Our List of JAPANESE FANTASY Films YOU SHOULD See!

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Japanese Movies are Often Hard to Categorize – Here are 15 Fantasy/Action/Sci-Fi/Horror/Awesome Must-See Films

Princess-Mononoke

Western movies are usually easy to categorize — science fiction, horror, action, fantasy, etc… In Japanese cinema, it’s often the opposite with movies that incorporate elements of several genre, leaving the Western viewer grasping for familiar tropes and genre clues.  For the amateur cinephile and aficionado alike, it is exactly that hard-to-pin-down, out-of-the-ordinary quality that makes Japanese film so enticing.

Here’s a countdown of some of the most compelling– and disorienting– Japanese fantasy films that should be on your must-see list.  We’ll count down from 15 to 9 in this post and wrap up with the top 8 in a separate post soon- enjoy!

 

15. DAIMAJIN

Daimajin

Not as popular as the kaiju output of Toho Studios (or even fellow monster series Gamera from the same studios of the Daiei Motion Picture Company), Daimajin represents and intersection of the samurai, kaiju, and supernatural horror genres that had never before been attempted, and has never since returned to frighten villages of awestruck farmers and bring terrible wrath on the heads of heartless, corrupt officials.

After the untimely death of a local feudal lord, a scheming chamberlain takes over, forcing all of the men of a farming village into slavery. He persecutes the former lord’s surviving children when he learns of their existence and tries to destroy the statue of the deity Daimajin that rests half-buried in the side of a mountain.

Desperate, the lord’s daughter offers up her life in exchange for the deity’s help, bringing the statue to life, its face a frightful mask of samurai rage. Daimajin descends on the evil chamberlain and his men, killing them and nearly smashing the village before the young woman again intercedes.

The first installment of a trilogy (all three films follow the same basic formula), Daimajin is in many respects one of the best-looking, and sadly also one of the least well-known, kaiju films of the Sixties. Gorgeously shot and expertly crafted, it pushes the boundaries of miniature and photographic effects of the time, executing what are, hands down, among the most convincingly realistic and emotionally cathartic giant monster rampages in movie history.

As dramatically potent as it is beautiful to look at, Daimajin needs to be seen by every cult movie fanatic in search of the refreshingly unique. Thundering music by Akira Ifukube, the same man who scored Godzilla’s first foray into Tokyo.

 

14. WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS

War of the Gargantuas

When a trawler is attacked by a giant octopus, a massive creature rises out of the ocean to fight it, sinking the ship in the process. He continues rampage with an assault on an airport—during which he eats a woman alive—and another on the city of Tokyo. He turns out to be a hairy humaniod called Gaira, similar in appearance to another creature studied by a research team some years earlier.

The scientists involved are convinced Gaira can’t be their creature, who was non-violent. When the military corners Gaira and comes close to killing him with laser cannons, the other, bigger creature, called Sanda, appears and whisks him away. It becomes clear to the scientists that the two monsters were born from the same mutated cells. After Sanda realizes that his brother is beyond redemption, they engage in a battle that takes them to the ocean, where they are both swallowed up by a suddenly active undersea volcano.

Made as a co-production between Toho Studios and the American film company UPA, War of the Gargantuas is a sequel to Frankenstein Vs. Baragon, known in the States as Frankenstein Conquers The World. The creatures are even called “Frankensteins” in the original language track, but are changed to “Gargantuas” for any version dubbed or subtitled in English.

The idea is that both monsters grew from cells collected from the severed hand of the colossal Frankenstein’s Monster from the first film, though it’s certainly not necessary to have seen that one to enjoy War of the Gargantuas—in fact, little effort is made in the English versions to make a connection with the previous film.

Directed by famed kaiju-master Ishiro Honda, Gargantuas has the sharp, highly detailed look of his other monster films from the Sixties and Seventies, perfectly capturing Eiji Tsuburaya’s incredible miniature work and monster costumes, which are made all the more amazing by the fact that they allow the audience to see the actor’s eyes, lending the story a greater sense of drama.

As in other American co-productions with Toho, an American actor appears along with the Japanese cast—Russ Tamblyn in this case, taking over from Nick Adams in the first film (Adams also appeared in Honda’s Invasion of Astro-Monster). Generally regarded as one of the finest and most original kaiju films, jam-packed with great action and stunning imagery.

