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Tetsuo: The Bullet Man

Man and machine make for much sci-fi mayhem

Rod Lott June 20th, 2011

In the tradition of Frankenstein, The Fly, Hulk and your last nightmare that involved a toolbox comes "Tetsuo: The Bullet Man," the overdue third piece in Shinya Tsukamoto's twisted trilogy that began with 1989's "Tetsuo: The Iron Man."


A cold, harsh, industrial orchestra of stylized cyberpunk violence, the Japanese film follows family man Anthony (Eric Bossick) into madness and metal after his young son is run over on purpose by some asshole driver (Tsukamoto). While Anthony's wife (Akiko Mono, "Samurai Fiction") grieves, Anthony pledges retribution, evolving into a literal machine, part by part.

And now we know what would happen if David Cronenberg worked at Lowe's. It's no wonder its theme comes courtesy of Nine Inch Nails.

By the final act, "Bullet Man" moves into "Beauty and the Beast" territory as he's spitting motor oil and turning into a big, giant, scary In-Sink-Erator on two legs. Oh, how I'd love to see this with a midnight movie audience ... if only I could stay awake that long.

Tsukamoto demonstrates highly creative and imaginative ways of working around a limited budget, stripping environs to the bare necessities and working with a color palette almost duotone in nature. What he constructs isn't for all audiences, but those right in tune with his clankety-clank brand of in-your-face SF will thrill to the delightfully demented work of modern art. —Rod Lott

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