1991-2000HorrorJapanSci-FiShinya Tsukamoto

Shinya Tsukamoto – Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992)


Plot: A Tokyo Businessman with his wife and son are walking the high street when his son is kidnapped by a group of street thugs. While in pursuit of his son the father is shot by one of the thugs with a strange device. After the thugs oddly return his son, the father starts to notice odd changes with his body that occur in moments of anger. Only to be terrorized constantly by this, the father decides to locate the gang and kill them all.

Review: That plot summary may seem easy to follow but from there on, only about 10 minutes into the film, one is told a story in a fast paced fashion. While watching the movie I couldn’t help but compare it to a graphic novel shot and edited while on speed that’s mixed with creative hyper-violent action elements. It should be noted that “Tetsuo II: Body Hammer” isn’t as a much of a sequel to “Tetsuo: The Iron Man” but more of a re-telling using a bigger budget and slightly different techniques.

The lead character played by Tomoro Taguchi (Tetsuo: the Iron Man, Dead or Alive 2) was exceptionally good at conveying his character’s primary emotions of hate and confusion. Shinya Tsukamoto(The film’s director often casts himself as an antagonist) along with Hideaki Tezuka who played the leaders of the thugs and was freaky, hypnotic, and nightmarish to watch as we see them carry out their sadistic ideas and plans.

Shinya Tsukamoto created cult masterpieces in the horror cyber punk genre with “Tetsuo: The Iron man” and this sequel. As mentioned before he shoots the film at a speed that gives it a surrealist and heart-pounding quality. The film also uses the most effective techniques of stop motion filming, which works beautifully and heightens the overall frightening mood of the film when the characters morph their body into metallic weapons. The film combines this with some outstanding action set pieces: a brief fight and shoot out on a rooftop with fatal results, a marvelously shot chase sequence, and a breathtaking showdown between the father and leader of the gang. TetsuoII does contain scenes of graphic violence but they are expected and even necessary for the film.

The subtitles were done by Manga and because of that they are completely flawless: Easy to read, No misspellings, and understandable. Some can argue, that Tetsuo II isn’t as creative as Tetsuo I and doesn’t have the cult feel to it, Tetsuo II Body Hammer is quite a remarkable piece of film. It has such a simplistic plot yet it, I believe, has rooted into itself many messages like the consequences of using technology and finding peace amidst destruction.

MPAA: Rated R for bizarre violent images throughout.
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Color: Color
Sound Mix: Stereo
Certification: Australia:R / Finland:K-18 / Japan:R / Spain:18 / UK:18 / USA:R / Italy:VM14 / Germany: (Banned) / New Zealand:R / Argentina:16


Subtitles:English (built-in)

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