on my grind house-warped movie geek psyche. True Story: Continues dispenses with depicting the harsh realities of daily life in a Japanese girlsí juvenile correctional facility and instead piles scene after scene of cat fights, mass nude bathing, golden showers, artificial peckers made out of condoms packed with dirt, rape-and-revenge-packed flashbacks, disconnected sex scenes made all the more disturbing by the censor-imposed blurred genitalia, and emotional torment by garden snake, all scored to the low-fi funky musical stylings of the Downtown Boogie Woogie Band.
The world of the True Story of a Woman in Jail series is a very dark one indeed if youíre a woman. Even the most hardened and insane psychopaths in the juvenile hall can still come off as sympathetic when compared to the various alpha male scumbag predators that seem to reside around every street corner and in every room and bucolic green meadow. Part of me tends to take issue at the lack of male characters in these movies who arenít disgusting, greedy perverts, but thatís the same part that has no problem enjoying the saucy Sapphic shenanigans the beautiful ladies indulge in between bouts of hair-pulling and arts and crafts. Only the man-woman sex scenes are lacking in eroticism but thatís not surprising when these moments are put into context. When the plot isnít focused on Mayumiís ceaseless struggle against the hateful girl gang boss Hideko or her quest for revenge against her rapists the movie brings on strange character vignettes that have absolutely no bearing on the plot, like the transsexual prisoner or the crazed young lady who was busted for killing her baby. A movie that runs slightly over an hour that needs a padded running time is usually botched in the execution, but such flaws do little to make True Story of a Woman in Jail: Continues any less than a fun exploitation trifle.
The 2.35 anamorphic widescreen transfer looks very sharp with little grain and pops, excellent print quality for an obscure film nearly four decades old. The same canít be said for the Japanese 2.0 mono audio track; itís serviceable but comes off sounding muffled and distorted most of the time. English subtitles are provided.
The only bonus feature is an insert booklet of detailed liner notes written by Jasper Sharp, the author of The Historical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema. There are no additional features on the DVD. This is the extent of supplements Iíve come to expect from the Nikkatsu line.
True Story of a Woman in Jail: Continues isnít a vast improvement over the original film but is comparably a greater deal more entertaining when it comes to delivering on the brutal violence and depraved sex the first promised but barely delivered. Plus at only 70 minutes in length the movie is over before it starts to drag.