Zero Woman 6 (Japan 1998)

Rating: *
Review Date: 9/10/99
Alternate Title: Zero Woman: Dangerous Game (U.S. Title)
Cast: Chieko Shiratori

Really terrible. Why do I continue watching this kind of drek? This time around I have no idea what Zero Woman is up to, and I don't think she does either. The best thing I can come up with is that she's protecting an important female witness of some kind. Naturally, the two of them don't get along at all. The story is a mish-mash of seemingly random and unrelated events, tied together with scenes of excruciatingly long and boring narrative exposition. The conclusion of the film makes even less sense, as the female witness is released from Zero Woman's custody and goes on a major killing spree, which Zero Woman cleans up after with a killing spree of her own. The camera work and editing are really poor, and worsened by a horrible "video noise" filter which is applied to many of the action and flashback scenes. Additionally, the incredibly sparse "action scenes" are dull, pointless, uninspired, and all too brief. The film has exactly one thing going for it - stunning Chieko Shiratori. Beautiful and sexy, she overflows with fierce intensity and slips into her role like an expensive glove. (a glove that costs a lot more than the film's budget, that's for sure - someone needs to put her in a REAL film) She is tough, sexy, and dangerous without even trying - her no-nonsense attitude, aggressive posturing, and deadly stare secures her dominance in every scene and she wields a gun with terrifying authority. Basically, she's the kind of woman that really turns me on and scares the shit out of me at the same time (no wonder I have problems with dating). The only time she falls out of tough chick mode is during a pointless and inexplicable lesbian love scene that she has with the witness before they both go on their own separate shooting sprees. Whatever. Do I need to mention the human butcher shop, the creepy transvestite businessman, and the gay villains? Probably not.

I think I'm seeing a pattern here in the "Zero Woman" series. All Zero Woman operatives are dark and tragic loners, who are detached from reality and teetering right on the edge of sanity. Apparently, the chief of Zero Section survived the end of "Zero Woman 5", and this new Zero Woman is much different, even though she exhibits the same aforementioned traits. The other possibility is that despite the half dozen actresses that have portrayed her, Zero Woman is actually the same character throughout the entire series, and that the series itself just has a blatant disregard for continuity. It could go either way.