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Meat Grinder [DVD]
Meat Grinder [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mai Charoenpura
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £3.61

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How did it get through UNCUT?, 29 July 2010
This review is from: Meat Grinder [DVD] (DVD)
Thai horror has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years, which probably explains why we seem to be watching so many of them these days. With that in mind, lets see what's on the menu for tonight. Directed by Tiwa Moeithaisong, 2009 Thai horror hit Meat Grinder serves up a sumptuous feast of murder, mayhem, dismemberment and cannibalism, taking the "torture porn" sub-genre to the giddiest of heights. This gory yet beautiful tale stars Mai Charouenpura (Suriyothai) as a deranged woman in 1970s Thailand running a noodle stall and hearing voices in her head - colour her crazy indeed. When she finds a dying man in her stall one night, she comes up with the idea of chopping him up and grinding the body parts for her noodle soup. I know - that's the first thing I thought of as well. It turns out to be one of her most popular dishes, and as the stall generates more business, she realises that she needs more bodies to cater for increased customer demand. A banquet of horror to tantalise your taste buds then, the table is booked and your seat at the table is reserved, Meat Grinder is coming to UK shores uncut and incredibly uncomfortable.

Fans of Dumplings and Sweeney Todd will know what to expect, it seems that food equates to horror more often than not these days, kind of puts you off eating out if you ask me. Bus (Mai Charouenpura) takes to killing people in the most gruesome of fashion, and Tiwa Moeithaisong's camera lingers on every open wound. It's a hard watch at times - legs are torn off, fingernails are hammered hard, bodies are hung out to dry on meat hooks, you know the drill. There isn't a drill from what I remember but you get the point. Despite the regular bouts of violence, Meat Grinder remains captivating throughout courtesy of a compelling performance from Mai. No matter how many times she slices and dices, the nature of the plot ensures that you side with her all the way. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way, not just at the hands of our favourite chef, but the tragic back-story provides plenty of meat to pick at too. There's a love interest as well, adding romance, desire and hidden truths to an enticing recipe that surprises with its effectiveness.

Tiwa Moeithaisong gives his film a vibrant feel, incorporating several filmmaking techniques along the way. Colour filters, scratches and old film stock are incorporated to give the film its unique taste. Edgy is probably a good word to describe it, and that's without taking into account the copious torture and violence. If you have a hard time watching somebody nail a human hand to the floor, this latest assault on the senses isn't for you. Meat Grinder comes on like a horror film when Bus lets loose on the crazy, but there's a lot more to it than that. We're safe in the arms of human drama for the most part, a film in which violence and tragedy breeds yet more violence and tragedy. Performances are solid throughout, the score is striking and Meat Grinder impresses with every mouthful. Gore hounds will adore the lashings of violence, and fans of Asian drama will find plenty of spice to keep them hooked. So if you grew up on a diet of Freezer and Art of the Devil you should all ready be licking your lips at the prospect of yet another mouth-watering delight. 24framespersecond
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2013 10:35 PM BST


20th Century Boys - The Complete Saga [DVD] [2010]
20th Century Boys - The Complete Saga [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Etsushi Toyokawa
Price: £17.34

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pushing the boundaries of what is possible in Japanese cinema., 6 Jun. 2010
Expectations are one thing, delivering a trilogy of films based upon Naoki Urasawa's masterpiece is an altogether more terrifying proposition. 20th Century Boys tells the tale of a group of children who hang out together in a grassy den after school. They create a book that depicts future Armageddon; they call it the Book of Prophecy. Sometime later the grown ups meet at a school reunion, people are dying at the hands of a sinister cult led by a mysterious leader known only as `Friend', it soon becomes apparent that the time they spent together as children is having a major influence on current events. Their predictions are coming true and the mysterious cult is using the symbol they created as their logo. Worse than that, it soon becomes apparent that the nine grown ups are also responsible for the future of mankind and only they can save Earth from destruction.

The first film is almost two and a half hours long, and it's fair to say that not an awful lot actually happens. There's very little action to speak of (though the finale sets up part two rather nicely) apart from a giant robot ripping through Japanese city streets. That's over two hours into the movie though, before then we are witness to character development and foundations being laid. There are elements of Stephen King in there, maybe that's just down to the structure, but there are similarities between this opening chapter and King's It, without the rubbish spider of course. The characters and structure are engaging and the central plot is such a doozy that you'll find it incredibly hard to resist the films lure; it should definitely find a friend in you.

