19 November 2006 | Falconeer
Classic ultra-violent crime drama
Yukio Noda's 'Zero Woman-Red Handcuffs' lives up to it's reputation, featuring a truly impressive level of violence mixed in with it's artistic style. I made the mistake of trying to watch this one in the morning. I had to stop it during the scene where a gang member is getting his skin burned off with a blowtorch, by a police detective. When I watched it all the way through I found this to be a very impressive 'pink' film, dealing with revenge, kidnapping, and torture. A gang of thugs who get their kicks raping and killing random people, believe they hit the big time when they kidnap the daughter of an important political figure. The amazingly sexy and tough Miki Sugimoto, the Zero Woman, is hired to bring back the girl, and to her delight, she is given an order to leave none of the kidnappers alive. This sets up the stage for some truly impressive scenes of brutality, and Rei, the Zero Woman has an almost religious devotion to 'justice'. We see this at the films amazing first sequence, where she allows herself to be taken to a hotel room by a wanted rapist/killer, and hands out her own brand of 'justice'. One reason that the film is so disturbing is that everyone, including the cops, is portrayed as wild animals with no compassion for human life. The gang especially, seem like a pack of savage hyenas. And much of the violence is directed at the Zero Woman herself; she is on the receiving end of many beatings and ugly rapes. I actually felt a little queasy in the stomach at times, but Miki Sugimoto is a gorgeous heroine, pure eye candy, and this visual beauty made the films ugly scenes a bit more bearable. Not that 'Zero Woman' is an ugly looking film; This is filmed with a great level of style, and utilizes garish colors especially well. Rei sports a red gun and red handcuffs, and the whole thing is quite surreal. This is the only thing that i have seen from director Yukio Noda, but judging from this one, the guy is a maniac. 'Zero Woman-red Handcuffs' is a fine 'pink film', and should not be confused with the vastly inferior 'Zero Woman' trash films from the 90's. This 1974 classic has absolutely nothing in common with those later films, other than the name. Essential viewing for fans of 'pink' cinema and violent cop dramas, this is a real assault on the senses!