A strange man known only as the "metal fetishist", who seems to have an insane compulsion to stick scrap metal into his body, is hit and possibly killed by a Japanese "salaryman", out for a... See full summary »
A businessman, Tsuda, runs into a childhood friend, Tajuki, on the subway. Tajuki is working as a semiprofessional boxer. Tsuda soon begins to suspect that Tajuki might be having an affair ... See full summary »
A man sees his life changed for ever when his fiancee shoots herself. Baffled, he wants by all means to obtain such a weapon of destruction and he finds himself caught in a violent group of... See full summary »
Pinocchio 964, lobotomised cyborg sex slave, is thrown out onto the street by his owners because of his inability to maintain an erection. He is befriended by a criminally insane, ... See full summary »
After a tragic car accident where his girlfriend Ryôko Ooyama (Nami Tsukamoto) died, Hiroshi Takagi (Tadanobu Asano) suffers amnesia with his memories completely blanked. When he sees a ... See full summary »
Three people in Tokyo take a surreal voyage of self-discovery through memory and nightmares. "O" intends suicide while talking on a cell-phone with a stranger he meets on line who plans a ... See full summary »
A successful doctor, Yukio's picture perfect life is gradually wrecked, and taken over by his avenging twin brother, who bumps off his family members one by one and reclaims his lover who is now Yukio's wife.
A young boy gets jolted with electricity as he's climbing a tall cable pylon. As he gets older, he experiences intense fits of violence in which bolts of electricity burt from his fists. ... See full summary »
A man wakes up to find himself locked in a tiny, cramped concrete room, in which he can barely move. He doesn't remember why he is there and where he came from. He has a terrible stomach ... See full summary »
The story of a single mother who suffers from double vision; caring for her baby is a nerve-wrecking task that eventually leads her to a nervous breakdown. She is suspected of being a child... See full summary »
A strange man known only as the "metal fetishist", who seems to have an insane compulsion to stick scrap metal into his body, is hit and possibly killed by a Japanese "salaryman", out for a drive with his girlfriend. The salaryman then notices that he is being slowly overtaken by some kind of disease that is turning his body into scrap metal, and that his nemesis is not in fact dead but is somehow masterminding and guiding his rage and frustration-fueled transformation. Written by
Serdar Yegulalp <email@example.com>
Manga-influenced man vs. machine Japanese scifi film with a razor-sharp visual style
It's so visually striking that you could never fully describe Tetsuo in words. But here are a few that apply: Japanese, hyperactive, perverse, industrial, surreal, Faustian bargain, contrasty, black-and-white, Kafkaesque, scifi, stop-motion, manga-influenced, revenge, technology, alienation, supervillains.
Shinya Tsukamoto is an actor (he's the antagonistic "Metals Fetishist" here as well as Jijii in Ichi the Killer) as well as a ground-breaking writer/director/cinematographer. Tetsuo's influence can be seen clearly in directors as diverse as Darren Aronofsky, Takashi Miike, and even David Cronenberg.
There is definitely a plot, but due to the non-linear editing and sparsity of dialogue you'll need to pay close attention on a first viewing or else you'll be overwhelmed by the engrossing visual style (which might be a good thing). It's filmed in contrasty black-and-white. Each frame is cramped and chaotic, much of the time it's filled with wires, pipes, chain-link fences, and all the other incidental debris of life in the late 20th century... which suddenly seems significant and even menacing.
Towards the fifty-minute mark (it's 67 min. total) the willful excess starts to feel a little too excessive, perhaps the manga influence is a bit too strong. But Tetsuo finishes strong, with an end that's at once unexpected and inevitable. Highly recommended.
21 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?