1996, 105m, DCP, Japan
A Japanese horror film written, directed, produced by, and starring first-time director Kei Fujiwara (an actress best known for starring in the cult film Tetsuo: The Iron Man). It tells the grim story of a pair of detectives, Numata and Tosaka, who stumble across a ring of thieves who deal not in gems or stolen electronics, but human organs, which the villains graphically and forcefully harvest from living victims. When things go haywire during a raid on the group’s surgical headquarters, Numata barely escapes. Through a series of surreal and gory events, the identities of the organ dealers are revealed as Numata plans his revenge.
“I wanted to describe the agony of a wounded soul of someone decaying from the inside.” – Kei Fujiwara
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
1989, 77m, DCP, Japan
A horrific, cyberpunk-influenced science fiction tale about the intersection of man and post-industrial technology. The central character is a Japanese salaryman, an average office worker who is transformed by a brief encounter with a metal fetishist, a man who has purposefully implanted pieces of scrap metal in his body. The salary man soon begins sprouting pieces of metal from various parts of his body, a change which is accompanied by increasingly nightmarish visions and bizarre, metal-filled sexual fantasies. A masterclass in DIY filmmaking, dystopian horror, and narrative efficiency, Tetsuo holds the audience hostage to its equal parts gory, erotic, and strangely beautify story. Though there are certainly nods to directors like Lynch and Cronenberg, as well as Japanese art and animation, Tetsuo remains a staunchly singular viewing experience that shouldn’t be missed.