Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 5th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2008
Director: Kenichi Fujiwara
Writer: Takahiro Tanaka, Kenichi Fujiwara
Cast: Atsuko Miura, Masaki Miura, Sasa Handa, Shunsaku Kudo, Shun Sugata
DVD released: April 6th, 2010
Approximate running time: 73 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
DVD Release: Cinema Epoch
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
The plot revolves around a young woman named Rei ,who works for a secret division of The Tokyo metropolitan police department known as division 0. Rei is essentially a hit woman whose job is to rid the streets of Tokyo of all criminals and degenerates.
Zero Woman R is based on Manga that was created Tooru Shinohara. He also created the Sasori which was also adapted into several feature films. Other Zero Woman feature films include Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs, Zero Woman: Final Mission, Zero Woman 2, Zero Woman: Assassin Lovers, Zero Woman: The Accused, Zero Woman: The Hunted, Zero Woman: Dangerous Game, Zero Woman Returns and Zero Woman 2005. Zero Woman R was directed by Kenichi Fujiwara (Zombie Hunter Rika).
The plot doesn’t bring anything new to the Rei ‘Zero Woman’ character. And even if you haven’t seen any of the other “Zero Woman” films this film is able to stand on its own. The main bad guys in this film are never a real threat. Even though the bulk of the film gets lost in its predictability. There is at least one major twist that occurs in the film’s final act that almost is enough to redeem the meandering events which precede this major twist.
The film’s opening sequence in which Rei and another woman prisoner distract a prison guard with their hot lesbian sex romp sets the tone of what is to follow. There are a handful of soft core sex scenes like this opening scene which pop up intermediately throughout the film. There area which I found the most lacking where the action sequences. Unfortunately the action scenes feel rushed when compared to the drawn out soft core sex scenes.
Outside of Masaki Miura performance in the role of a cop who shadow’s Rei and eventually falls in love her. No other performance really stands out. There is no shortage of T & A in this film and the psychical attributes of the two leading ladies Sasa Handa (Attack Girls’ Swim Team Versus the Undead) and Atsuko Miura (Sukeban Boy) in the role of Rei, are exploited for maximum effect.
Cinema Epoch presents Zero Woman R in a letter boxed widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has not been flagged for progressive playback. The image looks soft, especially during darker scenes. Colors and flesh tones fare well. The source used for this transfer is in pretty good shape and even though the transfer is interlaced there are no major problems with ghosting.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese. Removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free have been included. The audio sounds clear and balanced throughout. Range wise the audio is at times limited.
Extras for this release include a image gallery with music from the film playing in the background and a promo image gallery of titles that are available on DVD from Cinema Epoch. Overall Zero Woman R gets a serviceable audio / video presentation from Cinema Epoch.