Really. I don't even know how to discuss this movie. What I can say is that I thought about Takashi Miike's horrifying "Ichi The Killer" tonight, and opted for what I thought would be the less-disturbing flick.
I was wrong.
I won't even attempt a summary. Here's the Netflix description:
Soon after he accidentally runs down a man with a fetish for implanting scrap metal into his body (Shinya Tsukamoto, who also directs), a businessman (Tomorowo Taguchi) begins eerily morphing into a hybrid man-machine, accompanied by twisted, metal-related nightmares. Is the metal fetishist somehow controlling the transformation? Now, the businessman must track down the man he thought he killed before the horrific metamorphosis is complete.
But that makes the flick sound much more benign than it is. A friend called it "torture porn," but that doesn't seem quite right. It also doesn't seem inaccurate, either. There's a lot of phallic imagery in this movie; the main character's penis does, in fact, transform into a giant working drill bit that is put to the expected horrifying uses. So: Not exactly a pleasant evening.
The movie's only about an hour long, and almost completely free of dialogue, but the rapid-fire editing -- if it doesn't trigger a seizure -- ends up being tedious at times. Still, these are movies I thought of, visually and thematically, while watching "Tetsuo":
* Akira Kurosawa's late 1940s work.
* The collected films of Terry Gilliam.
* "Edward Scissorhands"
* "Alien: Resurrection"
* "I Know What You Did Last Summer"
* "Crash" (David Cronenberg edition)
* "Planet of the Apes"
One doesn't need to have "fun" watching a movie to appreciate it. But more than a lot of taboo-challenging movies I've seen -- I'm thinking of the "Vengeance Trilogy" and "Three Extremes" here -- I feel somewhat traumatized having seen it. Maybe I'm getting older. I don't know. Whatever: I can't really recommend this film.