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   Now in our eleventh calendar year
    PCR #544  (Vol. 11, No. 35)  This edition is for the week of August 23--29, 2010.

"Piranha 3D" by Mike Smith
Will's 2009 South Florida Adventure: Part Two by William Moriaty
The Lost Drive-In: Demented Double Features by ED Tucker
Zeiram 2 by Jason Fetters
Dad .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf by Mike Smith

Zeiram 2

All the characters from the first Zeiram movie returned in this occasionally interesting sequel.

Iria is once again kicking ass and taking down hostile alien life forms as the tough girl, karate-fighting bounty hunter. The two bumbling assistants return, as well as Bob the talking computer, and last but not least, Zeiram is back. This time he is stronger.

The first thing I noticed was that Iria poses for the viewer for several gratuitous chest shots that are not that exotic. There is more shots of Iria wearing less clothing, which is somewhat of a let down because what is being shown for sex appeal really isn't that sexy at all. Iria wearing a tight-fitting white T-shirt that shows exposed shoulders and her breasts appear to be taped down so nothing pops out. Iria comes across as a late '80's diva from a bad MTV dance video with her hair sticking up in the front. Her new look reminds me of women in a Prince video. Still, Yuko Moriyama does a good job with her martial arts sequences. The action scenes are the only good part of this uninspired sequel.

One of the problems with Zeiram 2 is that there is a cheesy class reunion thing going on that doesn't work at all. It is more like watching a "making of" segment than a real movie with the actors getting together one last time just for laughs. Iria doesn't boss or push around the two humans as she did in Zeiram. The relationship is buddy buddy with Iria acting like just one of the guys. The only thing Iria does well is fight Zeiram with an interesting final fight that is the only saving grace. Even Zeiram is less scary. When a curious dog approaches Zeiram and the weird white face pops out and kills the dog, the mutant dog that appears later is comical and sad. The dog has some lame moments harassing the two electricians before it gets kicked off a statue.

The main problem with Zeiram 2 is all the basic elements of the first Zeiram are present without any imagination or fun. Iria is sent by Bob to fight Zeiram. The two electricians get involved. Zeiram goes on a rampage. The Zone can only exist for a limited time. In fact, the only new element is a rival bounty hunter that is trying to steal a tiny statue that contains power. He gets disposed of by Iria and once that character is gone, the movie is back to the same old Zeiram that I have already seen back in 1991.

Director Keita Amemiya had a wonderful opportunity to continue the interesting adventures of Iria and just blew it.

For fans of the first Zeiram, I would advise to seek out the anime called Iria: Zeiram the Animation, which has a better plot and further explores the Zeiram mythology.

It is a shame to not be able to recommended this tired boring sequel to anyone. For completists that need both Zeiram movies, I would advise to buy the DVD that has both movies on it. For everyone else, just stick with the first movie and the anime series.

1 and Stars out of 4.

To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. "The Asian Aperture" is ©2010 by Jason Fetters. Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.