Director Yoshihiro Nishimura has a background in special effects and make up and Tokyo Gore Police shows off his love for these elements.
In near-future Japan the Tokyo Police force have been privatised and have to meet a new threat bringing violence to the streets: Engineers. These are genetically altered humans who can withstand excessive violence and sprout weapons from wounds. Leading the Engineers is the mysterious Keyman (Itsuji Itao). Leading the police fight back is ace Engineer hunter Ruka (Eihi Shiina), daughter of a murdered policeman who was against the privatisation of the police. Little does Ruka know the connection between herself, her father and Keyman but it will rock the foundations of Tokyo and its new police force.
Tokyo Gore Police is a wonderfully trashy film but very undisciplined. The world created is an extreme future where everything including compensated dating, suicide and extreme violence are privatised and made commercial as demonstrated by the numerous satirical ads throughout the film like this amusing wrist-cutting one.
Tokyo seems to be sick considering a lot of the locations are unfriendly or abandoned: cavernous and dark police stations, dirt choked urban wastelands and underground fetish clubs doused in red lighting and decor. Inhabiting this world are extreme characters: the police force are a paramilitary nightmare mixing samurai armour and riot gear, the Engineers look like victims of terrible S&M accidents and caught in between are normal Tokyo residents
Leading the cast is Eihi Shiina who plays Ruka as a devastating and emotionally devastated super-cop with a penchant for wrist-slashing. She struts her stuff through these environments with a stern countenance and a sense of style. She and her co-stars are gamely up for numerous sword/biological-chainsaw fights and looking cool which is all that’s expected of them really because the film drops seriousness for fun by amping up the grotesqueness of events.
For gorehounds this is heaven. There are numerous scenes were the armour clad police tackle frenzied mutants with swords and sub-machineguns only for them to bounce back with chainsaw appendages, acid spraying breasts, and numerous other horrific sights. Yoshihiro Nishimura’s background in and love for special effects and make-up are obvious because there’s a lot of imagination and glee in the costumes and creatures on screen and the amount of red-stuff sprayed around could fill an ocean. For an exploitation picture there are a lot of smart design ideas here.
If I had to make a criticism it’s that for all of the great visuals the rest of the film suffers. The script is far too convoluted for its own good and direction is chaotic to say the least. Editing needed to be more disciplined because sequences are intercut with each other for no real reason which threw rhythm and atmosphere off and with a 108 minute running time I felt it went on for far too long.
That said the film knows that it is B-movie genre fare and it revels in its silliness. The acting and writing reflects that and some CGI and sequences are so bad they are hilarious. The film excels at being fun and gives us increasingly glorious and bizarre fights. Overall I did enjoy most of it but it could have shave off some of the running time.
Oh and keep an eye out for J-hora director Takashi Shimizu!
Romaji: Tokyo Zankoku Keisatsu
Release Date: October 04th, 2009 (Japan)
Running Time: 85 mins.
Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura,
Writer: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Kengo Kaji, Sayako Nakoshi (Screenplay),
Starring: Eihi Shiina, Itsuji Itao, Yukihide Benny, Keisuke Horibe, Shun Sugata, Tak Sakaguchi
If you live in the UK you can view the film via Indie Movies (other movies are available but some, like this one, are region-locked so it is only available in the UK). There is a wide range of films on offer including quite a few Japanese ones. I have most on DVD but the site also saved me from making some purchases I would have regretted – Samurai Princess. Anyway the forums seem to be offline but at least my comment on the Inception review still stands with the cute picture of Faye Wong circa Chungking Express.
UPDATE: Indie Movies is now fully offline.