With a name like Tokyo Gore Police, it was simply impossible for me to not want to see this movie. And in some perverse way (locked away deep in the recesses of my mind), I’m glad that I did. The Japanese have singlehandedly fine tuned the art of making freakishly bizarre cult movies that defy logic. This blood infused nod to a George Orwellian future proves they’re still on a plane of existence few can think of ascending to.
It is some time in the not so distant future and the police force in Japan is now run by a samurai-clad militarized private company. In repeated propaganda pieces (television and loudspeaker), they tout how great they are and how much better Japan is for having them police the streets. Yet a new abnormal menace has appeared, threatening to destroy this new “Big Brother” utopia. Why these “things” are referred to as engineers, I have no idea; what I do know is they can cause a great deal of havoc with their “skill”.
I put the word skill in quotes because it’s not really a learned attribute these monstrosities have, it is more a side effect from what they’ve been exposed to — how they use the side effect is where some mastery is needed. You see, when these engineers are injured, be it an arm or leg amputation or other severe body trauma, their bodies regenerate new flesh immediately in some twisted armament form. That’s right, weaponized appendages. And no imaginative expense was spared — if an alligator vagina or bazooka penis crossed your mind, you’re on target (and should probably be seeking out professional help).
But to hell with the zany story — it’s all about thinking up these crazy regenerative growths and how to make more blood come out of a body than humanly possible. Once again, no expense was spared (this time on red-dyed water). Every other scene in Tokyo Gore Police has some majestic fountain of arterial spray geysering out of some hapless victim. In one such scene, a blood thirsty engineer strifes his way through a police unit with a chainsaw arm — sawing through arms, necks and midsections — laughing maniacally as blood pulsates to the wounded’s heartbeats. In another, engineer hunter Ruka (Eihi Shiina) slices the hands off of a subway groper and as the torrents of blood rain down from sky, she cooly slinks off while calmly opening up an umbrella so her clothing doesn’t get soaked (and you thought the blood from the sword fight in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 was bad!). This shot and several others are master strokes by director Yoshihiro Nishimura.
Best of all, however, is how little regard is taken to make any of what you see going on look or seem real. Everything is an obvious prosthetic (they didn’t even try to hide the sleeve during a cutting scene). The CGI work is circa 1970. The police look and act like complete buffoons (the coroner being the strangest). It all adds to the fun and, dare I say, charm of the movie.
Obviously, the film is not for purists or the faint of heart (the title alone should be enough of a warning). However, if you ever once wondered whether the rumors of an existing demented Asian subculture were true, Tokyo Gore Police is your answer. It exists, it is thriving and it is good. I’ve got to visit Japan . . .