Weird Watch: ‘Tokyo Gore Police’

Danielle Ryan

Part of the joy of being a fan is finding odd and obscure gems that you end up falling in love with. For every Batman, there is a Darkman. For every Star Wars, there is The Black Hole. Here at Fandom, we like to go hunting for some offbeat and off-the-wall films and TV shows that might just become your own secret treasures. Strap yourself in and expect the unexpected, because this week’s Weird Watch is the 2008 Japanese-American film Tokyo Gore Police (Last time: Bubba Ho-Tep)

The Land of the Rising Sun delivers weird like almost no one else. Filmmakers like Takashi Miike have built their entire careers around being mind-blowingly bizarre. Enter Yoshihiro Nishimura, a special effects artist who gained notoriety working on 2007’s ridiculous gore-fest Machine Girl. Nishimura wanted to make his own gore flick, and in 2008, he unleashed Tokyo Gore Police upon the world.

It’s obvious from the start that Tokyo Gore Police was created by an SFX mastermind. Almost every scene features some kind of ridiculous gore effect. There are more decapitations, dismemberments, and disembowelments than you could shake a stick at. With a title like Tokyo Gore Police, fans of Japanese gore cinema could expect nothing less.

Tokyo Gore Police – Now With More Gore!

tokyo gore police heroine

The plot of Tokyo Gore Police is pretty strange in and of itself. The film’s protagonist, Ruka, is a police officer in the near future. Tokyo is a cyberpunk dystopia. Blades for cutting your wrists are advertised on TV, and civilians can use their remotes to execute prisoners in real-time. Ruka herself does a lot of wrist-cutting and has been pretty disturbed ever since her father was assassinated on the day the police force became privatized. She’s looking for the guy who killed her dad, so she can exact revenge. Like Inigo Montoya, but so much grosser.

To make Ruka’s life even worse, there’s a crazy guy going around murdering prostitutes. He’s a mad scientist called ‘Key Man’, and he’s created a race of mutants called ‘Engineers’ whose injuries turn into crazy biomechanical weapons. Lose an arm? Grow a chainsaw made of meat in its place. Fighting these weird abominations is a tricky thing, and Tokyo Gore Police ramps up the violence within minutes of its start time.

Tokyo Gore Police never seems to take itself seriously. It features some of the nastiest gore gags in cinema history, but they’re so ridiculous that it’s more funny than gross. There’s a lot of weird sex humor too, including penis guns, crocodile-vagina-dentata, and breasts that squirt acid. Every second of the film is over-the-top offensive.

A Two-Hour Thrill-Ride of Filth

tokyo gore police kill
One of many faux-television bits, featuring the happiest murderess in Tokyo.

Tokyo Gore Police didn’t have a huge budget, but that’s part of the charm. The few sets are minimalistic, instead focusing on the various characters and monsters within. Nishimura makes use of colored lighting to keep things visually interesting. The whole movie is oversaturated, with blood the color of ketchup spraying in every direction. It’s a visual spectacle of the bizarre. Every time you think it can’t get any weirder, Tokyo Gore Police proves you wrong.

The character design in the movie is all over the place, but it somehow works. The privatized police force wear samurai-inspired costumes, though Ruka dresses more like a schoolgirl. There is an insanely creepy snail woman, a woman with a crocodile-type maw instead of legs, and a chair made of human flesh that’s somehow still alive.

One of the most interesting characters never has a line of dialogue. She is a quadriplegic woman with katanas for legs. She wears a gas mask and behaves as the main villain’s pet. Portrayed by an actual amputee, the character is mysterious, weird as hell, and has some incredible fight scenes.

She can wield four blades at once, which is pretty spectacular.

Tokyo Gore Police isn’t for everyone. It’s ridiculously violent, relentlessly gross, and chock-full of naked people. This is Japanese guro cinema turned up to 11. For those who can stomach it, however, Tokyo Gore Police is one of the best films in its genre, best watched with a group of friends. People’s reactions to this film are almost as much fun as the movie itself.

Check out our other Weird Watch articles here!

Danielle Ryan
A cinephile before she could walk, Danielle comes to Fandom by way of CNN,, and Paste Magazine. She loves controversial cinema (especially horror) and good cinematography; her dislikes include romantic comedies and people's knees.
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