Agent Zero (Miki Sugimoto) is a cop that uses her own methods for dealing with criminals. After she unlawfully kills a rapist in a violent fashion, she is sent to prison and stripped of her badge. But very soon after, a ri... more »ch politician's daughter is kidnapped by a ruthless gang. Agent Zero is let out of prison with the mission of going undercover to find the politician's daughter and return her safely. Using her deadly red handcuffs, she disposes of the criminals one by one. Fast paced and highly entertaining, Zero Woman Red Handcuffs is a 70's exploitation masterpiece.« less
If you thought that Sonny Chiba's THE STREET FIGHTER was vio
August Ragone | henshinonline.com | 10/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of '70s Japanese Cult Cinema, in the vein of THE STREET FIGHTER, LADY SNOWBLOOD and SUKEBAN DEKA, should not hesitate to pick up this violent, stylish and outlandish Toei action film directed by Yukio Noda. If you squirm at PULP FICTION/KILL BILL-style violence, avoid this film -- but, if you liked any of the above-mentioned titles, ZERO WOMAN: RED HANDCUFFS is a must-see film!
Based on the manga by Toru Shinohara, the story is about a special police agent (Miki Sugimoto) who is arrested for the killing of a serial rapist, who turns out to be a foreign diplomat. But when the daughter of Japan's next Prime Minister (YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE's Tetsuro Tanba) is kidnapped, the police are ordered to retrieve her and eliminate the culprits (lead by KAMEN RIDER V3's Eiji Go). They release the incarcerated policewoman -- now codenamed: "Zero", is offered a pardon as long as does their dirty work and returns the daughter alive. When the situation gets out of hand, and threatens his future, the dirty politico orders everyone dead -- including Zero and his daughter. Then, all hell breaks loose in a psychotic cavalcade of blood and fury, as Zero resolves to follow her mission objective through at all costs.
Disc Review: Discotek's audio and video presentation is about equal to similar Toei titles recently issued by Adness America/Ventura Distribution (although Ventura's titles seem to have less speckling and grain). The subtitles are fine for the most part (translating the Japanese "Sori" for "President", instead of "Prime Minister"), and all of the cast and credits are translated (although there are some incorrect translations for names - which is not uncommon). Some lines of subtitled dialogue ran to the very end of my monitor -- which is a bit careless, but hopefully will be corrected on future titles.
There are 25 chapter stops (generous for a movie that only runs 88 minutes) and trailers for the feature (closer to 1:85, which is a bit squeezed) -- which is incredibly grainy -- and a trailer for the live-action LUPIN III feature (in its correct Tohoscope aspect ratio), which looks great, considering the age of the source materials. More effort could have been put into the menus, which are not spectacular --something which Ventura does much better (I really like Ventura's "sock-it-to-me" screen transitions), considering using the non-animated menu style. Different music cues (and the theme song) play over these.
This release sports a beautiful jacket painted by Wes Benscoter and comes with a thick paperboard slipcase. Jacket for the slipcase has the same main painting of Sugimoto Miki, but with different images inset in her red trenchcoat (a nice touch) -- also different photos on the back from the slipcase. The downside is the "Collectible Booklet" which is just a standard four-page color insert, which contains a couple of fuzzy (but not embarassingly poor) reproductions of two of the original Japanese posters, and very basic notes about the film.
While not up to the (admittedly high) standards of Home Vision Entertainment release, such as STREET MOBSTER and GRAVEYARD OF HONOR, Discotek's release of ZERO WOMAN is a pretty good freshman effort. Hopefully, they will improve on any minor blemishes one may nitpick with this release. B+ (for effort on the production and presentation end) and A+ for releasing this film on R1 DVD. Keep 'em coming!
August Ragone, henshinonline.com"
70's JAPANESE EXPLOITATION AT ITS BEST!!!
Film fanatic | 01/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
Don't confuse this with those 90's Zero Woman films, this original film is the cream of the crop! Long unavailable on DVD anywhere in the world, Discotek has finally made it available to Western audiences. Red Handcuffs is based on the original manga series written by Toru Shinohara, who also created the Prisoner Scorpion manga.
This movie is ruff, nasty, raunchy, and as over the top as you can get! Nudity, violence, and sex fills the film from beginning to end. Zero (played by the beautiful Miki Sugimoto) is a rebel cop that is not afraid to shoot first and ask questions later. This kind of behavior gets her thrown in jail with the same trash that she is used to cleaning off the streets. Given a chance at redemption, she is brought back on a secret mission to rescue a high ranking politician's (played by the legendary Tetsuro Tanba) daughter from a gang of crazed rapists.
