tetsuo-bDirector Shinya Tsukamoto hails from Japan and is noted for his surreal, nightmarish excursions into the darker side of transformative  industrial technology … especially any technology that impacts the human anatomy.

Tsukamoto’s noteworthy films include:

tetsuoTetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) – From the early shots of a man removing one of his own bones and replacing it with a piece of metal viewers knew this was a work of true genius. Tetsuo becomes more and more relevant by the year, especially with the advent of nanotechnology and its potentially invasive effect on the human mind and body.

The anatomies of the film’s characters become distorted and mutate into metal figures that challenge preconceived notions of beauty, ugliness, gender and even what constitutes life.

This movie features transcendent images that are horrific yet hypnotic and will stay with you forever after.

Hiruko the Goblin (1991) – Tsukamoto’s memorable take on a more traditional sort of horror. An archaeologist stripped of his credentials becomes involved in excavating an ancient tomb, unleashing an infernal force. Human bodies get played with like sculptor’s clay in Tsukamoto’s inimitable style as the horror unfolds. Elements of Shinto mythology also play a part in this surreal tale.

Tetsuo 2: Body Hammer (1992) – This sequel is less satisfying than the original, but expands upon many of the themes of the original. Metal fetishists abound in this story, which deals heavily with weapons technology.

Human bodies are distorted into killing machines in perverse and inventive ways that even the maddest of mad scientists never dreamed of before. Body Hammer has an astronomically high body count compared to the original Tetsuo, which makes it more commercially appealing but less cerebral.

The third film in the series, Tetsuo the Bullet Man, was so commercial as to be almost unrecognizable as a Tsukamoto movie.

Haze (2005) – In a weird hybrid of Saw, Lost, The Prisoner and Hostel Tsukamoto uses less than an hour to treat viewers to an existential nightmare. A wounded man wakens to find himself trapped in a maze of concrete tunnels with no clue how he got there or why he is being subjected to such treatment.

If you’re in the mood for a brief experience that will disturb you and linger in your real-life nightmares for some time then this is the flick for you.



© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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