Rewatched Aug 13, 2012
Josh Keown’s review:
"Engineers. We have to kill them by any means. They are…humanity’s new enemy."
-Tokyo Police Chief (Yukihide Benny)
This is very much one of those movies where you find yourself asking – ‘what in the good name of all that is holy did I just watch?’. In all likelihood you will also either angrily object to such a preposterous mess of a film, or just shrug your shoulders and get swept up in the lunacy that is Japanese cinema. And this is a sterling advertisement for it if ever there was one, a nightmarish fever dream of dystopia Tokyo, mutants and girls with samurai swords!
The film opens with a girl’s dad’s head blowing up, a crazy tramp with bad hair and green teeth swinging a chainsaw, and a policeman catching said chainsaw in his mouth. By this point, you’ll either have your head in your hands or be cheering at the screen.
After three viewings, I’m still not entirely sure what the story was or what any of it meant. But I don’t really care ‘cause it’s just super-awesome fun. Every now and again there are glimmers of real genius too. It even makes a statement on over-commercialisation with the morally questionable advertisements throughout.
The cast comprises largely of unknowns (at least for an uninformed Englishman like myself), besides Eihi Shiina, star of Takashi Miike’s brutally brilliant Audition [Ôdishon] (1999), whom plays the lead Ruka in this, and still looks about 20 years old. Obviously she’s great in her role, she’s a talented actress. Everyone else might be a little nuts.
Some scenes are just great. I loved the police advertisement near the start. ‘Tokyo Police Corporation’ *cheesy thumbs up*, whilst the party is just crazy (Penis pistols! Snail woman! Woman with teeth on her breasts!).
As for the special effects… well, they’re hilariously bad. Limbs fly off every minute or so and blood sprays like it’s coming out of a geyser, but you can’t fault its inventiveness. Special commendation goes to the costume designer though. Whoever you are, your genius designs have my applause.
VERDICT; Excellent but completely insane. Sometimes, I have to look back and think if certain scenes really happened, or if I had just had a weird moment and dreamt them up. Most of the time they actually did.
3.5/5 or 7/10
(Oh, and Jess Weixler, you thought your case of Vagina Dentata was bad…)