Tetsuo: The Bullet Man
|Tetsuo: The Bullet Man|
|Directed by||Shinya Tsukamoto|
|Produced by||Shinichi Kawahara
Tiger Charlie Gerhardt
|Music by||Chu Ishikawa|
|Running time||79 minutes|
Anthony is a man with an American father and a deceased Japanese mother living and working in Tokyo. One day his son is run over and killed by Yatsu, this film's version of "The Metal Fetishist". Shortly afterward Anthony begins to transform into metal. He discovers that the work of his scientist father may be the key to his transformation. In his father's house he discovers a secret room with files and papers detailing the Tetsuo Project as a way to turn people into androids. He also learns that his father met his mother while they each researched the project. Anthony's wife arrives but before she sees her transformed husband a S.W.A.T. team arrives and she is taken hostage. Anthony's transformation finishes its hold and he kills the S.W.A.T. team with bullets fired from his body.
Anthony's father then calls to him and his wife to explain everything: Anthony's mother was disgusted with the outcome of the Tetsuo project, having joined it as a way to help give crippled and sick people new bodies. When Anthony's mother realized that she would soon die she insisted that her husband recreate her as a Tetsuo android so that he may still have a child with his recreated wife. That child became Anthony, which means that Anthony and his late son were always part Tetsuo. Meanwhile Yatsu realizes that the only way he will find peace is to be shot by Anthony's body. Yatsu and Anthony have a final confrontation in which Anthony's wife is nearly killed. Anthony's rage and transformation reaches its pinnacle and he becomes a gigantic metal beast with a cannon in his center. Yatsu provokes and threatens Anthony to shoot him. Finally Anthony denies this wish and instead consumes Yatsu whole into his metal body and then returns to human form. Five years later Anthony and his wife and new child have returned to a normal, contented life. As he stands before a mirror he hears Yatsu's final words: "You don't know what I'll do." However, when a group of young thugs attempt to intimidate him while walking down the street, rather than allow his anger to overtake him, he simply walks calmly and confidently past them.
The closing credits of the film feature an original track by industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails entitled Theme for Tetsuo: The Bullet Man. Director Shinya Tsukamoto has stated that the collaboration with band leader Trent Reznor marked the fulfillment of a long held ambition to work with the group. It was the first original work from the band in over two years.
Relation to the other films
In terms of plot, Tetsuo: The Bullet Man shares more in-common with its direct predecessor, Tetsuo II, than either film share with the original Tetsuo: The Iron Man. It is nearly identical, from the motive of the protagonist (the death of a child) to the origin (created by his father). However, the film features unique elements separating it from the others (aside from the language). It is the only film in the series where the Metal Fetishist character does not also become a living-metal creature. It is also the only film to not include a pseudo-supernatural explanation for the character's transformation.
Aside from plot, the nature of Anthony's transformation is a mix of both of his predecessors'. His gun-laden form is visually similar to the protagonist of Tetsuo II, but the slow buildup and accumulation of the transformations is more akin to the original.
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