What happens when you bring together the leading actress from Audition, the FX artist behind The Machine Girl as a first-time director, the screenwriter of Uzumaki and the action star of Versus as fight choreographer? You have a cinematic supergroup that makes the geysers of blood you’ve come to expect from violent Asian films look like minuscule popping zits. Behold, the 5-minute trailer for the upcoming J-splatter film Tokyo Gore Police:
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The trailer starts off kinda slow, but gets better and better as it goes along. Gore and body horror await: exploding heads, sliced-off faces, penises instead of noses, borg-like facial implants and a mermaid-from-hell with a chomping crocodile head instead of legs. There are also some hyper-detailed fetish costumes by the latex designer duo Kariwanz.
One of the mutants looks like she escaped from Kurôzu-cho
The plot: future Tokyo is plagued by bio-mechanical a virus. People who contract the virus turn into “Engineers,” named so for their ability to assemble weapons out of their infected flesh wounds. A special privatized police force (the gore police, also known as “Engineer Hunters”) exists to wipe out these beings, but if they’re wounded by one of the engineers, they quickly join their ranks, horrific implements of death quickly spawning from their own flesh. The protagonist is Ruka, one of the strongest members of the police force. Ruka appears to be the archetypal cute Japanese girl with a sword, but one thing I found interesting about her character is that according to one review, she’s a cutter. There are not many films that I’m aware of in which a main character suffers from self-mutilation, other than the French film Dans ma Pau, or In My Skin (definitely not a ‘feel-good movie’… and since we already got the ball rolling on the horrors of the flesh, here you go)
We flash back and forth to some extremely demented and hilarious public service announcements as T.V. commercials throughout the film. My personal favorite being three cute school girls singing “Let’s go stylish with wrist cutting!” Just enough “Engrish” charm and realism to make this scene as cute as Hello Kitty while they morbidly introduce a new design that is “rounded for a cleaner cutting edge that school girls love!” Oh, this can’t be beat. More great T.V. ads: “Remote Control Exterminate!!” is a demented Wii that lets the viewer slice and dice a tormented player. Complete with all the spraying blood we’ve come to expect from just about everything with the Tokyo Shock label.
If you’re in New York or San Francisco this weekend, you are among the lucky few who can catch this film’s on-screen North American debut. It will premiere this Saturday at the New York Asian Film Festival. In San Francisco, you’ll be able to see it this Sunday at the Brava Theater as part of the Another Hole In The Head film festival, which looks like a lot of fun. A little bit later on, this film will also be premiering in Montreal.