The second film, or rather `the terrifying second act', was always going to be a hard sell. There's no beginning and no end, but Yukihiko Tsutsumi has to do enough to keep the viewer engrossed if he wants them back for part three. The Last Hope kicks off 15 years after the events of the first film, introducing us to a country that has fallen under the spell of cult leader Friend. Kenji (Karasawa Toshiaki), has been missing since the bloody New Year's Eve showdown, and is branded a terrorist along with his classmates. Kenji's niece Kanna (Taira Airi), the cute kid in the baseball cap from part one, has grown up into a spunky high school student who still looks cute in a baseball cap. For her rebellious behaviour, Kanna is sent to `Friend Land' for indoctrination, and earns the chance to enter a virtual reality world that holds the secret to Friend's identity. Which basically amounts to a bunch of girls playing light gun games and blasting computer-generated renditions of Kenji and his friends, a challenge that doesn't go down too well at first. With Kanna's life in danger, faces from the past emerge from the shadows, but can they save the world from oblivion once more? Who exactly is Friend, and what does his New Book of Prophecy have in store for the rest of the world? Also, is this in any way related to the smoke monster from Lost?

Taira Airi's Kanna carries much of the films weight, taking over from uncle Kenji in part one, and it's a refreshing change of pace to follow events from a young girls perspective. There are fewer flashbacks to be found here, much of the movie takes place in future Japan, so the story is a little more linear this time around. Don't worry if you like your movies knee deep in conspiracy though, there are plenty of questions raised in part two, its very much business as usual with The Last Hope. There's not much action to speak of, plenty of exposition to wade through, and any explanations are provided with the same slow burning tease. If you weren't impressed with the style and execution of part one, don't even bother taking a chance on part two. Performances are strong, future Japan is striking and the returning themes of friendship, trust and honour are ever present.

The final chapter brings Kenji back to the heart of the movie; Kanna is relegated to sidekick and even more characters are introduced. With so many characters and story arcs, you'll need to have the previous movies fresh in your mind before taking on this intriguing, not to mention baffling, finale. There are lots of flashbacks and most of the loose ends are tied up in a satisfactory manner. In an unlikely twist, Friend is given room to grow; his welcome back-story weaves a fascinating tale of loneliness and heartache. The effects are more effective than ever, used sparingly but worth every penny. Lets be honest though, who doesn't like giant robots destroying entire city landscapes? Every movie should have at least one, and 20th Century Boys manages two, colour me very happy indeed. We'll leave the flying saucers for another time. The final chapter closes with a different ending to the manga, so don't go thinking it's time for a brew when the final credits roll. There are another fifteen minutes to play out yet, and the films ending is both surprising and quietly affecting.

20th Century Boys is a wonderful trilogy of films, engrossing and intoxicating in equal measures. It's not perfect and it does require patience at times, the pedestrian nature of the films plotting might put some viewers off, but for a manga/movie adaptation that was considered by many to be unfilmable, 20th Century Boys can be considered a considerable success. Mixing science fiction, giant robots and Stephen King sensibilities, this is eight hours of your life well spent. Like all good things, it has to come to an end, and the final reveal is well worth the wait, not just because you can finally get on with your life either. Here's hoping the makers of Lost can do the same thing, now that really would be something... "24framespersecond"


Ju-on - The Grudge - White And Black Ghost [DVD] [2009]
Ju-on - The Grudge - White And Black Ghost [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Hiroki Suzuki
Price: £5.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ju-on" has returned at its 10th Anniversary!!, 3 Mar. 2010
Anyone who's ever watched the first "Ju-on" (the original Japanese version), before America came-a-calling to plunder the story and make one of their own would remember how scary it was. Several sequels later, from both Japan and America, comes another Japanese sequel.

But wait, from the title "Ju-on: White Ghost and Black Ghost", apparently there are two ghosts. What gives you say? Well, it has two separate movies in one, so that's already worth the price of ticket admission. Take it this way; if you don't like one ghost, you can always take the other.