 

13. VERSUS

Versus

A group of yakuza and an escaped prisoner run into each other outside a forest that reputedly contains a portal to another dimension. The prisoner rescues a girl from their clutches and takes off into the forest with her, followed by the gang. One inside, they engage in combat with the reanimated corpses of the gang’s buried rivals, and the prisoner finds himself in a one-man war against supernaturally-powered assassins. Realizing he is part of an historic conflict that has been going on for centuries, the prisoner attempts to keep the gang’s leader from opening the portal, using a combination of guns, swords, and his bare hands.

The first feature-length film from Ryuhei Kitamura (who would go on to direct, among other films, the last Japanese-produced Godzilla movie, Godzilla: Final Wars), Versus is one of a handful of success stories where an independent filmmaker goes all-in on a low-budget project and has it pay off in a major way. Legend has it that Kitamura thought this was the only full-length film he’d ever get to make, so he threw everything he loved about his favorite genre films into a blender and ended up with this dizzying puree comprised of yakuza films, zombies, John Woo, The Evil Dead, samurai films, and kung fu.

The movie seems calculated to escalate with each scene, building from casual gangster cool to bloody zombie shootouts and eventually exploding into tightly choreographed, wickedly performed knife-fighting and swordplay. The story even moves backward and forward in time, flashing back to the death of a samurai and into a future of deadly wastelands populated by Road Warrior cyberpunks, at which point Versus unveils a story-inverting twist ending that caps off the best low-budget indie project since the early work of Sam Raimi and George Romero.

 

12. PRINCESS MONONOKE

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Hayao Miyazaki, along with Akira director Katsuhiro Otomo and Ghost In The Shell helmer Mamoru Oshii, is one of the filmmakers most responsible for pushing anime out of the ghetto of geek subculture and into the arena of international respectability afforded to “real” cinema.

His work states as firmly as any other that Japanese animation is as viable and as worthy of inclusion in the classical canon as the best work of Disney Studios. He accomplished this feat by telling stories that strike an almost elemental note of myth and enchantment, assembling out of the standard parts and pieces of mainstream anime visuals that one feels have never been seen before, a quality of experience that may never be replicated again.

The message of Miyazaki’s masterpiece is unmistakable: rampant human consumption of nature will eventually lead to death and destruction, and well as the despoilment of all that is beautiful in the world. Set in medieval Japan, the story follows Ashitaka, the prince of a primitive tribe who becomes infected by a dangerous substance that has overtaken the body of a boar god, turning it into a grotesque demon. He seeks out the domain of the Forest God, where he might find a cure for his affliction.

In doing so, he comes across Irontown, an establishment run by a woman named Lady Eboshi who is determined to do away with all of the gods of the forest so she can use its resources without interference. With the aid of a young girl raised by wolves (the Princess Mononoke of the title), the prince tries to put a stop to Eboshi’s plan to kill the Forest God and wage a war of genocide against the rest of the forest spirits. When the god is decapitated, the act unleashes a destructive force that threatens to annihilate the entire world.

Miyazaki’s parable is a detailed analogue of the modern world. Irontown employs former prostitutes and the diseased to assemble weapons for the war, suggesting the way in which industry often employs the desperate to further its production goals. Irontown itself symbolizes the worst aspects of human civilization, setting itself against the natural world to not only its own detriment but that of any living thing that gets in its way.

Toward the end, the human ambition to control nature through violence results in a catastrophe, a story element that can be applied to contemporary dangers such as climate change, meltdowns at nuclear power plants or possible earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracturing—any of them fit the theme of this visually breathtaking, one-of-a-kind film that can simply not be praised enough.

 

11. YOKAI MONSTERS: SPOOK WARFARE

Yokai Monsters Spook Warfare

As two grave robbers raid a tomb in the ruins of ancient Babylon, they awaken a powerful demon called Daimon, who flies to Japan to wreak havoc. Once there, he drinks the blood of a samurai magistrate and one of his underlings, possessing their bodies and demanding that the household shrines be destroyed. Daimon’s activities are noticed by a kappa living in the pond outside the house, who tries to fight the demon to no avail. His yokai friends provide little help, not believing his tale of a strange monster they’ve never heard of.

However, as the possessed magistrate sends his servant out to bring him children from nearby farms so he can subsist on their blood, two escaped youngsters implore the yokai to help. After several unsuccessful attempts to trounce the evil Daimon, they call on all the yokai of Japan to declare war on the interloper, fearing the reputation of Japanese supernatural beings will be forever tarnished if they can’t send him packing.

