a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Tetsuo the Bullet Man / 鉄男 THE BULLET MAN

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Twenty years ago Shinya Tsukamoto hit the scene with Tetsuo, a strange, frenetic, zero budget, black and white shocker. The frenetic editing, pixilated passages and genuinely disturbing and oblique psychosexual nightmare of man grotesquely becoming machine hinted at a major new talent exploding on the Japanese scene.  Every few years or so Tsukamoto revisits his original inspiration, unfortunately coming up with lesser films each outing. Case in point is Tetsuo the Bullet Man, the bigger budget third film in the series. Though Tsukamoto is master of cutting film, keeping the pace frenetic and masterfully marrying a loud industrial soundtrack to inventive imagery, he offers nothing new and perhaps a bit less. In addition to the genuine weakness and misdirection of his main character (Eric Bossik), Tsukamoto adds a simplistic and unconvincing back story and explanation of the plot. The pleasure of the first version was that there was little rhyme or reason to the sequence of events, but the internal logic of the film hit a deeper nerve.

Originally published in EL Magazine, May 2010

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

May 1, 2010 at 12:01 am

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