dir: Yoshihiro Nishimura
[img_assist|nid=1269|title=You should never really mess with a girl holding two chainsaws, or one, for that matter|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=450|height=266]
This flick is like watching a squirrel twitch balls-deep in a bag of acorns for two hours.
Because it’s fucking nuts.
I guess I haven’t watched a lot of Japanese flicks for a while, because even I was surprised by the level of violence in this film. It’s beyond anything I’ve seen in a long time, probably ever. It’s probably the bloodiest thing I’ve ever seen, to date.
But it’s also probably the least affecting thing as well. I thought this was a horror flick, and, considering the level of gore, and what with penises and limbs being horrifically ripped off, or the chainsaws going into people’s mouths and staying there, with sprays of blood showering everything for hours at a time, it’d be a safe bet.
But it’s probably more of a comedy, albeit a very nasty one. There’s also some contemporary satire, very reminiscent of Robocop despite clearly being about a far more fucked up society than Detroit. Ads for the privatised police force of an insane level of violence, reassuring the public that the police corporation has their violent best interests at heart, or tv ads for accessorised cutters catering to self-mutilators play, I guess, to contemporary commentary that would resonate with, I guess, Japanese audiences. I guess. But I’m not sure how the fear of being killed by giant mutant cocks plays into millennial anxieties or contemporary financial stresses.
Almost every perversion or fetish you can think of or associate with Japanese culture / counterculture gets play. There’s even a random scene of a heavily pierced chap eating actual bugs, which is there for one reason and one reason only: to show a guy eating bugs. In fact, almost everything in this flick seems random, as in is there pretty much only to shock / amuse the audience, or to showcase the creative team’s skills in depicting extreme gore that would make Lloyd Kaufman, Dario Argento or Herschell Gordon Lewis lose their collective and individual lunch.
It doesn’t make for a coherent movie, but movies don’t always need to be coherent to be entertaining. I hesitate to call something like this entertaining, because you can’t really recommend something like this to anyone, for any reason, unless they’re extreme gorehounds.
And you shouldn’t be recommending films to or even conversing with people like that. They’re the ones, if films have taught me anything, who end up trying to fill up the space under their houses with your body parts.
Entertained I was though, mostly, somewhat, occasionally. I was able to watch it in a frame of mind in which it did actually amuse me. It’s hard for me not to be amused by shit like the following: A female cop goes undercover, for no discernible reason, dressed in the skimpiest and tightest neo-geisha outfit you could possibly contemplate, complete with parasol, fishnets and short-shorts. She has to, of course, get onto a train, into a carriage chock-a-block with perverts. One of them takes the opportunity to sample the cheeky roundness of her buttocks like a housewife squeezing produce at the greengrocer’s, checking for freshness. She arrests the guy, drags him out of the carriage, says to him, as he begs to be let off with a warning, that “The act of molestation is surely a crime”, then cuts both his hands off with a katana. As he screams, and an impossible shower of blood sprays up into the air from his bloody stumps, in slow motion she unfurls the parasol, and casually saunters away from the human fountain.
What does it mean, what does it lead to or reference, or have to do with anything? Nothing, nothing at all. But did it look cool?
I guess. It was a bit funny, but only other people can judge whether crap like that entertains them or not.
The premise, shaky as it is, means less than nothing in a film where the vast majority of the budget went on latex and fake blood, but let’s get it up onto the screen for posterity’s sake. Why not? At least that way you can judge whether I’m a credible information source, because if I didn’t capture a tenth of the insanity in this script, then I clearly have even less of a clue than I thought I did.
Ruka (Eihi Shiina) is the most successful engineer hunter in the privatised Tokyo police force. The other corporate cops wear rubber samurai armour, but she swans around in a leather mini-skirt and a sword looking like a Nihonjin version of Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS. Engineers are these crazy, crazy people whose limbs and bodies mutate into horrifying weapons whenever they are attacked by the cops. So, for no discernible reason, when an engineer wielding a chainsaw is attacked, and has his arm cut off, his body sprouts a mutant arm – chainsaw that would make David Cronenberg proud, with which he kills a whole bunch more people. Another prostitute whose legs are shot has her legs turn into one big crocodile-like mouth. This is after she rips off a cop’s dick with her regular teeth. Talk about a fear of vagina dentata.
In fact, let’s not. The engineers aren’t really working towards any plan, they exist just to be gory and kill lots of people, and the eventual explanation of their origins is the dumbest / funniest thing I’ve heard since the campaign promises I’ve been hearing from all parties in the lead up to the next election. It really doesn’t bear or warrant repeating, because even using the words ‘genetics’ and ‘key-shaped tumours’ in relation to this script is an insult to every dumb person who’s ever dreamed of writing a script and failed.
Ruka, who’s only asset is that she’s a thin Japanese girl, and who looks crazier than the mutants she’s chasing, barely speaks throughout, and is not here for her acting skills. I’m not sure why exactly she’s here, but I will say this: If you’ve ever seen the Takeshi Miike movie Audition, in which she stars, then you know why she’s here. She’s sometimes, just from looking at her, the most unsettling thing in a flick that also contains people being drawn-and-quartered by cop cars, or being battered in the face with a saki bottle, which ends up, cookie-cutter style, cutting out the victim’s face, and making it flop wetly to the floor all on its lonesome.
She has some kind of backstory, but it’s impossible to take it seriously, especially once the privatised police force goes collectively berserk and starts killing the citizens of Tokyo at random and for no reason.
The political – sociological elements are pretty much lost on me, I guess, because the repetition of the fact that this was a privatised police force didn’t really stick out as a form of commentary: That it would be bad to privatise the cops in Tokyo? Is it a credible threat in Tokyo at the moment? Are they likely to don rubber samurai armour and start killing random citizens in the name of profitability? And is there a police chief with an amputee in gimp gear who he intends to affix blades to her stumps so she can fight other mutants?
I would hazard a guess that the only real value in something like this is admiring (and I use that term loosely) the skill involved in achieving the requisite level of manic goriness desired. It’s a question of logistics when you’re trying to decide the best way to depict a crazed cop-engineer walking around with one mutant claw and a giant mutant cock, both of which are really good at killing people.
Look, it’s even crazier than it sounds, so if you have a strong stomach, by all means, check out what should be the nastiest, vilest flick you’ve seen this year that doesn’t have French people in it. Drunkenness would also help dramatically.
6 times it’s not like I went into this expecting masterpiece theatre after all, since it is called Tokyo Gore Police and has a scantily – clad girl on the cover holding a katana out of 10
“No one is better at killing engineers than you.” That, and alcoholism, I’ve heard, Tokyo Gore Police.