Long live the new flesh…

just watched TETSUO! the Iron Man! directed by and starring Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989’s Tetsuo is the defining Japanese cyberpunk film, cyberpunk being, loosely, as i understand it, a film where the characters undergo monstrous, robotic/techno metamorphoses. Wiki entry says, “There is often not much plot beyond screaming”…true, but i guess they mean “not much dialogue”, cause there is a plot, a confused and flashing series of events accompanied by an oncoming rave train of a soundtrack and yes, screamscreamscreaming.

so technically, i think cyberpunk films are commenting¬† on the fear of future technology and its over-assimilation into our culture. this fear of techno-idolatry is personified in the character of the “metal-fetishist“. in the first scene of the movie, we see the fetishist *GROSS OUT WARNING* jamming a metal rod into an open wound in his leg.
the fetishist starts running towards the city in a stop-motion frenzy (literally, see 1:23 in the trailer) and is hit by a car driven by “the salaryman“. the salaryman and his girlfriend take the presumed dead fetishist out into the woods and hide him there. but then the salaryman appears to have caught the fetishist virus or something and he starts mutating into a metal-man hybrid

yes. i think they sampled “take my breath away” (:57)
yes. his dick has turned into a drilldo (:48)
so the spirit of the fetishist hunts down the mutated salaryman and they battle until they sort of meld into each other, becoming a double, drooling tank monster bent on turning “this fucking world to rust!”

as i was reading about this film online, the same comparisons kept popping up:

-to HR Giger and his biomechanical imagery of flesh and metal in a symbiotic, welded relationship. Snowblood writes, that like Giger, the director Tsukamoto

“appears to be making the point that when metal and flesh collide in physicality, both will be corrupted by the presence of alien matter…Flesh rots and decays in accommodating metal…[while] metal corrodes from the water and salts in human tissue.”

-to David Cronenberg’s melding of man and machine in Videodrome and its mantra: “Long live the new flesh“. many comparisons were also made between the two directors’ style of wacky yet effective visceral horror

-and finally to David Lynch. like Eraserhead, Tetsuo is in black and white, has hardly any dialogue and has a surreal, nightmarish quality to it. i was certainly reminded of Lynch when considering the plot. it twists and dead ends all over the place, and you just have to take it for what it is.

so all in all, a ridiculous film. i loved watching it though, i loved looking at it. all the effects are in jerky, home-made stop motion. kinda quirky and endearing for how TERRIFYING and GRUESOME the film actually is. and the whole experience is visually aided and abetted by a thundering soundtrack composed by Chu Ishikawa of Der Eisenrost, a Metal Percussion unit from Japan, likened to Psychic TV/Throbbing Gristle…

lots of film reviews lately cause its hot hot hot outside.
but here are some other things i want to do:
go to the beach
go rollerskating
go to laser quest
go to a firing range (cause i never have)
become a metaLmorphosis monster


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