Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#1,759. Tokyo Gore Police (2008)

Directed By: Yoshihiro Nishimura

Starring: Eihi Shiina, Itsuji Itao, Yukihide Benny

Tag line: "Strap yourselves in because things are about to get very, very bloody and very, very strange"

Trivia: This movie was shot in two weeks

Even throwing the word “gore” in the title doesn’t prepare you for the copious amount of bloodletting that occurs in director Yoshihiro Nishimura’s 2008 movie, Tokyo Gore Police

There was so much blood - so many spilled guts - that I had a hard time keeping up with it all. I tried taking extensive notes during the opening scene (where our hero Ruka, played by Eihi Shiina, and her fellow policemen are battling an out-of-control killer) but the action got hot and heavy pretty quickly, with gore that was out of this world. 

It was so intense, in fact, that instead of complete thoughts, I quickly started jotting down words and phrases, like “dismembered female corpse”, “chainsaw”, “self-mutilation”, “flying chainsaw” and “rolling eyeball”. 

I soon gave up on the idea of an exhaustive analysis, due in part to the film’s frantic nature but also because I was afraid I’d miss something if I didn’t pay attention. Yes, Tokyo Gore Police is a blood-soaked motion picture that will challenge your gag reflex, but it’s so damn insane that you can’t wait to see what happens next!

Orphaned at a young age when her policeman father (Keisuke Horibe) was shot by an assassin, Ruka was taken in by the Police Chief (Yukihide Benny), who did more than simply raise her: he turned her into a killing machine, the best cop on the force. 

Ruka is especially effective at hunting down “Engineers”, mass murderers and criminals whose bodies have been genetically altered (whenever an Engineer loses an arm or a leg, a deadly weapon grows from the wound, making them more dangerous than before). 

When a prostitute is murdered and sliced into itsy bitsy pieces, the evidence suggests she was killed by an Engineer. But as Ruka will discover, this was no ordinary maniac. In fact, this particular Engineer (Itsuji Itao) harbors a secret that - once revealed - could change Ruka’s life forever.

Pretty much every limb imaginable (including one best left unmentioned) is severed at one point or another in Tokyo Gore Police, but like the big battle scene at the end of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1, the violence is so over-the-top that it’s more funny than gross (blood spurts from wounds like a fountain, spraying the red stuff high into the air). 

Sure, there are a few moments that will test your mettle (an autopsy conducted at the police lab, shown in graphic detail, had me cringing a bit), but for the most part, it’s all so ridiculous that you’ll probably smile through most of the movie.

Also entertaining are the various "commercials" that play throughout the film, including a PSA for the police department (where we see a serial killer put to death) and an ad, aimed at teenage girls who cut themselves, for a “cute” new blade called the Wrist Cutter G. 

In addition to the violence, Tokyo Gore Police tries to shock us in other ways as well, with drug use, pedophilia, forced prostitution, and even golden showers (one scene, set in a subway, features a guy who eats bugs, the camera closing in on his mouth as he chews). In short, there’s something in this film to offend and disgust everyone, but it’s all presented with a nudge and a wink; we’re not meant to take any of it seriously.

Tokyo Gore Police was a true labor of love for Yoshihiro Nishimura, who, along with handling the direction, also co-wrote the screenplay, served as special make-up consultant (he’s worked on over 80 projects as an effects / make-up artist), and even produced and edited the movie. 

Prior to this film, I had very little exposure to Nishimura’s work. I wasn’t a fan of the sequence he created for The ABCs of Death ("Z is for Zetsumetsu"), but enjoyed the behind-the-scenes stuff he did for “O is for Ochlocracy”, one of the better segments in 2014’s The ABCs of Death 2

A quick search of my DVD collection turned up two more titles he directed, Meatball Machine from 2006 and 2010’s Mutant Girl Squad, neither of which I’ve seen before. And based on my experience with Tokyo Gore Police, I think I should check these out sooner than later. If either is half as enjoyable as this film, I’m in for a treat!


Dell said...

Wow, you really went there with this one. It remains one of the wildest viewing experiences I've ever had.

David said...

As always this was a great review, Doc! This movie is excessive and ridiculous but it's also a hell of a lot of fun. It's like one of those mindless ultra-violent anime movies from the 80's and early 90's brought to life.

Unfortunately I got Andy over at MPW in trouble when I recommended it for his Unseemly Homework segment (hey if this isn't unseemly I don't know what is!) and his wife found out and subsequently looked at the parental advisory section on IMDB which actually somehow makes it seem far more perverse and disturbing than it really is. Poor Andy.

I hope we'll be hearing a review of this over on HMP sometime soon, Doc.

Also, I know you've seen "Matango" but I'm curious if you've seen some of my other favourite Japanese horror movies like "Kwaidan", "The Ghost of Yotsuya", "Kuroneko" and "Jigoku". The horror that came out of there in the 50's and 60's just seems so beautifully crafted and evocative to me.

David said...

Also, the trivia that this movie was shot in 2 weeks is pretty astouding. Incredible in fact, when you consider how elaborate some of the fight sequences and special effects scenes are!

Jake Moore AKA: @RiverCityOtter said...

I've had this film on my to watch list radar way too long Dave! After reading this review I must make it so stat! Thank you!