Original title: Tôkyô zankoku keisatsu
Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura
Starring: Eihi Shiina, Itsuji Itao, Yukihide Benny, Jiji-Bu
Like many a fan of Japanese extreme cinema, I had been looking forward to this all year after seeing the extraordinary trailer. By sheer chance I happened to be in Australia for a few days when the Brisbane International Film Festival was showing, and unbelievably this had a midnight screening the first night I was there. Not only that, they'd flown in Eihi Shiina to say a few words beforehand. Xmas came early for me this year!
If you've seen the trailer then you know what you're in for and will have high expectations - I'm glad to say that the movie itself will exceed them. This is quite possibly THE ULTIMATE extreme Japanese freakfest. It's like Nishimura took inspiration from all the weirdest and most extreme movies and amplified it by 10. The story and characterisations are on the light side, but to be fair its not that kind of movie. This is a roller-coaster ride of wild abandon in the seedy underbelly of Japanese cinema. And its an amazing ride.
The Tokyo Police Corporation has been privatised, and Ruka (played by Eihi Shiina, Audition) is tasked with eliminating the 'engineers' - genetically engineered mutants that instantaneously grow weapons from their body when injured. The engineers have been created through the DNA of the world's worst serial killers, along with some help it seems from an enigmatic and satanic dwarf.
The mutations and bloodlust have been spread throughout the population, so the movie is jam-packed with a wide variety of grotesqueries that have to be seen to be believed. There's a half woman/ half crocodile, a man with an elephant-like trunk for a penis, a woman with katana blades for limbs. It's all extremely weird and awesome.
And then there's the gore ... if you thought the arterial blood sprays in Ichi the Killer or Kill Bill were extreme, then you ain't seen nothing yet. The movie is positively WET with blood spraying all over the place - over the actors, the walls, even the camera itself. Apparently 4 tonnes of blood was used in the making of the film. It's gloriously over the top, and if you have a good sense of humour for these things, you'll be laughing at the sheer exuberance of it.
Great cinematography, costumes, and use of colour, and the pumping title song completes the experience. This movie has really raised the bar for the extreme movie genre in terms of production quality. Amazingly it was filmed in just 2 weeks, albeit working day and night. If you're a fan of outrageous Japanese movies then do not miss this.