When metal-worshipping fanatics abduct his son, a father unleashes his dormant destructive power, as his naked rage transforms the once-feeble flesh into a grisly symbiosis of metal and tissue. Who dares to defy the ultimate body-hammer?
Losing his son Tom in a hit and run triggers violent emotions in Anthony, whose body begins to transform. When the driver who killed Tom reappears, Anthony mutates into a mass of metal - a human weapon fuelled by an uncontrollable rage.
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 »
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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.
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A man wakes up to find himself locked in a cramped concrete maze of corridors, in which he can barely move. He doesn't remember why he is there or how he got there. He has a terrible stomach injury and is slowly bleeding to death.
Mad with pain by the festering wound in his thigh, an extreme sado-sexual "Metal Fetishist" dashes out into the street, and is accidentally hit by the car of a white-collar worker and his girlfriend. But, strangely, instead of dying, the salaryman finds himself before a mysterious and agonisingly majestic transformation--one that twists and bends the pliable human flesh, inextricably intertwining it with the strong and cold iron. Now, there is no turning back, and nothing can stand in the way of the glorious final mutation. Is this the beginning of a new era?Written by
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.
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