Starring Eihi Shiina, Itsuji Itao, Yukihide Benny, Jiji Bu, Ikuko Sawada, Cay Izumi
Directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura
This whole October I’ve been reviewing films that started strong and then trailed off into blandness by the end, so it was nice to finish out the month with a film that did the exact opposite. I avoided any information about this film other than its director, who also made Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. That movie was bat-shit crazy right out of the gates, so I was rather disappointed when Tokyo Gore Police seemed so humdrum at first. Sure, it opened with a huge showdown between weird samurai-dressed cops and a hobo with a chainsaw arm, but this is supposed to be Japanese weird and it just wasn’t weird enough to impress. This is also horror comedy, so the poorly made martial arts sequences weren’t doing anything for me either.
The next part of the film went on a spree of the typical horror fare that makes me avoid the genre. Walking around in dark hallways in a vain attempt to amp up the tension. Boring. Although I did have to laugh at the main character’s undercover hooker costume, it was nowhere near enough to make up for all the sitting around pretending to take things seriously that was going on. What was enough to break the spell of boredom was the moment when the villain rips off the top of his head and sprouts gun barrels from his eyes. That was new.
Now you really shouldn’t be watching this film for the story, and the plot is rather predictable at times. But despite this, it still took me off guard. When a twist came along, I always thought, “Oh, I should’ve seen that coming.” But with a film this absurd it was hard to think coherently about the plot when the more immediate question is: Does the police chief really keep an amputated girl in a bondage suit as a pet? And then: Doesn’t anyone think that’s odd? (The answers, by the way, are “yes” and “no” respectively.) In fact, I completely lost track of several minor characters and subplots over the course of the film, though that was probably as much to do with the narrative flow as anything.
At this point anything else I say will simply be spoiling the disturbing images on display. If you like gory comedy, then this will surely give you some good laughs. If you don’t, then this film will only disgust you. And you probably know which you are already. So go out and track it down or avoid it as the case may be.