Shoko Nakahara stars in Yoshihiro Nishimura’s 2008 tour-de-abattoir Tokyo Gore Police (Tokyo Zankoku Keisatsu) as the hard-nosed avenger of decency without mercy Ruka. Preternaturally calm, dangerously certain of her purpose and her use of the katana in the black and white battle between criminal indecency and the directives of the privatized Tokyo Police Corporation, Ruka is a little death fashionably decked out in a miniskirt and fishnet stockings, the call-girl of justice tossing the most hardened criminals into the icy salad of divine retribution.
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Japan’s police and self-defense forces were privatized during Ruka’s youth under the auspices of a single draconian for-profit agency whose shock troops resemble something between armored, war-ready samurai and Darth Vader, a change in course in society the initial contestation of which has been deliberately buried in the past by those powers who stood to profit most from it.
This proves to be a crucial detail in the development of Ruka’s life, for the Terry Gilliam-esque former tracheotomy patient wearing the horned helmet with the external car stereo speaker affixed to his badged armor is the man who, as chief of police, stood to gain the most power from disposing of the more socially-minded cop leading the privatization opposition- Ruka’s father. That this was done before the impressionable eyes of this girl he then raised among the police as his daughter, that the assassin he hired to clear the field of his opposition and publicly executed was the father of a brilliant genetic engineer studying the heredity of criminality is key- it is the self-serving action that at once created a ronin state of arbitrarily unchecked police aggression in the service of order and the same moment forged that state’s arch-enemy, the Key Man. It also birthed the one warrior who would be the undoing of the whole system.
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Key man is the creator of a parasitic virus culled from the DNA of the world’s most notorious serial killers, a key-shaped tumor that causes any wound inflicted on the infected to mutate into a deadly weapon. During the movie’s course of corpse production from conflict to resolution, Penes, pudenda, breasts, bellybuttons, really all the best stuff is transformed into a high-pressure blood-hosing instrument of gore. These augmented augerers hosting the mutation-inducing tumors of anti-humanity are dubbed “engineers.”
When the police declare an all-out war on the population in an attempt to eliminate the engineers, the truth, that the chief hired the man who killed her father, is revealed to a virus-infected Ruka. She single-handedly wipes out the police force and takes her revenge on the man who raised her, even as he flies about the room enhanced by drugs that cause gravity-defying jets of blood to fire from the stumps of his legs.
I should mention that, marring the progress of the movie is a scene of anti-Chinese nationalism that really doesn’t add anything to the story, leaving me with a bad taste on the iron-coated walls of my mouth.
The film is intercut with bizarre and hilarious PSAs for the new privatized police force, the reduction of workplace hara-kiri, cute accessory box-knifes for high-school aged cutter gyaru, and swords advertised for the same purpose on a “Call Now!” basis, all while this vixen of an S/M Marilyn perfectly amputated from her Norma Jean, a cross between a DJ and a police dispatcher, broadcasts whilst dancing to an amazing Japanese rock soundtrack her frenzied bloodthirsty dispatches.
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For blood or for pizza, the axes swing when she sings.