Film Review: Tokyo Gore Police
BOTTOM LINE: Mindless SFX violence that's simply mind-blowing.Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival
BUCHON, South Korea -- As the well-named "Tokyo Gore Police" promises, stomach-churning violence competes with wound and uniform fetishes to satisfy both the S and the M among sadomasochistic viewers. Directed by Yoshinori Nishimura, the sci-fi action-horror features a female cop who becomes an exterminator of predatory mutants with body weapons.
Behind this Nikkatsu production is the creative team of sister project "Machine Girl." Its demented humor and sheer inventiveness of visual effects can propel it to cult sensation. A must-have for midnight shows or pajama party DVD marathons, it can set its sights on a worldwide market of over-18 youth and splatterfest junkies.
Ruka (Eihi Shiina of "Audition" fame), an officer of futuristic Japan's corporatized police force, is groomed by its chief (Shun Sugata) to hunt down "Engineers" -- mutants whose wounds can morph into lethal firearms (such as a penis canon and a vulva with T-Rex jaws). Traumatized by the murder of her policeman father, she cuts her wrists as a hobby. Eventually, she learns the truth about dad's death from a mysterious Engineer after slicing off his crown. Ruka's image is styled to resemble Lucy Liu's in "Kill Bill Vol. 1" but her icy poise is underlined by a sensual vulnerability.
Director Nishimura's credits on this and previous projects also include director of special effects, gore effects, creature design and editing. This allows for a relatively consistent style to emerge from the narrative, action coordination and art direction. The self-consciously coarse visual quality and plastic texture of mutated flesh and wobbling entrails go well with outlandish image design, such as the chief's sex slave -- an Aibo-like creature whose amputated stumps can be fitted with samurai swords -- making Rose McGowan's machine gun leg in "Planet Terror" lame in comparison.
With blood jetting out like a power shower from all body orifices in almost every scene, and characters in endless motion and metamorphosis, one might be so dazed by the sensory assault as to overlook how coherent the storyline actually is. Subversive excerpts of mock TVCs of police advertising "divine punishment" enrich the mindless action in the main narrative by offering biting satire on corporatization of public services and dormant militarism in Japan.
Forever Dreams presents/ A Tokyo Shock Original/Nikkatsu
Cast: Eihi Shiina,Itsuji Itao, Shun Sugata, Yukihide Benny, Jiji Bu.
Director-editor: Yoshihiro Nishimura.
Screenwriter: Kengo Kaji, Yoshihiro Nishimura
Executive producer: John Sirabella
Producer: Yoko Hayama, Yoshinori Chiba, Satoshi Nakamura.
Director of photography: Shu G. Momorse
Production designer: Nori Fukuda
Music: Koh Nakagawa
Sales: Eleven Arts, Tokyo Shock.
No rating, 107 minutes.