When I see a movie like Zen Pictures’ Killing Angels, I have to wonder why I waste so much time watching generic Hollywood movies and TV shows, which never feature two hot Asian heroines in skin-tight leather costumes who fight bad guys and then get captured, beaten, whipped and electrocuted before winning in the end.
We begin with an opening credits sequence in which our heroines, in their custom-made, perfect-fitting, skin-tight spy-girl costumes, pose sexily for our amusement. There’s no real reason (according to the story) for this to happen; it’s just yet another nice thing the producers have decided to do for us. (By the way, the theme music here sounds like it was composed by R2-D2).
The “real” story begins with our heroines, in non-heroine business attire, standing at the desk of their male boss. I’m guessing that they’re receiving their assignment. They both receive their orders and then proceed to change into their carefully crafted spy-girl costume very slowly. There’s no nudity (what do you think is, porn?), but this sequence has the feel of some kind of fetishy Cinemax striptease movie. It’s okay though, because the action later on in the video is choreographed and performed well enough to justify a little PG-13 striptease action here in the early portion of the video.
Our two heroines break into the bad guys’ evil warehouse and discuss their plan. They encounter a bad guy and engage in a gun battle. Working as a team seems like a good approach—with one girl providing cover fire for the other girl who sneaks up behind the bad guy—but it almost results in Aya Takemoto getting her brains blown out by the guy after her sneak attempt fails. Luckily, it is the bad guy’s brain matter who makes a hasty exit after Hitomi Furusaki shoots him in the head from several meters away. (If only he would have surrendered peacefully, this needless bloodshed could have been prevented…) This results in a long discussion between the two girls, perhaps about the morality of shooting a guy in the head, or maybe about the pros and cons of wearing skin-tight leather to work everyday. Who knows?
Meanwhile, the three remaining evildoers (a sexy evil woman and her two male henchmen) stand in the middle of a dark warehouse and have a discussion, probably about how to trap the spy girls. Our heroines, in the meantime, are still having their discussion, but it finally ends on a somewhat bitter note, with the girls splitting up, apparently too disgusted to deal with each other after the previous shot-to-the-head incident.
Aya Takemoto walks around the warehouse alone, thinking about stuff, when suddenly she’s approached by the female villainess. Apparently, the two have a shared history, as we learn in a lengthy flashback which features a very nice fight sequence between the two characters. I’m guessing that the villainess was once part of the team but then betrayed our heroines, leading to the fight sequence we see in the flashback (which, incidentally, features a lot of up-skirt action). Eventually, Takemoto delivers a lucky uppercut, which ends the fight… and her opponent’s life. At least, it appears that way. We exit the flashback to find Takemoto in a state of disbelief as she discovers her now-living former opponent.
There’s not much time to consider any of this, however, as the girls are soon fighting again, in a sequence with some very good editing. The villainess is clearly the more powerful of the two, so Takemoto pulls out her gun, but before she can get a shot off, one of the male henchmen points a gun at her head, putting an end to her assassination attempt, and this scene.
Back at the office, our other heroine, Hitomi Furusaki, sits at a desk late at night and types on a computer. I guess back at the warehouse, she figured, “Well, it’s true that I’m in the middle of an incredibly dangerous mission, and my partner just walked away, after a heated argument, into an incredibly perilous situation in which multiple enemies could be waiting to ambush her, and yes, minutes earlier, I saved her life at the last possible second because her reflexes were too slow to react to a nearly fatal situation, but… I’m sure she can handle herself. I’m gonna head back to the office to finish that Excel spreadsheet I’ve been working on.” Her work is soon interrupted by an email, apparently from the bad guys, informing her that (perhaps unsurprisingly) they captured her friend a couple of minutes after she left. (I have to point out that our heroine uses the service “Z-Mail.” Apparently, Zen produces heroine peril videos and provides innovative web-based email software.)
