A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.
At once, it is an allegory of technology in the modern age (and the dehumanizing effect it has on its unwitting victims), a commentary on the psycho-sexual fetishization of industrialization, a critique of vengeance and violence, a celebration of nihilism and the potential beauty of destruction, a deranged superhero fantasy, a metaphor for failed dreams, an indictment of sexual repression (including homosexuality) and, at its core, a modern day ghost story, in which a hit and run driver (of sorts; he does carelessly dump the metal fetishist's body in the woods) is haunted by his metal-obsessed, ambiguously homosexual, marathon runner victim, a crazed nihilist who has acquired the ability to manipulate metal with his mind after a piece of steel (from the car) became lodged in his brain during the accident. In this modern age, the fear of the afterlife and the spirit has been replaced with that of technology gone haywire, the fear of weapons falling into in the "wrong" hands and of a human creation rising up to overcome, overpower and, ultimately, destroy the humans responsible for it. The events of the film, when taken to be no more than the actual images depicted, are too disturbing, complex and, ultimately, too alien, for the average, unthinking audience member to make heads or tails of, and thus are insulted as pointless, "offensive" and "weird," as if these highly subjective concepts denote something inherent in the movie. If you are one who can handle complex films with fairly simple story lines told in a completely non-linear fashion (what we actual artists/filmmakers call USING THE ART FORM!), then, please, do yourself a favor and buy this film immediately! You will gain something new from it each time you view it (I have seen it over thirty times and am still learning!). If you, however, are unable to read (and read into) images (the currency with which the medium of film traffics), and are unable to handle "weird" things without being spoonfed clear cut "heros" and "villains," then rent/buy "Titanic" and leave complex films to the thinkers and artists and revel in your own ignorance, but do not put down Shinya Tsukamoto, a man who has won my undying respect with ONE film.
- Nov 8, 2002