Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tetsuo I &II - JAPAN

TETSUO I - The Iron Man ( 1989 )

TETSUO II - The Body Hammer ( 1992 )

Tetsuo: The Iron Man ( 1989 ) & Tetsuo II: Body Hammer ( 1992 ) are the two Japanese Horror Films Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto . Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo has been one of the best ultra underground Japanese films . This film is always as effective, stunning and outstanding as it was .

Tetsuo: The Iron Man ( 1989 ) :The "plot" and premise is simple. A metal fetishist (played by the director himself) inserts pieces of metal into his own body with often bloody results, understandably. He becomes run down by a car after which the fetishist starts to have very severe changes in his body and starts to mutate into human/metal monster and the man who ran him down starts to have similar changes in his body, too.. What follows is 60 minutes of total surreal mayhem, nightmarish imagery and use of perhaps all the imaginable cinematic techniques in editing, photography and music. You have been warned!

It is hard to describe with words the power of this film, which has often been referred as a combination of Lynch, Cronenberg and of course Anime and Sci-fi. The photography is stunning to say the least as director's 16mm camera twists, turns, runs, falls, climbs, zooms and does all the possible ways the director could invent to create this kind of atmosphere. The film consists of (very) fast edits, flashbacks, nightmare sequences and images and fast forward photography that spiced with incredible soundtrack is something never before seen. The soundtrack is made with different sounds of metal hitting together, scratching against something and most notable, there is also synthesizer use to create very ominous and threatening atmosphere that never stops, and the music is again one of the most important elements of this film.
The effects are totally outstanding as the director made them by himself.

The theme of the film is obviously the fear of technology and how far it will be developed. The film ends pretty pessimistically and it underlines the fears and threats that are in the air and were in Tsukamoto's mind, too. The images of huge metal machines and motors at the beginning of the movie, are very ominous and the machines seem to be alive and are very nightmarish overall, even though they should be DEAD machines because metal doesn't live, at least yet. This reminded me of work of David Lynch and his Eraserhead and Lost Highway, which both create something very ominous, dangerous and very scary with these similar techniques of close ups of water spilling, engines working and smoke coming closer. Just remember the images of radiator and coffee-pot in Eraserhead and mystery man and smoke (among many others) in Lost Highway. The feeling in Tetsuo is exactly similar, even though the things themselves are not scary or threatening, because they should be only dead pieces of metal and plastic, products in other words.

Tetsuo II: Body Hammer ( 1992 ) : Sequel to "Tetsou" this time has the Iron Man transforming into cyberkinetic gun when a gang of vicious skinheads kidnap his son.

Some may find this superior to original , some not . All comparisons aside, basically to explain this movie in any logical sense is absurd. But what the heck; If you took a boiling pot of water, threw in an episode of the INCREDIBLE HULK, added a tablespoon of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and mix it with generous portions of THE TERMINATOR, you would have TETSUO 2: BODY HAMMER. A hyper-kinetic, yeah that's the word, stylish sci-fi movie done in the tradition of Japanimation, only its real-life.

These Two Movies of classic horror cinema . Highly Recommended .

IMDB Info :

Tetsuo: The Iron Man :

Tetsuo II: Body Hammer ( 1992 ) :

1 comment:

Roberto Fusco Junior said...

I like Tsukamoto! Nice blog!