Now, time for some J-splatter horror insanity to make your hair wet n’ sticky. Director Yoshihiro Nishimura had primarily worked as special makeup effects supervisor on numerous films since the early 1980s. After working on The Machine Girl, he was asked if he wanted to direct his first full-length feature for the American distributor Media Blasters. The result was a remake of his earlier student film Anatomia Extinction from 1995. Like most people in the Asian movie business, he worked fast and furiously and completed the film in only two weeks, and with some pretty amusing results.
We’re in a futuristic dystopian Tokyo where the police force has been privatized, and the city is now an out-of-control violent gore-zone. Tokyo is also being threatened by a scientist under the name “The Key Man” who, with a key-shaped virus, injects people around the city and turn them into mutants called “Engineers”. It’s even worse than it sounds and there seems to be an army of them that spreads like banana flies. So, who’s here to save the day? Say hello to Ruka (Eihi Shiina), the most skilled, cold-blooded and dangerous of the special police squad of “Engineer Hunters” who slices her targets in half with her blade like it was just a regular day. The actress behind Ruka is the same shy and quiet lady we saw in Takashi Miike’s Audition. Yes, that lady. She’s also deeply traumatized after witnessing her father, who worked as a police officer, getting his head blown to pieces like a big watermelon by an unknown assassin. The motive? Who knows. She deals with the pain by some self-mutilation while she’s obsessed about one day catching the one who killed her father.
And good luck with that. We get invited on a crazy, red-soaked journey where blood pours endlessly out of wounds like garden hoses, an effect that gets pretty old after a while as it gets overused to death. The use of blood was so messy and all over the place that the cameras had to be covered in plastic. So in that regard, the film surely lives up to the title.
It also has to be pointed out that Tokyo Gore Police is not to be taken one bit seriously. The film has a zany manga vibe in the same style as Meatball Machine and The Machine Girl, where we have silly fight scenes filled with video game logic and some other, bizarre, mind-bending WTF moments. There are many highlights and unique scenes here that include a cute mutant girl whose half body is formed like a hybrid of a snail and the mouth of a crocodile that chews some poor guys’ dick off. We also have a mutant guy with a big elephant trunk as a penis which he uses as a machine gun. A chair urinates on a crowd in a fetish club. Yes, really. And there’s much more. Also watch out for a minigun that shoots fist knuckles. To amp up the madness all up to eleven, the film is sprinkled with some spicy satire aimed at Japan’s extreme trend of suicides. The most notable is the cute, colorful billboard commercials around the city where pre-teen girls in school uniforms joyfully promotes the new hot thing on the market The wrist cutter. Kawaii! Only in Japan, as we say.
And of course, the big question is: Is this the goriest film ever made? No, but it’s certainly on the top ten list. Tokyo Gore Police is overall a fun watch, but drags somewhere in the middle. It’s wild and experimental, which mostly works best as a creative showcase of old school special effects.
Yoshihiro Nishimura was planning a sequel at some time, but that doesn’t seem to happen. Anyway, he’s had a pretty fruitful career as director since TGP and made films such as Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl and Helldriver, which also seems worth checking out.
Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura
Writers: Kengo Kaji, Maki Mizui, Yoshihiro Nishimura
Original title: Tôkyô zankoku keisatsu
Country & year: Japan, 2008
Actors: Eihi Shiina, Itsuji Itao, Yukihide Benny, Jiji Bû, Ikuko Sawada, Cay Izumi, Mame Yamada, Ayano Yamamoto, Akane Akanezawa, Tsugumi Nagasawa