I don't know where to start with this thing, other than to say it started at 11 PM and didn't end until three. Tokyo Gore Police may have run at NYAFF before (not that I'd gotten around to seeing it before last night) but it certainly never ran like this. I might remember stuff out of order: forgive me. Also, this entry, like the showing, is very, very long, so be prepared for that.
Firstly, the directors of Tokyo Gore Police and Machine Girl, Yoshihiro Nishimura and Noboru Iguchi, along with CG man Tsuyoshi Kazuno and CG's mortal enemy, Tak Sakaguchi, who'd also been around for the showing of his own Otokojuku movie, were all present. I can't emphasize enough that these dudes truly seem to love their work, and that they sure as hell know how to have some fun. Some seriously twisted fun, yes, but isn't that the best kind?
Before you continue, I should probably elaborate on the film themselves. Machine Girl, Tokyo Gore Police, and the rest of these guys' work are not for everybody. There's certainly worse stuff out there that's disgusting for its own sake-- may you never see it-- but these films push the boundaries of the bloody, grotesque and cruel, and they push it so far that they are often very, very funny. This is not the kind of horror that scares: it is the kind of horror where you either laugh or throw up. If you are squeamish about blood and guts, or about graphic descriptions of the atrocities on display in these films, I recommend you move slowly away from these movies and from this post. If you are already laughing, then you're home.
The first presentation was a series of shorts that are only available on the Region 2 DVD releases of Machine Girl and Tokyo Gore Police, along with some new commercials that Iguchi had made for the hell of it. The first was Tokyo Gore Laborer, a short about what happened to a minor character in Tokyo Gore Police (hint: a number of hideous, gory deaths are involved). The next was called The Heroine of My Adolescence, a sorta-artsy origin story for the Dog Girl character (who, along with her owner, Nishimura would later admit that he unconsciously pulled out of the Go Nagai classic of bad taste Violence Jack). Most of it is the mutilation itself, which takes place in a theatrical, ritualistic dream sequence. Then Dog Girl gets pencils attached to her now-liquefied limbs and beats some people up with them, "drawing" black on the screen until the short ends. The weird thing is that she wanted them.
These pieces were both by other directors, but the last one was by Nishimura himself. Called "63 Minutes in the Movie" after the place it fits into Tokyo Gore Police's timeline, it's about some other characters who disappear from the film, particularly the girl with a dick for a nose. Spoiler: there's a lot more dicks where that came from. This short may have been crazier than TGP, spiraling upwards at full speed towards a deliciously offensive ending in which dicks are the least of Japan's worries.
After this, Iguchi had a little something called Machine Girl Lite to show us. It was really just the thing to break up the proceedings: a less overtly gory, much sillier and far more moe semi-sequel to Machine Girl. Iguchi described it as a pantyshot movie, and insisted on telling us that when you look up a girl's skirt, there's a whole universe up there. I've always been a dreamer, so I must admit I feel the same way.
The heroine is a friend of the original Machine Girl who was killed early in the movie, kicking off a running gag: nearly every character in this short is somebody who was hacked to death in Machine Girl and had some amazing surgery that miraculously saved them. This extends to people who were chopped in half or outright exploded, and the audience laughed harder every time somebody revealed that "I, too, was killed!". Instead of the messy business of losing a forearm and replacing it with a machine gun, as seen in the original film, our heroine opts to just bend her arm and put the damn thing on her elbow. Good thinking!
The new Machine Girl is "trained" to become a killing machine by another nearly-killed character: all his training exercises curiously involve her getting in a school gym outfit and squatting over his head, and that sorta thing. It is discovered that she has a talent for putting things in her butt, which is where the title of this post is from (Iguchi has a fetish, see). Then she's sent after the people who killed her, who are rampaging in the streets as "Team Killing." Her hidden weapon? A machine gun in her ass that activates when she's embarassed. Cue pantyshots and "oh no, don't look!" shtick. Yay, yay, nice shot! And then she does a Sailor Moon salute. What a spectacle, this thing.
