Tokyo Gore Police
Title: Tokyo Gore Police
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Starring: Eihi Shiina (Audition), Itsuji Itao, Yukihide Benny
Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura
Flesh Cannons and urinating human chairs; yes, you can expect another film demonstrating just how weird the Japanese can be, directed by a man more used to creating monsters than actually creating an entire film. Perhaps most aptly described as a combination of both ‘Versus’ and ‘Starship Troopers,’ with ‘Peter Jackson’ (Braindead, Bad Taste) loose on the set planting explosive blood packs wherever he can. Delivering on what the name suggests, what came off as unexpected is that this actually does have some form of a story piecing things together; the dystopian backdrop rapidly getting fleshed out, the crash course on the ‘engineers’ which dominate the proceedings, and even creating curiosity as to just how they came to be.
Following the story of Ruka, as a child who tragically lost both her parents she became adopted by the police chief for the private police organization that protects the citizens of the country. Mainly concerned with the eradication of the mysterious ‘Engineers,’ humans with an odd key-shaped tumour that when dismembered replace missing limbs with weapons; the only way to kill them is to sever this tumour from their body. Whilst a little more detail as to this is divulged, this is mostly just an excuse to create a huge number of whacky and weird creations, dripping with cheesy goodness.
Many of these gruesome creations are almost beautiful in the manner they are shot, the idea of creations being designed to be artistic in their own manner reminding me slightly of Takashi Miike’s “MPD Psycho,” (particularly the notion of literally turning someone into a flower and planting them to allow them to grow; the idea of beauty in death), which is perhaps something which only the more seasoned gore hounds could appreciate from the only nation crazy enough to try it. Expertly designed and with minimal use of CGI, relying on the old 80s tried and tested methods of camera shots and hand crafted creations to incredible effect. The Action, too, was highly stylised, with ‘Matrix’ levels of ridiculous implausibility – not that realism is what was ever really aimed for – that remains entertaining to watch, if delivering on little special beyond the apparent weirdness of many of the battles. Whilst the light sparks from the blades hitting one another became a slight nuisance at times, is a comparatively minor gripe, and one that is not unexpected.
The film also features a number of short ‘ad breaks’ between scenes, whilst done in the same manner ‘Starship Troopers’ used them, it again works to demonstrate the depths of depravity this dystopian society has reached in an amusing manner and the film is worth watching for these alone. This is coupled with the ‘Battle Royale’ style police reports; a blonde girl bouncing up and down as she tells you enthusiastically another crazy engineer is running around killing people for no other reason than that he can, creating a contrast between what is being said and her attitude towards, giving us the impact of what the society is like.
This isn’t altogether the most original film conceived; with so many elements that look directly copied and pasted from other films, but despite this it still manages to accomplish what it set out to do. Sadly though, not everything works; the occasional attempts to provoke some actual dramatic tension for the characters, trying to create a genuine sympathy for the scantily clad sword swinger resulting in little more than a break from the action. The continuity between the scenes and the plot haphazardly cobbled together occasionally detracts from what the clear focus should have been on; a showcase of violence and creative grotesque imagery, which this film delivers by the bucket load; rainfalls of blood, bondage-clad snails and cock-cannons galore; those looking for more than an effects parade may be disappointed, but for those content with this fact, I can think of nothing better.
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1) In particular, the adverts selling razor blades with numerous women cutting their wrist going “my razor blade is pink. Wrist-cutting is cute!” and the “Harakiri Helpline” (Harakiri is a form of Seppuku; an honourable form of suicide involving plunging a blade into your stomach and allowing your entrails to fall out. It is considered a noble way to die when you have committed something considered unforgivable).