On a serious note, however, the movie starts off with the story of the White Ghost. It begins with a family massacre. A son murders five members of his family when he starts to hear a cassette tape of a voice that keeps repeating, "I'll go. I'll go soon..." He himself then commits suicide, also recording a similar message. The White Ghost then starts to haunt everyone who is related to the house, visited the house, or has a connection to anyone in the house. However, the one who is most affected is Akane (Akina Minami) who has a sixth sense, and also a childhood friend of the murdered little girl from the massacre.

The second movie, of the Black Ghost has more in common with the original "Ju-on" movie. It is about a nurse Yuko (Ai Kago) who takes care of a patient Fukie, only to have the spirit of Fukie's unborn twin haunt her, hence the Black Ghost. And yes, it's a dark ghost, which thus explains its name. It also explains the origins of the ghost in the original "Ju-on" movie.

Certainly, both "White Ghost" and "Black Ghost" are worthy additions to the franchise, and serve as a fine reminder of why the series became so popular in the first place. The return of the industrious, pale skinned ankle grabbers is very welcome, as will be further sequels if this level of quality can be maintained.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2010 2:24 PM BST


Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl [DVD] [2009]
Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Yukie Kawamura
Price: £5.99

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rating: 10 out of 10, 4 Jan. 2010
I have to confess to being a Yoshihiro Nishimura virgin, having missed Tokyo Gore Police, and furthermore haven't seen any other contemporary Japanese exploitation splatter - films like Noburo Iguchi's Machine Girl - of the genre he is associated with. So forgive me if I start to gush about this beautiful, crazy film that hit me round the head like a hammer made out of LSD, as it was something quite new to me, and I think it represents something quite new and exciting for horror cinema.

A high school soap opera set up has the class heart-throb Mizushima, good looking but familiarly bland and wet - it's the girls who run this film - caught between the attentions of class bully Keiko, a spoilt Gothic Lolita Harajuku girl who abuses her position as the vice principle's daughter, and quiet but pretty new girl Monami, who just happens to be a vampire. Alongside them in the classroom are members of bizarre, exaggerated youth cults - a team of girls hacking at their wrists in practice for the Annual High School Wrist Cutting Championships, chanting team slogans that include the line "Show me more attention!"; and even more controversially a brave send-up of the ganguro youth culture that led quite a few members of the Frightfest audience - not a film viewing public known for their sensitivity - to walk out of the screening. It's worth saying a bit more about this.

The Japanese ganguro - translated as "black face" - youth subculture involves the use of tanning products to create overly-darkened, unnatural orange or brown skin set-off by brightly coloured clothing and accessories. In Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl the ganguros go further, their faces grotesque parodies of African features with Afro wigs, black make-up and prosthetics, for example giant lips and noses and in one ganguro girl, a plate through the lips. When we are first presented with these characters context-free in the classroom the immediate reaction is one of outraged confusion; however later in the film, as the ganguros enthuse about the black race being "the coolest race" as they quote Barack Obama and practice athletics, it becomes quite obvious that Nishimura and co-director Tomamatsu are sending up the wrong-headedness and surface-deep obsessions of extreme Japanese youth culture, not to mention the lack of identity amongst Japanese youth. It is a shame that this was lost on so much of the audience, and a sign of how controversial the film may be in the west.

The wrist-cutters and the ganguros are in possession of superhuman abilities - super-strong wrists in the case of the wrist-cutters, and super-powerful legs in the athletics-obsessed ganguros - and their body parts are used by Keiko to undergo a Frankenstein transformation in order to defeat love-rival Monami, who seemed to have roundly finished her off with her vampire powers earlier in the film. The battle between them is a riot of over-the-top action and ridiculous splatter scenes whose only precedent I can think of is the "Salad Days" Month Python sketch. A dizzying mixture of techniques is used, from CGI and crude stop-motion to highly choreographed slow-motion scenes, often played out in a fine spray of fuschia-coloured blood in keeping with the gaudy psychedelia of the film. These scenes are relentless and fill most of the film, running the risk of overkill - which they sometimes do. The film's finale though plays on the classic Japanese monster movie as Keiko's body parts are upgraded further in the only logical direction such an illogical film can take, managing to go the extra step needed in an action-packed boss battle at the top of the Tokyo Tower.

