Zero Woman: Dangerous Game

Zero Woman: Dangerous Game

aka Zero Woman: Abunai yugi

Written by Hidekazu Takahara, Takashi Kaneda, and Miyuki Takahashi
Based on the Manga by Toru Shinohara
Directed by Hidekazu Takahara

Duckface photos from before MySpace????

The Zero Woman films are a series of Japanese movies that revolve around a female government agent who operates as someone beyond the law, able to execute criminals when the system is failing. Based on a comic series (O-ka no onna by Toru Shinohara), the first film was 1974’s Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs, which has since become more of a cult item thanks to it being released on DVD. There were no Zero Woman films again until the 1990s, where the series was revived as more of an anthology, with each installment having a different director and lead actress starring a Rei. This allowed the directors to go however they wanted and gave each entry its own distinct flavor. But it also dealt with the realities of the no-budget direct-to-DVD world of the late 90s. Which means some of the entries are complete garbage. Some are also less than garbage. I’m happy to say, Zero Woman: Dangerous Game is less than garbage! The Zero Woman films through the 90’s are: Zero Woman: Final Mission (1995), Zero Woman 2 (1995), Zero Woman: Assassin Lovers (1996), Zero Woman: The Accused (1997), Zero Woman: The Hunted (1997), and this one, Zero Woman: Dangerous Game. There is also another movie from 2004 simply titled Zero Woman, and a follow-up Zero Woman R.

The Zero Woman concept is that there is a super-maxi-extreme-ultra-top-secret division of the police or something called Zero Division which is basically an old chief, a less old main investigator, and Rei, the woman they send to blow away evil criminals. We know something is up because you can’t divide by zero, thus their entire department’s name is there to make math majors enraged as they watch the DVDs. As these flicks are exploitative features, they have plenty of gun violence and naked chicks, but at least this one has some weird visuals and a gay subtext. It also has an awful DVD transfer, with a fuzzy grainy effect that makes the whole picture look faded.

Chieko Shiratori is a semi-famous Japanese model who had a couple of nude picture books and acted in a few films, then vanished to be married and have kids like a lot of these model/actresses do. She was known for her muscular-ish frame and strong silent-type acting. She looks like she is constantly playing a never-ending poker game.

Zero Woman: We got DVDs to sell!

Rei (Chieko Shiratori) – Employed in Tokyo Police Department’s top secret Zero Division. Is a lesbian in this one, but I don’t think she is consistently lesbian across the film canon. Blows away more criminals than the Death Wish guy.
Nana (Ichiho Matsuda) – Turncoat on the Yakuza because they treated her like crap. A spoiled mob princess who is also a pseudo-lesbian. Pseudo-lesbianism is the only thing that can melt Rei’s ice heart. Her feelings for Natsume cause her to return to the mob to extract vengeance, which results in her death.
Natsume (Terunori Miyazaki) – One of Kaneda’s loyal goons, but not so loyal he couldn’t stop from banging Kaneda’s girl Nana. Though he does end up sleeping with Kaneda as well. That is, before he’s turned into Natsume soup and eaten by Kaneda.
Kaneda (Masayoshi Nogami) – Mobster. Former lover of Nana, who has now turned on him. Doesn’t like love, thinks hate is a more honest emotion. Enjoys dressing in drag, dressing as a creepy clown, eating Natsume soup, and creeping out his mob goons. Gets blown away, Zero Woman style.
Zero Woman: Attorney at Law!

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