Tokyo Gore Police (2008)

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Released 1-Apr-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Theatrical Trailer
Gallery-Photo
Trailer-Eastern Eye trailers x 4
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 104:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Yoshihiro Nishimura
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Eihi Shiina
Itsuji Itao
Yukihide Benny
Jiji Bû
Ikuko Sawada
Cay Izumi
Mame Yamada
Ayano Yamamoto
Akane Akanezawa
Tsugumi Nagasawa
Maiko Asano
Daisuke Matsuki
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Kou Nakagawa


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, during final credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I recently reviewed on this site Yoshihiro Nishimura’s Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl and found it very funny, grotesque and completely insane, the cast and effects people attacking the whole twisted scenario with intense and maniacal energy. As a result I decided to take at look at Nishimura’s earlier effort Tokyo Gore Police.

     The film commences with a quiet scene of children at play with nice music, and a girl’s voiceover says how wonderful, helpful and courteous her policeman father was. The camera focuses on the smiling policeman who is the father, and his head explodes in a geyser of blood and gore. That blood and gore, plus severed limbs, seldom stops for the next 100 minutes of mayhem. The plot, such as it is, is this. Tokyo is being menaced by a group of murderous mutants called “Engineers”. They are violent, bloodthirsty and almost impossible to kill because any part of their body that is severed or injured re-grows as a deadly weapon! The police force has been privatised and struggles to contain the Engineers. The smiling policeman’s daughter, Ruka (Eihi Shiina), is now an adult and has joined the police force, becoming a specialist “Engineer Hunter”. To complicate matters, there is also a serial killer (Itsuji Itao) on the loose, murdering and cutting up prostitutes. This killer, it seems, is not only connected to Ruka in some way but also holds the key to the solution of where the Engineers came from.

     Films such as Tokyo Gore Police rely upon way out blood and gore effects and certainly this film does not short-change in this department. Geysers of drenching blood are copious, and frequent. All parts of the body turn into grotesque weapons and as these are done physically, not with CGI, they have a depth and reality that works well. While gory Japanese films are not supposed to have much in the way of plot, Tokyo Gore Police has less than usual and what there is is pretty much incoherent. For example, a sequence in the middle of the film lasting ten minutes where Ruka does not appear is set in a weird, mutant brothel and is really only an excuse to indulge in some excessive special makeup effects that are truly grotesque but don’t advance the story in any way. On the other hand, the explanation about the origins of the Engineers when it does come is not what most would expect, and does make sense. Sort of.

     Tokyo Gore Police is not without humour, such as the commercial spots for new improved model razor blades with which to cut your wrists, or Police recruitment ads, but it seems that Nishimura threw into the film all the ideas for grotesque special make up effects he ever had and neglected pretty much everything else, including plot. It was good that he got this film out of his system, for by the time he came to Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl the blood and gore is still there but it is leavened with a coherent plot, better acting, and humour that works better than in Tokyo Gore Police. However, this film is not without its moments and is still worth watching if you are a fan of the genre or Nishimura.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Tokyo Gore is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which is the original theatrical ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     While not prefect, this is a reasonable print. Colours, especially the blood reds, greens and yellows are accentuated and often garish. Skin tones are, however, natural. Detail and contrast are good, although some sequences appear soft, including the flash-backs which are deliberately soft. Blacks are solid and shadow detail good. I noted no film or video to film artefacts.

     The English subtitles are in a yellow font in American English. They are easy to read, and only once flashed by too quickly. I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     There are four audio options available; Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 at 448 and 224 Kbps respectively and English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 with the same specifications.

     I listened to the Japanese 5.1 and sampled the other tracks. It could not be called a vibrant surround experience but it does the job. Dialogue is clean and from the front centre, with muted effects and music in the surrounds. The subwoofer mainly supported the music. There were no clicks or cut-outs. The Japanese 2.0 was surround encoded and sounded OK as well. The English dub sounds as poor as the majority of English dubs.

     There are substantial variations between the dubbed English dialogue and the subtitles, including at one place changing the gender of the character that is the Police chief’s “dog”. In the dialogue it is a he, in the subtitles a she. Given the character’s earlier “service” for the Chief, “she” seems the better option!

     Lip synchronisation is fine.

     The music by Kohl Nakagawa was strident and supported the film well. There were also a number of songs with relevant lyrics that were effective.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Film Trailers

     We get the Theatrical Trailer (2:12) and the Extended Promo Trailer (5:00). They play together.

Stills Gallery

     15 film stills.

Eastern Eye Trailers

     Trailers for other films from Madman: Tokyo Zombie (2:10), Versus (2:02), Sympathy for Mr Vengeance (1:57) and Azumi (1:26).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The three disc Region 2 Japanese version is listed as including a CD soundtrack, a Spin-off short film collection, a “making of” and audio commentary, but the feature and extras lack English subtitles. Sales sites list 2 disc Region 1 US and Region 2 UK versions but I cannot find any information about the specifications or extras. A review of an earlier Region 1 US release indicates that it has no extras. For now I’ll mark the comparison as "same".

Summary

     Tokyo Gore Police is not without interest, but it seems that director Nishimura threw into the film all the ideas for grotesque special make up effects he ever had, and neglected pretty much everything else. Still worth watching if you are a fan of the genre or Nishimura.

     The video and audio are fine, extras are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, July 18, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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