Part of a trilogy of films produced by Daiei Motion Picture Company from 1968 to 1969, Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare is an almost perfect kids’ film, provided parents can overlook infrequent—and fairly minimal—bloodshed and mild cursing (the other condition would be kids that are good at reading subtitles or speak fluent Japanese).

The movie is fast-paced, fun and colorful, making use of dazzling—and, for the time, quite sophisticated—special effects, giving it the same level of production value found in the studio’s other fantasy trilogy of Daimajin films, and the kid-friendly feel of their Gamera series. Also a lot of fun for adults keen to learn something about Eastern folklore.

10. VAMPIRE HUNTER D

Vampire Hunter D

Out of the wild and woolly world of the 1980s comes this inspired exercise in animated sci-fi/horror. No CGI enhancement, no giant robots, just a harsh, fantastical dystopia of undead overlords and sinister demons. The vampire hunter named D, a direct descendant of Count Dracula, takes on a 10,000-year-old vampire who holds an entire region in his terrifying grip. Helping him fight the ancient bloodsucker and his minions are a scimitar-like longsword and the face on the palm of his hand that dispenses (often unwanted) advice and criticism and well as giving D an extra edge in healing from injuries.

Vampire Hunter D takes place very smartly not in a high-tech futuristic society but rather in a far-flung time that bears all the trappings of 19th-century Europe while also including science fiction elements such as laser rifles—a kind of steampunk by default, if you will. Like all great anime, it creates a world that is unique in its depiction of time and place, intermingling horror, science fiction, period drama, and fantasy, tailor-made for those who enjoy supernatural fiction with a touch of inventiveness and class. Based on a series of novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi.

 

9. KIBAKICHI

Kibakichi

A ragged samurai named Kibakichi walks a lonely country road and finds himself confronted by sword-wielding ruffians. What follows is a fight that leads to cleanly severed limbs and high-pressure bloodspray. The warrior pushes on, coming to a village where the main business appears to be a gambling house run by yokai (Japanese demons from ancient folklore).

The yokai have made deal with a nearby feudal lord—they kill and eat criminals who stop in their village to gamble in exchange for peace. But Kibakichi knows better. His own village, populated by werewolves such as himself, was wiped out by humans who had promised to leave them alone. As the supernatural beings debate, the feudal lord’s henchman acquire guns and explosives from a Western power and plan to use them to wipe out the yokai for good.

If you take a bit of Lone Wolf and Cub, throw in a little of Joe Dante’s The Howling, and stir in some of the visual sensibility of Lucio Fulci, you’ll have something that strongly resembles Kibakichi, a sort of period horror anime presented in live action. After a strong start, it gets kind of dull in the second act, but stick with it: this is a movie that seems to have been made with the finale chiefly in mind.

The character Kibakichi transforms into a werewolf to fight the gun-toting samurai clan, leaping and flipping, dodging exploding grenades, going one-on-one with a yokai cyclops, and employing wolfman hand-to-hand combat. If the entire movie were like its last fifteen minutes, it would be a masterpiece. Taken for what it is, it’s an enjoyably cheesy, bloody supernatural romp with a killer ending.

8. Goke, The Body Snatcher From Hell

Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell

Fans of the elliptical hit series Lost will find something of value in this late-sixties offering that uses the same idea of a group of people, many with dirty or inconvenient secrets, surviving a plane crash and trying to stay alive in a hostile, uninhabited wilderness, while at the same time contending with an unknown entity. In Goke, the passengers include a philandering businessman and his wife, a hit man, a terrorist, and an exobiologist, all of whom begin the story witnessing birds inexplicably colliding with the plane while at the same mysterious red lights buzz by.

After the aircraft goes down, they must deal with the lack of food and water, one another’s self-centered agendas, and the alien being that has taken possession of one of their number. Earlier hints of a possible UFO invasion have even more dire implications when we see that the extraterrestrials are not only vampiric in nature, but intend to destroy all of humanity. More and more of the survivors die by falling victim to the invaders and to each other, and an attempt at escape by those who remain only leads to a darker revelation.

It’s difficult not to think of most Japanese films made in the thirty or so years after the Second World War as not reflecting, in some way, the trauma of that nation’s defeat at the hands of Allied forces. Goke, unlike its alien-invasion counterparts produced in the West, does not show things ending well for humanity. Where an American science fiction film of this type would inevitably have scientists or the military figuring out a way to repel the attack from outer space, Goke ends with an apocalypse; most of the human race has fallen, and more alien ships are on the way.

