Monday, September 28, 2009

Tokyo Gore Police (2008)

Review #0003

If the title appeals to you in any way, you're sure to love this typically excessive Japanese film. In the near future, where the Tokyo police is privatized and wrist-cutting has become fashionable, officer Ruka (Eihi Shiina, of "Audition" fame, sporting a leather skirt, fishnet stockings and leather boots) must investigate the appearance of "engineers", evolved criminals with the ability to spawn elaborate weapons in replacement of severed limbs. Part sci-fi, part police thriller, this film functions as a blunt social critique, but mostly as a gore-drenched freak show. Horrific images of bodily mutations abound including chainsaw-arms, projectile hands, and the obligatory phallic machine-gun, vagina dentatae so dear to Japanese imagination, all of which are rendered in glorious latex. The violence is ruthless, the imagery bizarre and the soundtrack agressive inbetween scenes of victim exposition and flashbacks explaining Ruka's past. It all culminates in an orgy of death and destruction once the police goes renegade and start to systematically massacre protesters (including Ruka's long-time bartender friend). All in all, the mystery to be solved serve only to justify limbs flying, the drama is subservient to the violent outbursts it provokes, and the exposition of Ruka seems only to be a set-up for the sequel (announced post-credit, it could as well be Nishimura's following film, the disappointing "Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl"). If you can appreciate that, "Tokyo Gore Police" might just be a hot ticket for you.

3/5 : for giving me what I came looking for, but without a great replay value.