Running Time: 109 minutes
MPAA Rating: NR
Format: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio: Dolby Surround 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0
Languages: Japanese, English
Subtitles: English
Region: 1
MSRP: $19.99

Own It!
Tokyo Gore Police (2008)

It has to be admitted: if you are looking for title fulfillment in a movie, Tokyo Gore Police satisfies the promise of its rather garish title 100%. More, even.

In the near future, the Tokyo Police Force has been totally privatized, and finds itself going toe-to-toe with a mutant movement known as "Engineers", who can re-form any wound inflicted upon their bodies into a deadly weapon. Ruka (Eihi Shiina, familiar to cult fans from Audition) has become the Force's premier Engineer-killer. Driven by personal demons, Ruka carries a box-cutter to slash herself when she's not chopping up mutants with her katana; but this goes by the wayside when she encounters the apparent leader of the Engineers, who has a connection with the assassination of her father, a high-ranking police officer who had opposed the Force's privatization.

First-time director Yoshihiro Nishimura, who's handled make-up and effects chores for similar movies like The Machine Girl and Meatball Machine, displays some pretty serious chops. Buried in amongst the spurting blood and latex are some truly beautiful and arresting visuals - but don't seek the movie out just for those, unless you're ready to wade through some incredibly unrepentant gore. Too, the story is too episodic for its own good. It starts out over the top, looks around for a while to find another top to go over, and finally ends in a chaotic third act which seems unmotivated and rushed.

Tokyo Gore Police, though, is unmistakably comedy, wearing obvious inspirations like Robocop (right down to the satiric commercials), Cronenberg, and the darker writings of the late Philip Jose Farmer on its blood-spattered sleeve. Imagery from the more excessive anime offerings are plundered and ridiculed, and the usual gory tradition that every Japanese man has gallons of blood in his body, under very high pressure, is upheld ...and surpassed.

Definitely not for the squeamish or easily offended.

Okay. I've complained enough about Media Blaster's seemingly eternal parade of logos. It's still there, but their menus, at least, are stylish and easy to navigate. The transfer is beautiful, but the clarity oftens reveals the digital video origins of the movie. The English dub track is excellent, though I, personally, prefer my overripe line delivery in the original language with subtitles.

Not much in the way of extras. There is the "Original Trailer", which when viewed on YouTube almost always creates a restless curiosity to track down the movie itself to find out just what the hell is going on.

There are also trailers for other Tokyo Shock offerings, Neighbor No. 13 (which we are assured is based on a "legendary violent manga"), the live-action Devilman, Fudoh: The New Generation and a three-disc (!) version of Versus.

Dr. Freex, 3/17/2009