It’s a refreshingly downbeat way to end a movie of this type, not to mention oddly more realistic. Which isn’t to say that the film is depressing. Quite the contrary. In spite of its powerfully cynical outlook on human nature, Goke is a gripping story of deceit, suspense, and alien monsters, told with the air of unpretentious weirdness that makes the most offbeat b-movie offerings from Japan so compulsively watchable. It also boasts some impressively realistic special makeup effects for the time, giving the audience a full view of how a liquid being from outer space enters the cranial cavity of an unwilling, hypnotized host.

 

7. Death Kappa

Death Kappa

A distraught woman returns to her home town after failing in Tokyo as a J-Pop singer. On her return she sees her grandmother run over by careless drunk teenagers, and then promises to heed the dying woman’s last request to revere the kappa, or turtle-like water sprite, that inhabits the waters near their home.

She discovers the kappa dancing to one of her songs (“Tonight With You Tonight”) and befriends it, but the two are then captured by an extremist right-wing group who want to use the kappa as part of a secret weapon to help conquer Japan and create a new imperialist age, as well as turn the girl into one of their fish-monster soldiers. The kappa fights her captors, but before they can escape, one of the evil scientists sets off a nuclear bomb that unleashes a giant fish monster that the kappa, now grown to gargantuan proportions, must try to destroy.

Death Kappa provides an enlightening opportunity for examining the direction b-movies have taken in the post-sincerity era. Whether you end up considering it a “good” or a “bad” film really depends on what you bring to it going in—which goes, of course, for just about anything. Directed by Tomo-o Haraguchi, Kappa shares certain qualities in common with his film Kibakichi (which we’ll address momentarily); that is, the story exists as a loose framework on which to hang a handful of memorably loopy scenes.

It differs from that film in that it makes humor take the center stage over melodrama, and again, the quality of the humor relies heavily on the mood of the viewer and prior expectations. I’ve read at least one review that expressed deep disappointment concerning the “missed opportunities” to more accurately and lovingly parody the kaiju genre, as well as tell genuinely funny jokes, but it might be worthwhile to ask if that was ever the filmmakers’ aim.

Hip, ironic detachment isn’t exactly a new thing in contemporary Japanese cinema, and one has to wonder, especially during the big kaiju fight in the film’s last fifteen minutes, set against a backdrop of fighter jets with (intentionally) visible wires and random sight gags, if it isn’t all meant to ridicule the very idea of trying to be funny in the first place. I realize that’s a stretch, but it would explain a lot. It’s also equally possible that the jokes fall flat out of plain, run-of-the-mill ineptitude.

Is it worth watching? For fans of unusual cinema from around the world, I would say yes, without reservations. It’s sufficiently campy, strange, and unique enough to make for lively late-night viewing with a group of like-minded friends, who can figure out among themselves if this was all meant as an elaborate practical joke on audiences or not. Whatever it is, it will always remain an interesting footnote in the history of kaiju cinema.

 

6. Full Metal Yakuza

Full Metal Yakuza

Anyone who has ever wondered what Robocop or The Terminator would look like directed by Takashi Miike, look no further than Full Metal Yakuza. It combines Miike’s love of depicting the criminal underworld with his love of Paul Verhoeven (and perhaps a touch of David Lynch’s surreal whimsy), and results in a gory, very bizarre black comedy about a low-level yakuza who is shot to death along with his boss, and wakes up after a mad scientist turns him into a cyborg with some spare parts thrown in from his boss’ corpse. The only thing to do is set out for revenge, slicing his enemies to pieces with a samurai sword while protected by his almost-bulletproof body.

Much of the violence in Full Metal Yakuza is of the unrealistically rendered decapitated head and dismembered limb variety, lending it a cheesy gloss that will appeal to fans of low budget action flavored with art house strangeness. Miike worked for years producing straight-to-video films for the Japanese market, and Yakuza reflects the kind of creative freedom that outlet provided him.

Best example: the hilariously girlish stance the cyborg is trained to use to protect him from gunfire, accompanied by mincing, shuffling steps. Watch for a reference to John SaylesBrother From Another Planet in one of the later scenes. Not Miike’s greatest film, but certainly among his weirdest.

 

5. The Machine Girl

The Machine Girl

Each splatter movie over the last forty years or so has had the unenviable task of trying to one-up everything that has come before in the blood and guts department. The net result has been films that push the limits of acceptable gore to the extreme, sometimes with overwhelming consequences—think Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive (Brain Dead in some markets) as an especially humorous example of red, gooey sensory overload.