Its look is more video game than horror film, the montaged special effects and bright colours reminding me of Capcom's Viewtiful Joe, a game that plundered Japanese pop culture from the 1960s onward to make a kitsch but super-hardcore twitch classic. Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl's relentlessness and refusal to hold your hand through its shocking content is in some ways part of the same thing, an inversion of the usual lazy safety that kitsch post-modernism represents. Just think what a kitsch film called Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl would entail if it were made in the UK or the US - an ironic plod through Hammer and Rocky Horror with a cast of Goth girls and a turgid rock soundtrack - and compare it to this, viciously sending up present day culture rather than the safe targets of the past, taking day-glo rather than black as its default palate, and even managing to make vampirism sexy again for the first time since the nineteen-eighties, mainly by completely exorcising the Gothic posturing that has become synonymous with the subject.

I don't give a score of ten out of ten lightly but this film is unlike anything else I've ever seen. Compared to its western gore-comedy counterparts, stuck in a rut of nineteen-seventies Video Nasty parody, it is a huge breath of fresh air. Though expertly made it isn't without flaws, but they are so irrelevant in the face of its overriding hilarious, shocking sense of fun they just don't figure. This is the sort of cinema that really raises the bar, and western film makers would do well to take note. QuietEarth.us
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 18, 2010 10:22 PM BST


Heartland - The Complete First Season [DVD] [2007]
Heartland - The Complete First Season [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Michelle Morgan
Price: £13.08

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Series Ever! Especially for horse people :), 30 Dec. 2009
My daughter was so excited to see they have started selling this to the UK now! She been an avid Heartland TV watcher, it has recently started on E4 (they film in Canada) so I can say this series is an absolute success! She has read all of the books when she was younger and they do differ from the TV series (new character added, mostly riding western but some english, new horses added) but they follow the general idea of a healing place for horses and people. She says, even if you've never read the books you can still jump right into the series as well (and you should read the books too there great)! and if you've read the books you'll love it! definitely her favorite TV show to watch!! If your not sure about buying it check out a preview on youtube and you'll love it- good for kids(10/11 + she says), teens, and everyone really!


Total Yoga Box Set [DVD]
Total Yoga Box Set [DVD]

124 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Great After All These Years!, 30 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Total Yoga Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
122 of 123 people found the following review helpful - from Amazon.com Total Yoga go visit the Total Yoga Original title, as below, to see the comments from the people that really know this range of programmes....

I originally reviewed this wonderful program (VHS version)in June of 2002. Since then I have continued to practice daily and because I like variety in my practice, I've gradually amassed over 80 yoga DVD's and VHS's (which is not as insane or expensive as it sounds since a lot of them came in packs of 3 or 5 :)). That being said, I just did this program this morning and thought I'd share my updated point of view. Well, even after all these years it still stands up as a fabulous and well rounded practice! In fact, I bought it on DVD today.

If I was to compare it to the "Flow Series" programs in terms of difficulty, I'd say it's perhaps similar in terms of level to the "Water" program, though it does have a more intense inversion section with a long "Plow" and "Shoulderstand".

Someone brand new to yoga would probably be better off starting with something like Yoga Zone's "Yoga Basics" (in fact I would recommend getting either their "Yoga Basics Five Pack" or "Ultimate Collection" which is a six DVD set. Each of the DVD's in either collection have two-twenty minute self contained programs.

At that point you can easily move into Total Yoga's Flow Series "Earth" program and then maybe the "Water" program before this one because it has a half shoulderstand rather than a full version of that pose, that would be a good preparation for this.

Either way, I've written out the sequence and thought this might help those interested in seeing exactly how this program is put together.

Total Yoga: Overview of Sequence.

Ujayi Breathing/Three Part Breath

Half Spinal Rolls/Full Back Rolls/Bent legs spinal twist

Clasped forward fold then come up to Tadasana

"D" Series Salutation (5 x's) (which contains rolls and leg raises)

"C" Series Salutation w variations (12 position Sun Salutation w/lunges "Sivananda style")

Modified "A" Series Salutation (without Chaturanga (low pushup position)

Triangle

Pyramid Pose (parsvottanasana)

Standing Knee Balance to King Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)

Down Dog w/ extended leg to Pigeon Pose

Bow sequence (Hands clasped behind back, chest lifted/Bow with head down and legs up/Full Bow pose)

Embryo (child's pose)/Neck Release

Pose of Nobility (Gomukhasana: "Cow Face" Pose with arm clasp variation)/Spinal Twist

Half Spinal Rolls

Janu Sirsasana (One leg forward bend)

