Saturday, 5 September 2009

Venice 2009: Tetsuo: The Bullet Man

An English-language reboot of Japanese writer-director Shinya Tsukamoto’s two-decade-old black-and-white body horror nightmare Tetsuo: The Iron Man, this doesn’t deviate much from the template laid down by the original, nor, for that matter, it’s 1992 colour sequel, Tetsuo II: Body Hammer, offering an even more frantic fusion of man and machine to the same headache-inducing affect.

Prone to regular bouts of anger, soothed only by singing “Hush Little Baby” to himself, Anthony (Eric Bossick), a half American, half Japanese salaryman living in Tokyo with his Japanese wife Yuriko (Akiko Monou) and young son Tom (the wonderfully named Tiger Charlie Gerhardt) finally understands why his former bio-researcher scientist father (Stephen Sarrazin) has been so interested in his health when Tom is murdered and his body starts to transform into a metal monstrosity, a human weapon capable of firing bullets from his chest and head.

Sharing with its two predecessors its manic editing style, an eardrum-splitting soundtrack, sledgehammer action sequences, and an old-fashioned approach to special effects, this has all the subtly of a runaway freight train. The acting maybe mediocre, but with the film often approaching near sensory overload, that scarcely matters.


Gerard said...

I've never seen the originals (nor really read up on them much), but from what you've said of the redo, I'm beginning to think maybe I should...

Mark Salisbury said...

They're an acquired taste. The original Tetsuo actually gave me a migraine when I first saw it.