Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tetsuo: an in-depth review


It’s not often that a film comes along that, by comparison, makes David Cronenberg seem as lucid as an encyclopaedia editor: Tetsuo is such a film.

A metal-fetishist (think "scrap metal" not “hair band,” though the idea of someone jacking off to Rob Halford is a unique horror premise in itself) is run over by a car. Presumably, the sentence for accidentally hitting a pedestrian in Japan is death, because the driver of said car decides that it’s a wiser option just to dump the body into a ravine and forget about it than report the incident to the cops. Yeah, I know; we’ve all been there.

This being Japan and all, the fetishist (let’s call him Ray. He just looks like a Ray, you know?) starts haunting our kindly, white collar, hit-and-running protagonist (henceforth referred to as Chuck). At the same time, Chuck starts sprouting mysterious metallic growths on his skin. Despite peddling a "new and improved formula," the people at Clearasil are evidently lying cocksuckers.

With Chuck constantly having pieces of metal growing out of his body, the movie starts getting so weird that, in order to follow, you’ll have to drop at least as much mescaline as the director did at the time of filming, which, trust me, is a shitload. In my favourite scene, Chuck finds that his penis has transformed into a gargantuan power-drill, then proceeds to bone his girlfriend in ways that only Lex Steele could possibly top. I wish that the character designers for the Transformers movies had taken some inspiration from that scene, because, let’s face it, we have all at some point assumed that a robot as manly as Optimus Prime must be decked out with a giant mechanical schlong.

At around the fifty-minute mark, the mescaline just doesn’t cut it anymore; you have to be flat-out batshit insane to figure out what the hell is going on. Apparently Chuck and Ray, now both giant metal monsters with appliances for limbs, have some kind of fight. Chuck bitchslaps Ray and they then proceed to merge and become Megazord or something.

Some people like to label this film as Kafkaesque. I’m gonna take a wild stab in the dark here and guess that it’s because the movie involves a metamorphosis, and because it makes no fucking sense whatsoever. I’m glad to see that your major in European literature helps to keep you busy in between shifts behind the grill at Burger King, but you fail to mention that an Etch-a-sketch drawing made by a palsy sufferer on crystal meth could be considered Kafkaesque; it doesn’t really mean anything. Suffice to say, this black-and-white movie is creepier and more bizarre than a Mormon cake-sale. Unmissable.


See the trailer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There isn't much to come out of Japan that is not weird.