Tokyo Gore Police Review – Can You Handle This Movie?” width=”560″/>
You think you can handle Tokyo Gore Police: You think that it’ll have some police, some gore and it’ll be set in Tokyo and that’s something you can deal with. Wrong. The poster makes it look like some kind of campy horror flick about a chick with a samurai sword, and you figure that’s something you can handle. No. You read this paragraph and you think, “What’s the big deal? I can do this.” You can’t. This movie is beyond you. I have watched people cheer this movie. I have seen people walk out of this movie. I have seen people cry in this movie. I have seen people explode during this movie. One of those people might have been you… because you couldn’t handle this movie.
Directed by the special effects man on Machine Girl, Yoshihiro Nishimura, TGP is currently playing at film festivals and in
limited engagements. (The DVD
release from Media Blasters is in October.) The movie stars Eihi Shiina (the hell date in Takashi Miike’s Audition ) as Ruka, a cop in a future Tokyo, where the police have been privatized. She’s tasked with tracking down and carving up engineers, biomechanical mutants whose flesh-morphing originated with the enigmatic Key Man. That is, when she’s not carving up herself in furious, near-sexual bouts of self-mutilation. As more and more engineers show up with their chainsaw arms, fang-filled breasts and eyeball-studded tongues, the police force reaches meltdown and Tokyo descends into anarchy while Ruka battles the New Flesh.
Director Nishimura, and screenwriter Kengo Kaji ( Uzumaki ), were part of a gang that orbited around Japan’s crazy man director, Sion Sono ( Suicide Club , Exte ),
giving him ideas and brainstorming further perversity together. Shot in
just two weeks — a time table that’ll drop your jaw when you see the
parade of monstrous freaks and the razor-sharp action choreography — TGP is ridiculously funny. A series of ads for hideous future products are spiked throughout the movie, as in Robocop ,
and they range from Wii systems that let you torture criminals from the
comfort of your living room, to super cute razor blades that “cutter”
schoolgirls can use for their own flesh-slicing fun. It’s also a smart
movie that wallows in subversion and transgression. From a simple shot
early in the film showing a skyline with a red moon, Mt. Fuji and the
Tokyo Tower all in the same frame (the American equivalent would be
seeing a city skyline featuring a red, white and blue striped moon, Mt.
Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty all together in one frame) to its
transgressive “Embrace the New Flesh!” message, TGP keeps itself from turning silly by virtue of the fact that it’s got something serious on its mind.
Unlike Machine Girl, which was silly cult fluff, TGP
delivers its silliness with a straight face and before you know it,
you’re somewhere much darker and dicier than you anticipated. Unlike a
lot of movies, it doesn’t wink at the audience. It can’t wink — its eyelids have been torn off.
Grady Hendrix is one of the founders and programmers of the New York Asian Film Festival. He writes about Asian film for Variety at Kaiju Shakedown and should have found something better to do with his life by now.Read More