Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
If you feel like you’ve had enough of artsploitation and would like to try something less elegant it’s hard to think of a better movie than Yukio Noda’s Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs. Not to be confused with the 90’s / 2000’s straight to video crap, this original 1974 film is pinky violence at it’s grittiest. Stylish and groovy combination of 70’s crime cinema and ultra violence, this film is like Fukasaku or Friedkin on acid. Those with a weak stomach stay the hell away.
Red Handcuffs stars Miki Sugimoto (who also appeared in numerous films with Reiko Ike before retiring and becoming a nursery school teacher) as an undercover cop who’s mission is to save a well know politician’s (Tetsuro Tamba) daughter from the hands of six kidnappers, and destroy all evidence of the incident... including the kidnappers themself. The leader of the criminals is played by Eiji Go who gives a wonderful over the top performance. In this movie the bad guys are truly bad, only outdone by some truly sadistic good guys (including Hideo Murota). But that makes it all the more satisfying to see Miki taking care of the human garbage at the end. Pinky Violence fans should also recognize Yoko Mihara as one very bad girl.
Other than sex, violence and style the film also features an excellent soundtrack that perfectly accompanies the images and especially the action at the end. The only real flaw in the film would be the fact that some parts may feel a bit heavy because of the strong content and the lack of humour. The last 20 minutes however is such a stylish showcase of ultraviolent action that you’re likely to forget any flaws that might have occurred earlier. As a nice little spice the film also features some strong political references (the american military presence in 70’s Japan). Such themes weren’t rare in japanese cinema of the time and can be found in some other well know pinky violence film such as Criminal Woman: Killing Melody and Nikkatsu’s Stray Cat Rock films.
Reviewed by HungFist