Archive for Shinya Tsukamoto

TETSUO: THE IRON MAN – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, Japan, movies with tags , , , on September 9, 2009 by goregirl

tetsuo dvd coverI had seen this film many years ago and recalled enjoying it. When I spied it at Cinema One for $5.00 I decided to bring it home with me. Hell, that is pretty much the price of a rental anyway. This strange surrealistic black and white nightmare is stranger and more frantic than I remembered. The film is definitely a trip, and is packed full of fascintating and horrifying images. Even if you hate the film it is unlikely you will see anything quite like it.

A couple hit a man while out driving, and leave him for dead. Shortly after the incident the male half of the couple discovers his body is transforming into scrap metal. It turns out the man they hit is a “metal fetishist”, who likes to stick scrap metal into his body for kicks. Not only is the man not dead, but it appears he is the cause of his bizarre transformation.

Based on the plot summary alone, you know you’re not going to get regular mainstream fare. But whether or not you can be prepared for this lightening paced, twisted tale is something completely different. Visually this film is exceptional. The film was made in 1989 before CGI started whoring everything up. Stop motion animation is used to great effect making wires, cables and metal come to life. Fast forwarding, quick cuts, severe camera angles and black and white photography add to the films hysterical, nightmarish feel. The running time is only 67 minutes, which is probably a good thing, as the film severely messes with your brain’s synapse. ‘Tetsuo’ is not an easy film to summarize. At times the film will seem incomprehensible and its startling images of sex and violence will leave some viewers aghast. I understand the paralells to David lynch, but he would have to be on a severe speed binge to complete a film with this bullet-pace. The accident angle of the film is particularily demented and there are more than a few cringe-worthy scenes, one involving a drilling penis. The graphic scenes of sex and violence will not sit well with everyone, but I found ‘Tetsuo’ fascinatingly hypnotic. If you enjoy films that make you feel like you just went on a 3 hour jog on acid then this one is mandatory viewing. Highly recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4.5/5

Directed By: Shinya Tsukamoto

Starring: Tomorowo Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka, Renji Ishibashi, Naomasa Musaka and Shinya Tsukamoto
tetsuo still 2

Sôseiji – GEMINI – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, Japan, movies with tags , , on May 12, 2009 by goregirl

geminiDamn I love the library! This is another gem I found on their shelves. They have a ton of foreign films and among them are several horror titles. Gemini is a Japanese film from 1999 based on Edogawa Rampo’s short story ‘The Twins’. It is directed by Shinya Tsukamoto who directed the bizarre, but enjoyable TETSUO: IRON MAN (1989). I have to admit, his was not a name I had committed to memory. What intrigued me was a ‘MAKING OF GEMINI’ feature on the disc directed by Takashi Miike.

Yukio is a doctor living a well to do life with his parents and his wife Rin who suffers amnesia. They seem untouched by the poverty that surrounds the area. Yukio has a disdain for the poor and beleives his efforts during the war treating soldiers was at times a wasted effort. His parents are less than pleased about his union with Rin. Over a meal one evening Yukio tells his parents that their home is creeping him out and he has seen a shadowy figure lurking on the property. Things do indeed turn bad for Yukio and his family when his identical twin brother, abandoned for a disfiguring birthmark, returns for revenge.

This film is all about contrast. Yukio and his family are very reserved and the scenes featured in their home are done so with muted tones. The scenes shot in the slum are the polar opposite. The actions are exaggarated and the colors are loud. The costumes were fantastic. The traditional garb is amazing and the cirque du soliel reject slum wear was an extreme contrast that worked beautifully. The music was bizarre but extremely effective. Masahiro Motoki and Ryô’s work in the film is nothing short of spectacular. Even the minor performances in this film were excellent. There were a couple scenes that I thought were somewhat unneccessary and seemed like they were stuck in there as a second thought. There isn’t much here to criticize though. Gemini is an extremely effective story about revenge, love, betrayal and class war. I highly recommend this one!

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Shinya Tsukamoto

Starring: Masahiro Motoki, Ryô, Yasutaka Tsutsui, Shiho Fujimura, Tadanobu Asano, Renji Ishibashi, Akaji Maro and Naoto Takenaka