I have a magazine interview scheduled for later this week with gore special effects master Yoshihiro Nishimura and I will be watching some of the movies he directed and provided the special effects for this week as a way of preparing.
Tokyo Gore Police was the first feature-length film Nishimura made as a director, after more than 20 years working as a special effects coordinator. But the seeds of this feature were in a short which Nishimura made in 1995, which won a special jury prize at the genre-defining Yubari Film Festival. Although much of this film is made up of extended shots of high-pressure blood squirting out of severed limbs, there is a plot, which is actually rather complex. In a dystopian near-future Tokyo, the police force has been privatized and for some reason or another, has started wearing samurai armor. They have to contend with “engineers,” criminals and assorted lowlifes who have been killed and implanted with genetically engineered parasites that take over their bodies and turn them into killing machines. Cut off an engineer’s arm, and it instantly grows back as a chainsaw, etc. The police officer most skilled at dispatching engineers is Ruka (Eihi Shiina) a beautiful young woman who is trying to avenge the murder of her policeman father. But as the plot unfolds, there are lots of shots of spurting blood (everyone seems to have extremely high blood pressure) and we are also demented TV commercials designed to succinctly show how violent the future has become. One warning businessmen not to commit hara-kiri on the job and one advertising cute wrist cutters for angst-ridden teenage girls.