Tokyo Gore Police (2008): Japan – directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura
Not rated by the MPAA – contains an absurd amount of CG blood, bizarre bodily transformations, general strangeness, and ridiculous violence
Note: As you might expect from a film entitled Tokyo Gore Police, some of what is discussed in this review is slightly violent and some of the photos are not for squeamish stomachs.
In what is surely one of the bloodiest films since Peter Jackson’s Braindead, Yoshihiro Nishimura brings us the culmination (so far) of Japanese shock. It seems as though everyone involved watched all of Takeshi Miike’s movies and jammed as much of his craziness as they could into their own movie. The star here, Eihi Shiina, even starred in Miike’s Audition. Some of the guys from The Machine Girl were involved, too, and the fight choreographer from Versus and Azumi performed the same task here. It’s almost as if everyone involved with Japan’s low-budge shock cinema got together and somehow found a bunch of money. Tokyo Gore Police is the result.
There is a story, actually, though you may be surprised to hear it. Tokyo’s police department has now been privatized. All the cops dress in silly hats that look like rooftops and wear a lot of armor.
Their primary enemies are engineers, people who have a genetic key implanted in their brain that makes any wounds they suffer sprout into weapons. For instance, if you’re an engineer and attacking some cops with a chainsaw, and they shoot your chainsaw arm off, you will promptly grow a new arm, complete with organic chainsaw. Then you continue killing the cops.
Until, that is, Ruka (Shiina) comes along. She’s been raised by the police chief to be a master engineer hunter. Her father’s head was exploded in front of her when she was young, and she’s now a very somber character. She’s also quite pretty and, of course, looks cool yielding her katana and cutting people in half. She’s on the hunt for whoever it is that is implanting these keys in people’s brains in order to make them engineers. Toward the end of the film there are some twists and turns, but none that you won’t figure out in the first half of the movie.
No one will watch this because of the plot. They will watch it because of the title and the awesome trailer. During an operatic and peaceful five minutes, the trailer showed nothing but limbs split, heads flying, body parts tossed around, and blood spurting in enormous geysers. It also included one of my favorite moments of the film, an impressive homage to Lady Snowblood complete with geysers of blood and an umbrella. Rest assured, the entire movie is very similar to the trailer.
They are brief moments of calm and “plot” in between the scenes of explosive blood and bizarre gore. You won’t be disappointed with the gore and some of the insane creations present. There’s one creature that was ripped straight from Silent Hill, which is wonderful. I don’t want to ruin too many of the surprises, but there aren’t many body parts that you won’t see being cut in half, exploded, thrown around, or regenerated with a massive gooey, bloody replacement. And whenever any sort of violence occurs, geysers of blood rain down on the camera and the characters.
After Miike’s masterpieces, then Machine Girl, now this, I’m curious to see where the genre will go. I’m quite excited for the next films from these guys, including Robo-Geisha and Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. I’m just slightly worried that we will be oversaturated with this type of semi-sensical film, much like what happened with the J-horror genre. Until that happens, though, I will enjoy watching the latest shock/gore film that these many different people create. And, if enough body parts go flying and blood goes spraying, people will surely be interested.