Set sometime in the future, Tokyo Gore Police tells the story of Ruka (Eihi Shiina of Audition fame) a member of the Tokyo Police Corporation whose specialty is hunting Engineers, a mutant breed of super-criminal with the ability to transform any injury into a weapon. While fighting the good fight Ruka stumbles upon evidence relating to the murder of her father and is soon drawn deeper into the world of the Engineers in pursuit of the truth.
Tokyo Gore Police takes the best parts of films such as Robocop, Starship Troopers, Videodrome & Tetsuo and blends them into an over-the-top satirical splatterfest the likes of which I can honestly say I’ve never had the pleasure of witnessing before. Within the opening five minutes the blood & guts is already flowing freely and it continues to do so throughout. It’s obvious special effects/make-up is director Yoshihiro Nishimura’s first love, as at times TGP almost begins to resemble an FX reel rather than a film.
The best thing about TGP is that although brimming with social commentary, it never takes itself too seriously. For example, along with the humorously OTT deaths & gore, inserted throughout its runtime are ironic public service announcements and infomercials on topics such as “Stop Harakiri!” and purposely “cute” craft knives for self-mutilating schoolgirls. Then there’s the scene where Ruka is the victim of an attempted subway groping – dragging the whimpering Chikan off the train and into an alley she promptly lops off the offending limbs with her trusty Samurai sword, ending the scene with a witty Lady Snowblood homage.
When it comes to many of the Engineers mutations it’s clear that Nishimura-san’s inspiration is Cronenberg’s unique brand of body horror, where flesh can be fused into a penis-gun or a living chair. Among the many modifications we are witness to a freakshow prostitute with a crocodile’s mouth for her lower half, a bizarre snail/woman hybrid, breasts that squirt fountains of green acid, elongated ocular cavities that fire fleshy projectiles and many more.
Although a low budget film, the FX are pulled off extremely well. As evidenced in that other recent absurdist revenge film The Machine Girl, Nishimura obviously has a knack for creating outrageous body-morphic appendages and splattery demises. I’m extremely interested to see his work in the latest instalment of Katsuya Matsumura’s All Night Long series.
Obviously these low budget, manga-inspired exercises in excess from the East are proving rather popular as there are already a couple more in the works – the first being Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girlwhich is a manga adaptation & collaboration between this films director and Naoyuki Tomomatsu (Eat the Schoolgirl, Stacy) and again stars Eihi Shiina, the second being Robo-Geisha which is directed by Noboru Iguchi (The Machine Girl). All I can say is bring on the gore!
DIRECTOR(S): Yoshihiro Nishimura | COUNTRY: Japan | YEAR 2008 | DISTRIBUTOR(S): Eastern Eye / Madman | RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes | ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1 | REGION: 4 | DISCS: 1