Meanwhile, Takemoto wakes up find herself chained up (with arms extended to either side). This is a really long torture sequence with a little something to please most fans of interrogation-style peril. The villainess arrives and delivers multiple stomach punches and pulls Takemoto’s hair. She then injects the heroine with some kind of serum (I’m guessing this is your basic evil serum that heightens the recipient’s sensitivity to pain). The villainess then grabs the heroine’s stomach really hard, which I guess might be painful, although it really just seems kind of annoying. Before the torture continues (and it does)…
…We return to the film’s other heroine, Furusaki, who practices firing her gun at a shooting range (as if she didn’t already prove her worth as a markswoman earlier in the film). As she fires, she receives a flashback of her own (the producers were very generous when it came to doling out flashbacks with these characters). Anyway, the flashback apparently takes place several years earlier when Furusaki was but a wee schoolgirl (complete with the classic schoolgirl uniform). Unfortunately, one day she was tied to a chair and blindfolded as a bad guy (one of the henchmen from earlier) brutally stabbed her father. This must have eventually led to her life as an assassin/spy-girl.
Back at the torture chamber, the bad guys apparently haven’t tortured Takemoto enough yet, and so a henchman proceeds to shock her with electricity. When he gets bored, he hands of the electric prods to the villainess, who tortures her with even more electric shocks. Furusaki arrives (finally), and beats the crap out of henchman #1. However, she’s apparently unaware that the bad guys have captured her partner. Henchman #2 whips out his iPhone and plays some audio of Takemoto screaming in pain while being shocked. (There’s an app for that.™) Now, finding herself in a helpless position, she has to reluctantly allow henchman #1 to get back up and take revenge on her by beating her up with punches and stomps until she loses consciousness.
Later, the bad guys have both heroines chained up in the same room for yet more torture. A henchman stabs her (!) repeatedly, all over her body, with some kind of small knife (it’s not as graphic as it sounds), then takes a larger knife and slices parts of her costume off. Finally, he picks up the trusty old electric prods and tortures her with electric shocks until she passes out. After they carry her limp body away, Takemoto is tied to a chair and has painful goo applied to the exposed parts of her body. Furusaki manages to wake up as she’s being carried away and fights off the bad guy who’s carrying her. She makes her way to the room in which the villains are keeping her partner and unchains Takemoto. This leads to one last double-fight sequence in which Takemoto fights the villainess and Furusaki fights a henchman, who happens to be the guy who killed her father. He kindly reveals this during the fight (I think), which gives Furusaki the extra bit of motivation she needs to finish him off (not a good move on his part at all).
Takemoto delivers a fatal uppercut to the villainess, although personally, I would make extra sure she’s really dead this time since she survived a similar blow in the flashback and came back to torture the heroines years later. She seems pretty satisfied that her enemy really is dead this time and goes to assist Furusaki, who has the henchman in a compromising position and is about the deliver a fatal stab of the knife to avenge her father’s death. Takemoto arrives just in time to encounter the classic, “Will our hero(ine) sacrifice her principles and surrender to her most primitive emotions just to extract revenge which will ultimately prove unsatisfying since she will have sunken to the level of her most dreaded adversary in order to achieve closure at the expense of everything that makes her better than him” situation. I won’t reveal whether she gives in to her murderous desire, but if you’ve ever seen a movie before, you can guess how things turn out. (She does punch him really, really hard, for what it’s worth.)
…And the heroines lived happily ever after. I enjoyed this video from Zen Pictures, which proves yet again (not that it need to be demonstrated anymore) that the Japanese are the best producers in the genre. I suppose if this film is a success, we might see a sequel to this adventure, which would be okay with me. I like the spy-girl genre (I actually prefer it to the superheroine genre) and I find both actresses to be very attractive and capable of delivering good performances. There is a ton of torture in this film, so if you’re not a fan of that kind of content, this might not be the best Zen Pictures film for you. But either way, I applaud the Japanese once again for producing heroine peril content as the highest level currently available (in my humble opinion).