Sometimes you can tell a lot by a title. Take, for example, a film called (oh, I dunno) Tokyo Gore Police. Right off the bat you know you're getting something Japanese, which is good because I don't want to hear any damn whining when the first subtitles show up and you realize you have to exert a little effort for your entertainment. After Tokyo comes "gore," which is also strangely appealing.
Let's face it: You're not seeing a movie with "gore" in the title unless you really dig the splattery stuff. (Or if you're a big fan of Al Gore, fine.) Plus the word "gore," right there front and center, tells you something about the tone of the cinematic event you're about to experience -- but more on that in a minute. Lastly we have "police," which indicates a wonderful mixture of cops and monsters that could be a whole lot of fun.
Let's just say the title fits: Yoshi Nashamura's Tokyo Gore Police is one of the wettest, wildest, and (I'll say it) wackiest genre concoctions since the last movie that combined over-the-top action with non-stop gore-geysers, shot in a comic book fashion and dripping with humor both broad and subversive ... this is one fun movie. All I was able to figure out was this: It's the future and Japan's police forces have become privatized corporations. One such unit is led by the lovely young Ruka, and not only does she have to deal with a massive outbreak of drug-addicted mutant "engineers" who love to kill people, but she's also on the hunt for her father's assassin. I think. Oh, and get this: The mega-disgusting and ultra-villainous "bio-engineers" have a neat trick: Whenever they get hurt, their injury turns into some sort of disgusting, pus-covered gore-weapon. Suffice to say there's insanity in this film that you generally don't see outside of REALLY strange anime flicks. I mean like mutated penis cannons and a transformation that can only be described as vaginaphibious. Not a movie for granny, basically.
If the 115-minute running time seems just a little bit bloated, and if we're subjected to perhaps nine too many minutes of unnecessary "story stuff," I'll just chalk that up to a minor culture clash on the cinematic front. But what's important is that the best stuff works -- and in Tokyo Gore Police, the "good stuff" is doled out frequently, frantically, and with all sorts of nauseating trimmings. Nishimura fills the frame with latex creatures with CGI touch-ups, an amiable go-for-broke tone that is so over-the-top sloppy that you just have to widen your eyes and chuckle. This is more Tom & Jerry than Hostel, to be honest, and the non-stop blood-gushes do start to feel a little overwhelming ... but then the director breaks out a grossly awesome "croc-woman" beastie or a third-act monster that's so cool it just must be co-inspired by Clive Barker and Guillermo Del Toro.
The director also borrows a few spices from Paul Verhoeven, Sam Raimi, David Cronenberg, and Peter Jackson before it's all over (and you'll probably need a paper towel for all that gore), which means that Tokyo Gore Police should prove to be an absolute treat for fans who'd actually want to see a movie called ... Tokyo Gore Police. To say it delivers the sticky stuff is like saying Niagara Falls is relatively moist.
I'm told that Tokyo Gore Police will hit Region 1 DVD within the next few months. Keep an eyeball out for it.