I'll join all the other Tokyo Gore Police [Tokyo Zankoku Keisatsu] reviewers and ask: "What's in a name". A title like this creates certain expectations, and it's safe to say that based on the title alone, it fulfills them all. There's Tokyo, a police force and plenty of gore. But there is little more to Nishimura's first film.
Nishimura gained fame for being responsible for the graphical effects in The Machine Girl, so it didn't take long for people to catch on to Tokyo Gore Police. At the same time, this raised expectations and made comparisons to The Machine Girl inevitable. And while the films do have a lot in common (and will probably cater to the exact same audience), there are enough differences to set the two apart.
Depending on where you're coming from, you might be overwhelmed or slightly disappointed by the amount of actual gore found in the film. Of course this film spurts blood like a genuine pro but compared to The Machine Girl, Tokyo Gore Police isn't all that more violent or bloody. There are parts where the pacing drops a few notches and where the level of gore is pretty acceptable.
On the other hand, if you are only used to films that circulate within the regular film circuit and are peeing your pants when watching the blood fountains in Kill Bill, you might be in for quite a surprise because this film goes way beyond.
The Machine Girl was a film purely focused on gore and camp, but Nishimura goes beyond that. There is no doubt that there is enough camp, weirdness and goofiness to keep any fan satisfied with Tokyo Gore Police, but Nishimura is a much better director than Iguchi. Tokyo Gore Police is more cinematic, has a more serious undertone and mixes all the weirdness with a slice of social comedy very reminiscent of Verhoeven's work in Robocop and Starship Troopers.
The intermezzo commercials are simply hilarious, praising first class harakiri swords, messed up recruitment videos for the police force and one particularly hilarious scene where Japanese high school girls are praising designers wrist cutter knifes. Even though these interludes might miss their effect as grinding social commentary in a film like this, the result is as amusing as can be.
Visually Tokyo Gore Police is a serious step up from The Machine Girl too, with much more attention paid to the camera work, good and atmospheric use of color and some snappy editing from time to time. It helps to hide the imperfections and low budget and makes for a more compelling and interesting viewing. Use of CG is kept to a minimum which helps the film to uphold that lovely, squishy and gory feel which a film like this just needs to have.
The soundtrack is the only real sub par element of the film, with some catchy but ultimately failing tunes that are supposed to raise the adrenaline further but only manage some moderate feet tapping. As for the acting, it's not particularly amazing but on the other had perfect for a film like this. Completely over-the-top, with lots of posing and insanity going on. Eihi Shiina's performance is noteworthy though, as she seemingly disappeared from view after her infamous role in Audition.
As for the gore in the film, Nishimura manages to turn blood fountains into an art. Add to that plenty of torn limbs and exploding people and gore fans won't be disappointed at all. But where the film really shines is the deformities and weirdness. There are some awesome looking creatures crawling through the film, from the SM girl-dog running around on 4 huge knives, to the alligator-mouth-for-legs girl. One scene in particular stands out, when one of the characters strolls into a nightclub where human deformities are auctioned for sexual pleasure. One that will stick for quite a while to come.
Nishimura really made something special here, somewhat outgrowing the simple gore B-splatter fun while keeping that part of the film intact too. Tokyo Gore Police is gory, fun, funny, weird and insane, but at the same time the realm in which it exists starts to grow on you, especially when the creatures become increasingly outrageous. Add to that some top-notch designs and some nice visual scenes and I can only hope Nishimura will return quickly to the directing chair. Not to be missed ... if this is your cup of tea of course.