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Lying Spinal Twist

Knees into chest to Back Release Position

Plow/Shoulderstand Sequence

Fish Position

Seated Breathing

Savasana

Seated Meditation..... Namaste
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2013 3:48 PM BST


Samurai Princess [DVD] [2009]
Samurai Princess [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Aino Kishi
Price: £6.99

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breast Grenades are go!, 10 Nov. 2009
The film's pedigree should certainly give fans of the form reason to be excited, with it having been directed by Kengo Kaji, the co-writer of Tokyo Gore Police and featuring effects by Yoshihiro Mishimura, the director of said genre highpoint. Also likely to be of no small enticement is the presence of AV actress Aino Kishi in the lead role, with support from fellow AV star Mihiro (recently in the horror The Cruel Restaurant)

Aino Kishi playing neither a Samurai nor a Princess, but an android killing machine stitched together from the parts of eleven young girls who were raped and killed by a particularly nasty gang of miscreants. Brought back to life by a mad scientist, she sets off on al revenge spree, slicing and dicing her way through hordes of strangely clad enemies and bizarre villains.

Given its director and the involvement of Yoshihiro Mishimura, most viewers should know well in advance whether or not Samurai Princess is likely to be a film for them. For those who don't, or for the curious, the first 5 minutes of the film will make things abundantly clear one way or the other, featuring such delightful scenes as the heroine removing a man's brain to quite literally read his mind and her detaching her breasts to hurl at her enemies. Certainly, the film is bloody even by the standards of the genre, packing in an impressive amount of dismemberment, evisceration, mutilation and shots of characters being torn apart by freakish villains with weapons for body parts.

With the gore factor and general insanity being the main draws, and for fans of the form Samurai Princess certainly more than delivers. Definitely one of the better and livelier examples of Japanese extreme cinema, it offers cheerfully sick entertainment for those with strong stomachs and a fondness for low budget wackiness.


Cyborg She [DVD] [2008]
Cyborg She [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Haruka Ayase
Price: £6.49

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haruka Ayase the star of ICHI is an added bonus!, 24 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Cyborg She [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
SCREENED AT THE 2009 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: I'm more than a bit curious how "Cyborg She" was marketed in Japan. The festival plugged it as the new film by Kwak Jaw-young, and of a piece with his with his other whimsical romantic comedies with a touch of the fantastic. Which it is, and although it never loses sight of being romance first and sci-fi second, it makes sure not to short-change anybody.

22 November, 2008: As the film starts, Jiro Kitamura (Keisuke Koide) is buying himself a birthday present. A college student in Tokyo, he's got no family or close friends (his home village was destroyed in an earthquake, and the new town that has been built on its remains isn't home), and celebrates his birthday the same way every year. Except last year - that year, a beautiful girl (Haruka Ayase) showed up in a bodysuit out of sci-fi anime, shoplifted herself a new outfit, and sat herself down at Jiro's table, leading him on an adventure before announcing she was from the future and disappearing. This year, she shows up again, in even more dramatic fashion, taking superhuman action when a crazed gunman shows up in the restaurant. Afterward, she explains that Jiro created her sixty years in the future and sent her back in time to prevent his crippling. She's a blank slate now, but maybe living with him will help her develop a soul.

The trick to this movie is to get us to see Haruka Ayase's character as more than a mere machine, or else what's meant to be a romantic comedy can get creepy and pathetic, very quickly. The opening flashback (or, given the time-traveling nature of the film, flash-forward) helps; strongly implying that the cyborg will develop into something more. Ayase handles her end very well, too; she's got a fine deadpan expression as the girl in her brand-new, more robotic mode, but does a nice job of developing a personality as the film goes on. She's never a simple doll taking the orders of her perverted master.

Keisuke Koide's Jiro never becomes terribly pervy, either. He's a bit of a sad-sack from the beginning, but never really seems like a complete loser; he's reasonably smart but also amusingly confused as he gets caught up in something too big to properly handle. He gets flustered well, and sells the stories that give his character depth just fine.

Kwak has a lot of fun with his sci-fi concepts, and his more conventional bits. There's a professor who likes to throw chalk at inattentive students, and plenty of bits involving the girl's superhuman abilities that get a chuckle. The opening, in particular, is funny, and he cribs absolutely shamelessly from the Terminator movies when re-introducing Ayase's character (although, in a move that will likely disappoint fans of the model/actress the world over, not to the point where she must travel through time naked).

