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Tetsuo III: The Bullet Man (Review)

The third installment in the Tetsuo franchise
The third installment in the Tetsuo franchiseShinya Tuskamoto

Tetsuo III: The Bullet Man


The Grandview Theatre in Columbus recently did a three day screening of "Tetsuo III: The Bullet Man" and I was happy to see that a local theater finally got a film I was truely excited about seeing.

It is always refreshing to see a film by a filmmaker that is still using the medium as a true art form and is making films where the view of the film is as big a part as the story if not bigger. With his most recent film "Tetsuo III: The Bullet Man", Shinya Tsukamoto has followed the tradition I have come to expect with all his films I have seen in it is beatiful and bizarre.

The film follows Anthony an American business man living in Japan with his wife and son, when his son is hit and killed by what appears to be the same car from the first film ("Tetsuo: The Iron Man") Anthony begins to transform into an iron beast covered with gun like weapons.

More so than the previous installments in the franchise, The Bullet Man gives us more of a back story as to where the Tetsuo creatures come from. Anthony's father Ride is a scientist who spent his career trying to enhance the human body beyond its capabilities, but after being forced to make human weapons he stops at the request of his partner/wife. That is until he finds out his wife is dying of cancer and her dying wish is for him to transform her deceased body into a cyborg that will have the means to birth and raise a child (Anthony). After his sons death, Anthony begins to transform into a Tetsuo creature and we find out that a side effect of the cyborg creatures is that when they become angry they begin to transform into iron skinned monsters.

I found this installment more enjoyable than the previous due to the much deeper storyline and was suprised to find that film not only worked in english but had a plossible reason for being filmed in the language. Not to say that the film is not weird and it is still very difficult to follow at times, but all around "Tetsuo III: The Bullet Man" is a more pleasant viewing experience than the others. It is still the visual stylings of Tsukamoto's work that makes me enjoy it much more than the bizarre storytelling, but it is not to be thrown by the way side. Tsukamoto is one of the most important film makers working out of Japan and his work is worth a view by anyone that considers themselves a true fan of film.

Another bonus of the film comes for fans of the industrial soundtrack as the theme for the film was composed by industrial legend Trent Reznor and can be heard here.