After that was over, the guys-- including the guys who run the fest-- all came out in Japanese-style bare-ass loincloths and ran in single file around the theater a couple of times. No, seriously. This happened. They even passed through an aisle. When everybody was up on stage, Tak approached, and asked the guys if they wanted to get into Otokojuku (as Japanese-style loincloths are the only underwear acceptable for an Otokojuku man). Of course they did, and Tak had a special Otokojuku-style manliness trial: he would throw tiny darts at their asses and see if they could bear the pain. And that's exactly what he did. Everybody passed. No, seriously, this happened.
After everybody was done getting hurt, it was past midnight, so everybody surprised Iguchi with some birthday festivities. We sang Happy Birthday, there was a cake (they were saying it had a picture of a bleeding penis iced onto it or something, but I didn't see the cake until they passed it out in pieces during the movie), Iguchi was spanked by an audience member with a wooden "bitch" paddle one time for each of his four decades of living, and there were a bunch of suitably odd gifts for Iguchi and prizes for the audience. One lucky audience member won an early work of Iguchi's: namely, giant prosthetic dickgirl porn. Iguchi nearly lost his loincloth when he popped a boner while reading the ass fetish photobook he got. Also, the guys put The Accomodator (a latex dong you wear on your chin-- figure it out, grownups) on Iguchi's nose in tribute to Tokyo Gore Police. No, seriously. I am not lying about any of these things.
Then we watched the trailer for Iguchi's new movie, Robo-Geisha. Done up in really Hollywood trailer style with hilarious, incomprehensible "I am an American trailer narrator" voiceover, the trailer dispenses with a plot explanation and just shows you all the crazy shit that they've managed to stuff into this movie. There's absolutely no end to it. Tank geisha, wheelchairs equipped with machine guns, and of course, ass katanas. Definitely sold on that movie.
And then the guys sat down in their loincloths and recorded an audio commentary for Tokyo Gore Police while we looked on. We got a lot of the fun making-of trivia you tend to get when B-movie directors talk about their work: how they didn't exactly get permission to shoot here, how this building doesn't really look like a police station at all, and, of course, how this scene doesn't really make too much sense. I'll be straight with you: not much of Tokyo Gore Police makes any sense. Events just kind of happen, one after the other, with nothing actually tying the setpieces together.
The movie's about a near-future Japan in which the police are a privatized corporation that hunts "engineers", killers with modified bodies that become biological weapons when injured or mutilated: imagine, for example, the cutting schoolgirl whose arm becomes a giant boxcutter. Heroine Ruka is a lone-wolf cop and expert engineer hunter, and uh, some stuff happens to her. Meanwhile, everybody in Japan is being killed, mutilated, tortured, or turned into engineers themselves. Body horrors are definitely the theme of the movie, with self-mutilation playing second place, and a little bit of satirical comedy Verhoeven-style. Iguchi supplies mock public service announcements, and they are pretty hysterical. In the club scene in particular, Nishimura hits an erotic-grotesque angle that gets the film at its queasiest, one-upping himself with a body horror strip show that gets sicker and sicker as it goes on.
Also, there is something to be said for the combined numbing effect of over three solid hours of gore movies and the late, late showing: for much of TGP all but the standout pieces (crocodile girl, dog girl, and so on) started to blur together into a perpetual state of slaughter. For a while all that was really on my mind, as blood fountained into the air and limbs and viscera scattered about, was "boy, Eihi Shiina sure is pretty." She is, you know. I never wanna see Audition.
All that said, this is a fun movie. It's not about its narrative-- this doesn't excuse its narrative, which, by any measure, needs some work-- it's about you and Nishimura and his cast frolicking in entrails, showered with blood, gawking at the cartoonishly hideous contents of his imagination. If you've read this far, you're probably at least curious about doing exactly that. So watch Tokyo Gore Police, watch all this extra content if you can find it. But give yourself a break in between. Gore overload on this level can't be healthy. I know I don't need to watch another one of these movies for at least a year.
(On the way out I shook Iguchi's hand and wished him a happy birthday. I would have liked to have thanked Nishimura, but there was a line, I was really sleepy, and I was still a long way from home.)