Tetsuo (1989) – Shinya Tsukamoto

I don’t often react with a “What did I just watch?” but this entry on the 101 Sci-Fi Movies list definitely had that effect. This one was bizarre, surreal, with hints of live-action manga, Lycnhian and Cronberg overtones and beyond that, just odd.

Running at a sleek 67 minutes all I could do for most of it was sit and scratch my head, as I watched a film that totally embraced its oddity and I can see how future films like Tokyo Gore Police and Machine Girl came about. This one blazed the way.

Shot in black and white with incredibly fast editing, the film plays like a technological nightmare gone so so wrong.

It opens with a metal fetishist (Shin’ya Tsukamoto), slices his leg open and inserts a metal rod, it’s graphic and disturbing! Then when the wound gets infected, and ends up crawling with maggots, he freaks out, running into the street only to be hit by a car.

We then join Man (Tomorrowo Taguchi) who while shaving notices a metallic splinter jutting from his cheek – WARNING – bloody again (even in black and white, it’s very unerving). Then while waiting for his morning train, a woman (Kei Fujiwara) touches a piece of metal and becomes infected, being taken over by it and chasing the man relentlessly.

tetsuo (1)After finally escaping he ends up with his girlfriend (Renji Ishibashi) in a strange sex scene that sees both of them being violated with metallic items, in fact she meets her death on his newly emerged metallic drill penis. Not kidding.

Then the Fetishist returns and he and the Man engage in an epic battle fighting across the town, chasing one another on rockets that have burst out of their ankles.

Culminating in a final confrontation that sees them join forces to change the world.

As I mentioned this one was just out there, some of the things I simply couldn’t believe! It was an intriguing ride, but I’m not sure I will be visiting this one again anytime too soon. It was like watching a manga come to life, and I do enjoy a good manga and anime, but watching this film, I’m thinking perhaps I’ve been reading and watching the wrong ones.

The marriage of man and machine in this film, horrors of the new flesh feels very Cronenberg, but the oddness of everything feels incredibly Lynchian.

This one simply left me gob-smacked after I had watched it. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.

I’m left to wonder how many of you have seen it, and what your thoughts on it are?


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sean says:

    This is Japan..they invented tentacle porn and used panty vending machines. They have some weird weird stuff.

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