Cult Classic Cuties are characters from some of our favorite cult classics and midnight movies who captured our hearts and/or actresses who got our attention, but sadly never returned to these type of flicks. They’re femme fatales and final girls whose sexy stars shined only briefly, not quite achieving scream queen status. And this installment’s cutie is…



photo by Kouki Nishida

This installment of Cult Classic Cuties, much like our focus on Daniela Doria, is going to profile an actress who starred in three genre films for the same director during the course of her short film career. Yûko Moriyama was a Japanese TV and movie actress who had a brief acting career from 1991 to 2000. She had Japanese anime girl looks and at only five foot four could convey a toughness and strength that made her believable as an action star. She worked for Keita Amemiya in three films ranging from 1991 to 1997, including his breakaway hit, Zeiram. In all three she played women warriors and that seemed to get her typecast as such for the rest of her short career. She made an impression, however, that has earned her Cult Classic Cutie status, despite acting for less than a decade.

(You can read my full reviews for her three collaborations with Keita Amemiya by clicking the highlighted titles below!)



As sexy, alien bounty hunter Iria in Zeiram!…

Reprising her role as Iria with a slightly new look in Zeiram 2!…

As aliens Abira, Marien and Kuzto (in that order) in Moon Over Tao!…


photo by Kouki Nishida

Moriyama apparently retired from acting after 2000 with her final film being a Hong Kong flick set partially in Japan called Tokyo Raiders. The actress is still a cult favorite among fans for her portrayal of Iria and it’s disappointing that she left acting so soon and never reunited with Amemiya at least one more time to make the Zeiram flicks a trilogy.


Be sure to check out our Cult Classic Cuties (click right here for the link) section to see more crush worthy ladies from cult films and midnight movies!

-MonsterZero NJ


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