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Japanese theatrical release poster
Directed byKeita Amemiya
Screenplay by
Produced by
CinematographyHiroshi Kidokoro[1]
Music byKoichi Ohta
  • GAGA communications
  • Crowd Inc.[1]
Release date
  • December 21, 1991 (1991-12-21) (Japan)
Running time
97 minutes[1]

Zeiram (ゼイラム, Zeiramu), stylized as ZËIЯAM, is a 1991 Japanese science fiction film directed by Keita Amemiya. The film stars Yūko Moriyama as an alien bounty hunter named Iria, who comes to Earth to do battle with Zeiram, an immortal alien creature. With the help of her AI partner Bob and two ordinary Japanese electricians, she fights Zeiram in an artificial dimension called "the Zone". In 1994, the film was followed by an original video animation (OVA) anime series known as Iria: Zeiram the Animation (a prequel to the film) as well as a 1994 sequel film titled Zeiram 2.

Plot summary[edit]

Bounty hunters Iria and Bob accept a job to apprehend Zeiram on Earth, setting up an alternate dimension called a Zone to help combat and capture him. Iria and Bob's use of stolen electricity results in electric company employees Kamiya and Teppei investigating their base just as Zeiram enters Earth's atmosphere.

Kamiya accidentally flips a switch that transports Teppei into the Zone. While Kamiya unsuccessfully tries to get an explanation from Iria, she transports the two of them to the Zone. Upon arrival, she traps him and leaves to destroy the pod Zeiram arrived in. Teppei finds Zeiram and gets chased by another monster that the creature summoned, eventually stumbling across Kamiya. Iria's first attempt to capture Zeiram fails and she finds he has a shield that makes him immune to bullet fire.

Iria decides to use her special combat suit, despite Bob's protests to not fight him in close-range combat. After Iria finally manages to capture Zeiram, Teppei comes across her. He asks her to free Kamiya, which she reluctantly agrees to. Zeiram causes a distraction while trapped, using one of his monsters to lure Iria back to Earth. The ensuing fight damages the teleportation unit. Teppei saves Kamiya from a sneak attack by the monster Zeiram summoned, but Kamiya accidentally shoots the lock to Zeiram's prison, freeing the creature.

Iria tries teleporting back to the Zone but is set back by a power failure. Teppei and Kamiya hotwire a car, using it to incapacitate Zeiram. The human-like face on Zeiram's "hat" attacks them, biting Kamiya. Teppei and Kamiya escape soon after. Bob speculates that Zeiram is a forbidden biological weapon whose "hat" is used to eat other beings and use what he has consumed to produce his monster subordinates. Zeiram's attempt to make an subordinate copy of Kamiya ends in failure and he kills it in anger.

After a brief break to address Kamiya's wounds, Teppei receives a communicator from Iria. She explains the problems with the transporter and that the Zone itself will not last for much longer. They agree upon Teppei and Kamiya waiting it out as long as they can until Iria can get back to the Zone. Iria and Bob decide to bring a powerful weapon called the Metis Cannon to fight Zeiram, despite the personal risk it causes them to use it without prior approval. Kamiya hijacks construction equipment to save Teppei from Zeiram before Iria returns to shoot Zeiram with a bazooka.

Zeiram soon recovers, shedding his skin to take on a giant skeletal form. Iria defends Teppei and Kamiya as they retrieve the Metis cannon from the spot Bob transported it to. Iria traps the "hat" with eight minutes to spare before the Zone breaks down. Kamiya and Iria are teleported to the base, meeting Bob. Bob asks Teppei to pick up the captured Zeiram, who hovers in his restraints and destroys the transport unit needed to bring Iria back. He escapes from the trap and regenerates his body. Kamiya uses his technician skills to help repair the transport unit while Zeiram ramps up his attack. Kamiya succeeds and Iria returns in time to save the two men and Bob from Zeiram. After a brief respite, Iria complements the two on their resilience and offers them two of her braids as a "thank you" gesture. Bob takes a photo of the trio together as a memento.

In Zeiram 2, the creature's core, which was presumed dead, is recovered by a shadowy organization which installs it as the organic core of a robotic supersoldier. Iria, Bob, Teppei, and Kamiya continue their battle against Zeiram in a Zone created by the monster. The plot plays out similarly to the original Zeiram, with the four getting into cat-and-mouse confrontations with the creature and the monsters that he summons and dealing with complications caused by Iria and Bob's faulty tech. The sequel adds the additional challenge of Fujikuro, a manipulative rival and saboteur who seeks the same ancient teleportation relic called the Kamarite that Iria and Bob returned to Earth to get. Fujikuro also appeared in Iria: Zeiram the Animation.


Zeiram was released in Japan in August 1991.[1] The film was released in the United States by Fox Lorber with an English dub by Streamline Pictures in May 1994.[1]

Zeiram was released on DVD in the United States by Image Entertainment in 1998 and again by Tokyo Shock in 2006.[2]


Role Japanese English
Iria Yuuko Moriyama Edie Mirman
Tepphei Kunihiro Ida Steve Bulen
Kamiya Yukijiro Hotaru Robert Axelrod
Bob Masakazu Handa Jeff Winkless
Murata Yukitomo Tochino Steve Kramer
Store Manager Naomi Enami Jeff Winkless
Zeiram Mizuho Yoshida

English dubbing staff[edit]


In 1994, a sequel to Zeiram titled Zeiram 2 was released in Japan on December 17, 1994.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Galbraith IV 1996, p. 459.
  2. ^ "Zeram (1991)". AllMovie. Retrieved January 30, 2019.


  • Galbraith IV, Stuart (1996). The Japanese Filmography: 1900 through 1994. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0032-3.

External links[edit]