Ah, yes. Police brutality as a source of jokes.
Spoilers. And a warning: Don’t even think about it, if you can’t handle body horror. Or extreme jokes. At one point there’s a advertisement for razors, which praises the cuteness of the model and thus how good it is for cutting yourself. That’s the baseline. It gets worse from there. Well, I guess that’s subjective.
Ruka is an officer in a privatized police force sometime in the future. She hunts down Engineers – mutants, who grow weapons out of any wounds and can’t control themselves and attack random people. Except that the Engineer she is currently investigating, isn’t quite that simple to pin down.
There doesn’t seem to be much of an oversight for the police force and people fear them. At one point a man gropes Ruka in a train, when she’s undercover. She drags him out and punishes her by cutting his hands off then and there. This episode isn’t even mentioned again. Earlier in the movie Ruka was in a bar owned by her sort of adopted mother, when some men walk in, see her uniform and promptly leave. Apparently you just don’t even risk interacting with the police.
Nor does anyone seem to object to the fact that Ruka’s boss has a human pet. It’s a gimp of sorts, but with arms and legs cut off with only short stumps remaining. She (apparently) can still move around on all fours and near the end of the movie, she has katanas attached to each appendix and is turned on into a fighting machine by a flip of a switch (literally – it’s in the back of her head). We also learn that she is actually a prisoner, who becomes Ruka’s right hand after she destroys the police force.
Cutting people comes up again and again. Ruka has cut herself in the past (she has marks around her wrists) as did her mother, but for different reasons. This becomes the movie’s problem: There’s just so much of this that it loses it’s power. When the bloodflow is endless, you just become so used to it. When a sex worker biting off a penis is just expected, where do you go?
Interestingly, the movie was shot in only two weeks. It was also “completed” within that same timeframe, whatever that means. Maybe this explains why the movie is a bit all over the place. Still, it is an accomplishment. There’s a lot of practical effects in the movie, which can’t be easy to pull of. Time spent in makeup is probably also considerable. Some of the choreography for the fights isn’t simple either and there’s a lot of locations, which means moving between them. Often quite a few on the same day. Of course, some of the weight was pulled by the separate action director and the fake commercials had two directors working on them, but there’s only so much time they can save by sharing the duties. This is probably why there are many scenes in which Ruka isn’t present. They can optimize the time by having her action scenes shot at the same time as the non-action scenes are shot where she is not needed and vice versa.
It is a good watch, if you are up to it. Just a bit too long. A horror comedy doesn’t need to be 110 minutes. Just cut 20 out of it and it would be a much better experience.
There’s a hint at and right after it an ouright promise of a sequel, but that hasn’t surfaced yet, but hey, it’s only been 13 years and apparently there’s one coming straight-to-DVD in Japan later this year, which isn’t quite the ‘soon’ as promised in the movie itself.