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Movie: Tokyo Gore Police

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Confusion is not an unusual sensation to be left with by a movie, especially a Japanese one. But TOKYO GORE POLICE takes that sensation to a whole new level. I’m not talking about the movie’s plot: Which is for the most part, pretty clear cut, albeit utterly ridiculous and over the top. No, I’m talking about the movie itself, its existence, the fact that it was on my TV, the fact that I watched the whole thing, the fact that I couldn’t look away. And the fact that I sat there, once it was completed and continued to stare at the screen, as though I was trying to decipher one of those awful ‘magic’ three dimensional images that you have to cross your eyes to be able to make out (is it a sail boat?).

It would be unfair to call this film anything short of bad. It would be an insult to every other film ever made, and it would be an insult to the makers of THIS film, because ‘bad’ seems to have been extremely high on their list of intensions. However, Tokyo Gore Police would also be completely unwatchable were it not for the fact that you get the distinct sense that the movie is making fun of itself. Sure, it’s gross beyond description. But the gore is [mostly] so clearly fake that it’s laughable and even though you really don’t want to, by the end you’re laughing along with it, rather than at it.

Set in the near, dystopian future, Tokyo Gore Police is the story of Ruka, an extremely skilled — and somewhat disturbed — young woman. Ruka aids the privatized Tokyo Police in hunting down and killing members of a strange new race of criminals, known as “engineers”. This new breed of criminal pose an unusual threat, not just because they all seem to be completely homicidal, but because they all possess the rather unique and inexplicable ability to regenerate when wounded. While that ability by itself would lend them an edge over the authorities tracking them, it should be noted that they don’t regenerate back to their previous condition, instead their wounds manifest themselves into lethal weapons. And we’re not just talking about bone claws here! Cut off an arm and it’s just as likely to grow back as a fully functional cannon — with unlimited ammunition — as it is to be replaced by a chainsaw or living serpent head.

Ruka’s motivation to help the police force stems from the fact that she was raised by the current police commissioner, after her father (also a police officer) was killed in the line of duty. While Ruka’s father’s death occurred before the privatization and before the appearance of these mutant criminals, she comes to learn that all three events are connected.

As to whether Tokyo Gore Police manages to cross the ‘So bad, it’s good’ line I can’t quite say. But the movie is spellbinding and you find yourself unable to look away. I’m sure that director Yoshihiro Nishimura (THE MACHINE GIRL) has managed to key into that part of the human brain that forces even the least interested of us to slow down as we pass a traffic accident. Perhaps it’s the self-effacing, Starship Troopers style, social commentary, or perhaps it’s just the endless litres of fake blood that spray from almost the first frame? Whatever it is, while I can’t actually bring myself to say that I ‘liked’ this film, if you were to stick a copy of Tokyo Gore Police II in front of me, I know I’d be unable to stop myself from watching it. [source]

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