All hell breaks loose once she's undercover and the blood, clothes, and Red Handcuffs start flying! In order to keep her cover she must endure everything this sick gang of psychos can throw at her. Keeping cool she stays close to the kidnapped girl and close to her weapon of choice while waiting for her opportunity to strike. Climaxing in a blood filled showdown in a windy deserted Navy base, this film is a nonstop ride from beginning to end. The video quality and packaging are top notch. Inside the limited slip cover is an alternate cover that features some of the nastier and naughtier scenes. I've read that these limited versions will be sold out very soon and the packaging won't be duplicated once gone. Highly recommended and a must-have for fans of Japanese cinema! "
Forget the recent Zero Woman films!
Asian Mack | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 07/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is THE original and the best Zero Woman. Sugimoto Miki is stunningly gorgeous and right on the mark for some tough girl, raunchy action with sex and madness spliced right in. This is also one of the wildest Yoko Mihara performances. If you like beautiful Asian women(which I love), raunchy sex, arterial spray and action then "Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs" is right up your alley. Buy this along with "The Pinky Violence Collection" and "Sex & Fury" to take a wild ride on Japanese cinema of the 70's. Don't forget her partner-in-crime Ike Reiko(also absolutely gorgeous). If you are not aware, also buy the "Female Prisoner Scorpion" and "Lady Snowblood" films; as Kaji Meiko is ever so captivating. They are not too many films made like this anymore, especially in the U.S., except for maybe "Kill Bill", "Sin City" and "Fight Club". "Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs" is a MUST BUY!!!"
This Week Special Includes: 1970's Japanese Blax...no..no..
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 02/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I read that there is a series to this that can never be beat, well I can believe that because originals are hard to surpass. After watching this it blew me away. So much gritty 70s cool and twisted violence, you'll swear that Quentin Tarantino is sitting next to you massaging your thigh. It's full of sex and violence! This isn't sexy or soft-core but a brutal movie not for the delicate. I love vengeance flick and a 70's Exploitation such as this from Japan I just had to see it.
The plot of Zero Woman was resurrected twenty years later for Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita: wildcat is saved from the gallows and forced to become an agent for the top secret Division Zero of the Tokyo police department. Armed with a gun, a badge and a pair of handcuffs that are all as nail polish-red as her skin-tight leather outfit (when she wears it), she is sent to investigate the kidnapping of a politician's daughter by a gang of psychopathic thugs. After infiltrating the gang, she stoically endures several rapes by its members to win their trust and then begins to imaginatively eradicate them one after another in her search for the missing girl.
Zero Woman is cold and calculating and kills without mercy. But there's no chance for you to feel sympathy for the brutal vermin that she exterminates. Though some have referred to this film as feminist, it's more a case of having your cake and eating it too. This results in a generous and a satisfy helping of a seriously stylish sleaze. I can't imagine viewers watching this without subtitles but for years, English speaking fans have had to put up with non-translated versions of this Japanese exploitation classic. Now, thanks to the gang at Discotek, old fans and new are supplied with subtitles so they can read along with the adventure Agent Zero slices, dices, shoots, burns and strangles with her handy red handcuffs, that magically open just wide enough to clamp around a person's neck, anyone she deems worthy enough of some swift justice. Plenty of over-the-top violence and naked bodies to please the hardest core of exploitation junkies.
Japanese Blaxploitation?? Zero Woman Rocks!!!!****
ComaWhite | The Dream Factory | 12/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I usually never take the time to write reviews for films, but I made an exception for this classic trash masterpiece. This movie came to my attention from an ad for it in the October edition of Rue Morgue magazine. Exploitation is my genre, so this movie looked to be right up my alley. Man!!! I am so glad I took the chance on this movie. I thought i've seen it all, but this movie played like a lost gem. I never heard of the Zero Woman series nor did I know that there was a Japanese exploitation sub-genre. It seems like the producer/ director were trying to copy the raw blaxploitation action formula that was popular from the early to mid 70's. The Zero woman character is as cold blooded as Rick James. This movie has it all. To Zero Woman's red handcuffs that work as zany as the "Master of the Flying Guillitines" weapon. One guy takes a gun shot to the nuts and dudes balls blow up big time. The villians are very colorful and also stupid which is always fun. One of the japanese villians in particular is funny as hell to watch. My man is dressed up to look american and is also shot so you cant really make out his eyes. It's so obvious it stands out. Dude is dressed up in a matching jean jacket outfit with a red bandanna, a train conductor hat and some big ass Burt Reynolds mirrored sunglasses. Everything is so over the top in this movie it just knocked me flat out on my ass. I bet Tarantino probably owns this DVD. The movie is that cool. Discoteck's transfer is great and their packaging is slick, especially with the inner sleeve picture of the video cassette cover. Even though this disc has no extras, it's more than worth it for this film. Besides you buy these dvd's for the movie anyway. As Prince says in the song "Gett Off", "I guarantee that you won't be bored". Keep rockin those roller skates Discotek."