And then the endings hit. When the first big climax happens, well, you can't say the film hadn't given you any warning that the scale might change; Kwak had dropped some foreshadowing as plain as day and it's your own fault if you weren't listening. Then there's an epilogue. And then the movie keeps going, and at the time, I started to wonder just how many ways they planned to end this thing. I'm still not sure that all the time-travel bits really fit together - like the Terminator movies, you sort of have to allow that sometimes things fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, and sometimes things change. But I decided I liked it anyway: Even if there is one thing that I can't figure as being coincidence, paradox, or destiny, it certainly winds up leading to the ending that the movie should have (and which, yes, was foreshadowed early on).
That winds up making "Cyborg She" something pretty special - a romantic comedy on a grand scale, with an ending that should satisfy both the fans of romance and robot action in the audience. efimcritc
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2011 10:29 PM BST


Meatball Machine [DVD] [2007]
Meatball Machine [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Issei Takahashi
Price: £6.49

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best cyberpunk movies I've seen., 26 Jun. 2009
Meatball Machine. The name alone is quite intriguing. After watching The Machine Girl I was really in the mood for another Japanese splatterfest, and this one has been floating around my "to-do" pile for quite some time now. Newcomer Jun'ichi Yamamoto is back to co-direct a remake of his 1999 short film of the same name, this time with director Yūdai Yamaguchim, of Battlefield Baseball fame. It's a great Japanese cyberpunk film that relies heavily on body disfigurement and a bizarre storyline, as well as elements of horror and post-apocalypticism. Then of course you've got your blood and gore by the bucketload. All of these things combined are the perfect combination for an excellent movie.

Our film today is really comprised of two storylines that eventually mingle together to become the movie. The first story revolves around Yoji (Issei Takahashi), a loner who works in some industrial warehouse. He is harboring a secret attraction for Sachiko (Aoba Kawai) another lonely girl who lives near his place of employment. After being beaten up by a transvestite whose advances he turned down in a porn theatre, Yoji finds what can only be described as a golden turtle shell, that secretes what can only be described as golden turtle shell semen. Curious boy that he is, he takes it home and puts it in his closet. Shortly afterwards he stumbles across a co-worker attempting to rape Sachiko. After being beaten by a man in drag, I don't know if I'd be trying to take on a full grown man, even if he was by himself. Failing miserably but still causing the man to leave, Yoji is taken to his home by Sachiko, who tends to his wounds. To his horror, the semen secreting golden turtle shell attacks Sachiko and turns her into a kind of cyborg battle machine. The other storyline involves these parasitic creatures. There appears to be two separate groups, each side taking a number of hosts who are then forced to battle each other to the death. Not the most original idea, but when combined with the first story, it gives the film a bit of heart, and you find yourself torn between wanting more action and more gore, and also rooting for Yoji to save the woman he loves.

I think it's safe to say that this is one of the best cyberpunk movies I've seen. I've probably only watched 15 or so, but this was the most fun of the bunch. Even though Issei Takahashi and Aoba Kawai were the two "leads" in this film, they really didn't play as big a part as you'd think. They did an incredible job at portraying the pain, sadness and despair you would feel in a situation like this, but their roles were considerably smaller than a typical film. Part of this is because of the time spent as the creatures. The suits they had to wear were massive, and didn't allow for much acting to take place. It must have been pretty physically demanding mind you, especially during the fight scenes. The majority of the gore was in said fight scenes, and to my delight there was almost no CGI used whatsoever. I can't tell you how much this pleases me, to see filmmakers actually creating movie magic, rather than let some geek in a chair take care of it. I've seen some gory movies in my day, but this ranks up there as one of the better ones. There's just something about it that makes it graceful; almost playful. That sounds strange for a movie with head splitting, dismemberment, and an eyeball gouging scene that is almost on par with Fulci's Zombi 2. There is enough of the red stuff in here to satisfy the cravings of even the most fiendish gorehound, myself included.

If I were to look for flaws in this one, I'd only come up with one - the bizarre way in which the fight scenes were cut into the beginning of the movie. It was interesting to see the battles mixed in with the crowded and bustling city, but I think it could have been better if they saved them for later in the picture. I think they tipped their hand a little early, and didn't focus as much on the story as they did on the extreme gore and special effects. Don't get me wrong, I loved that part of it to no end, but I also love a good story and some character development. While a bit lacking in this department, it was still a fantastic movie. In case you haven't figured it out, I loved it to bits and would recommend it to fans of splatter films, Japanese cinema, cyberpunk, or just movie lovers in general. If this had been released this year, it would have made my top 10 list for sure. 9/10. By TheFecalKid


Tokyo Gore Police (2 Disc Collectors Edition) [DVD] [2008]
Tokyo Gore Police (2 Disc Collectors Edition) [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Eihi Shiina
Offered by westworld-
Price: £12.82

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contender for my Best Horror Film of 2009, 5 May 2009
Its only the beginning of 2009, but Ive already found the first contender for my Best Horror Film of 2009 list-the insanely over-the-top, delightfully splattery Tokyo Gore Police. If this is a sign of whats to come for horror fans this year, wefre all in for a treat.

A heady mixture of Takashi Miikefs typical Japanese insanity and David Cronenbergs pet theme of bodily dysfunction (with homages to the social parodies of Paul Verhoevenfs Robocop and Starship Troopers), Tokyo Gore Police wears its inspirations on its sleeves (right next to all the blood and pieces of flayed flesh)-its not a particularly deep film, but if you love Japanese cinema with an abundance of severed limbs, geysering fountains of blood, and cute girls dressed up like theyre headed to a cosplay convention, this is a film youll certainly want to check out.

The hauntingly lovely Eihi Shiina (you may remember her as Asami from Miikes classic, Audition) is Ruka. Rukafs a young cop on a special unit designed to hunt down gengineersh. Engineers are some sort of mutants with a weird key-shaped gene that makes them go completely psychotic and murder anyone and everyone in their path. The only way to kill an engineer is to deliver a blow to them that cuts the key in half-any other injuries not only dont kill them, but instead turn into Cronenbergian weapons (think the flesh gun from Videodrome and youve got it). In this wacky future Japan, the police force has been privatized (which leads to all sorts of room for parody), and when Rukafs not tracking down engineers (or slicing her wrists) shes seeking to find out who killed her father (a decorated cop assassinated in the line of duty).

The story is the films greatest shortcoming. TGP runs for a little under two hours, and one often gets the feeling that it could have been tightened up significantly. The subplot involving Rukafs father isnt all that interesting (nor is the reveal at the end when she finds the killer) and it eats up some significant screentime in the latter half of the movie. Thats the only complaint I have though-the rest of Tokyo Gore Police runs like a well-oiled (if that oil were blood) machine.

TGP succeeds whenever Ruka is required to fight an engineer, and director-slash-FX wizard Yoshihiro Nishimura understands this implicitly. In the films early stages, theres some kind of crazy gross gore moment happening roughly every three minutes. Limbs are sliced off, heads removed, eyes plucked, castrations you name it, its in here somewhere. Nishimura never forgets that one of the three words of the title is gore and as such the film delivers so much carnage and destruction that its right up there with Jacksons Dead Alive and the oeuvre of Olaf Ittenbach when it comes to the most splattery films ever made.

What sets Nishimurafs film apart from Ittenbach is that Nishimura seems to be genuinely creative. The gore is thick in TGP, but its also fairly inventive. There are tons of standard gore gags littered throughout the film (with this much dismemberment, its a given) but then there are occasions where Nishimura really strives to do something new-take for instance the woman engineer who has the entire lower half of her body turn into crocodile jaws or the guy who develops a giant crutch cannon-and the movie manages to surprise you with its inventiveness.

Complementing the gore in TGP is a wacky sense of humor. The film boasts numerous public service advertisements that are genuinely funny and creative. Theres a dont commit hara-kirih ad, a great piece on a new Wii game that allows the whole family to murder people right from their own living room, and commercials for fashionable wrist-slicers. If that werent enough, the film boasts a Battle Royale-styled Japanese girl who intrudes at various interludes to cheer the police on in their mission to eradicate the engineer plague. All in all, the humor provides a nice counterbalance to all the gory mayhem. This is one of the few gore comedies to get the balance right.

If nothing else, Tokyo Gore Police proves that you can make a film that pays homage to other movies yet still maintain an identity of your own while doing it. The title tells you pretty much everything you need to know on this one-if you love quirky Japanese gore flicks, this is well worth your time. It gory and funny and quite possibly one of the best cult films well see all year. The Horror Geek com


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