The type of graphic violence once considered shocking in the days of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead or Stuart Gordon’s TheRe-Animator is now the commonplace stuff of childrens’ video games or hit TV series like The Walking Dead. Where are purveyors of bloody exploitation supposed to go now?

A movie like Machine Girl answers that question quite capably, mostly by going the same route as the early output of Troma or Hobo With A Shotgun; crank the camp factor up as far as it will safely go, place the action in a universe that is as cartoonish as it is homicidal, and let the story take its course. A young girl takes on a powerful gang of ninja-yakuzas who kill her younger brother.

In the midst of the fight she loses an arm, which is replaced by a gatling gun with seemingly unlimited ammunition when a couple who run a garage take pity on her. She uses her newfound weapon, along with her formidable martial arts skills, to shred a gang of ninjas who stage an attack on the garage, then takes the fight to the yakuza responsible for her troubles.

From the opening sequence, when the main character combats a group of evil teenage schoolboys, you know you’re in for a blood-spattered and campy fever dream. Gore effects are realized both digitally and with more traditional practical makeup effects, pushing the violence well out of the bounds of reality. Blood fans in red geysers, severed body parts fly along curtains of ichor, heads and torsos are blasted into pulpy meat.

Good taste obviously never crossed the minds of the filmmakers—when the protagonist decapitates a woman and lets the head drop into a serving bowl of soup, followed by gallons of colorful, viscous liquid (a shot that seems to go on for several minutes), the gleefully adolescent impulse toward the highest extremity of gross-out the budget would allow has taken full possession over the sensibilities of everyone involved.

 

4. RoboGeisha

RoboGeisha

A young woman named Yoshie, working in a geisha house and often the target of bullying from her older sister, comes to the attention of a wealthy industrialist who thinks her deep-seated rage and fighting ability would make her a perfect addition to his shadow-organization, a band of cyborg geisha who work as assassins, knocking off anyone who try to thwart the corporation’s designs to create their own “perfect world”. She excels in her work, ever out-performing her sister, and in time she becomes an almost fully mechanized cyborg disguised as a human woman.

When she is tasked with killing a protest group whose relatives have been kidnapped into the organization and are committed to opposing its bid for power, she learns just how evil the industrialists are, and vows to stop them any way she can, even if it means a fight to the death with her own estranged, cybernetically-enhanced sister.

The above description doesn’t come close to doing justice to this purposely ridiculous, ribald, and sometimes very funny movie, made by many of the same people who created The Machine Girl. RoboGeisha contrasts with that film in that the blood and gore has been dialed down and the humor has been pushed fully into the foreground. The cyborg geisha have chest-mounted machine guns, swords that protrude from unusual—and unmentionable—parts of the body, and in one case, have the ability to spray acidic bodily fluids.

The best, and most sarcastic, gag has a giant robot pagoda smashing buildings, causing massive geysers of blood to erupt wherever they’re struck (before Yoshie grows tank-tread legs from playing her samisen and attacks it). The special effects and production values betray the low budget, but that hardly matters—realism isn’t exactly what the filmmakers are going for.

It occurs to me that in many ways parts of the Japanese film industry produce basically the same kind of self-referential, intentionally goofy cult films one finds filling out much of SyFy Channel’s program schedule—they just do a much better job of it. In both instances, no one is trying to make great art, just highly indulgent entertainment that will capture the attention of the so-bad-it’s-good fanbase.

But where SyFy programming is stuck in an endless loop of sharknadoes and giant pythons fighting giant boa constrictors, films such as RoboGeisha, The Machine Girl and Tokyo Gore Police (not to mention Death Kappa and a slew of other films) try to push campy weirdness-for-wierdness’-sake as far as it will conceptually go, generally with outrageous results. If David Cronenberg had been born a comedian, these are the films he’d make.

 

3. Tokyo Gore Police

Tokyo Gore Police

Yoshihiro Nishimura, effects supervisor for The Machine Girl, directs his own feature and brings to the world Tokyo Gore Police, a hyper-bloody, polymorphically perverse splatter-ganza that comes across almost exactly like a manga come to life. A fascist privatized police force does battle with “engineers”, genetically modified humans with the ability to grow cybernetic weaponry out of their wounded bodies.

They rely particularly on a sword-swinging female officer to do most of their dirty work, a woman raised by the twisted police commissioner after being orphaned as a little girl. It doesn’t take her long to uncover the truth about a connection between herself and the chief engineer responsible for the mutants, on that involves the police and the death of her father. Becoming an engineer herself, she heads out to set things straight with those who plot to turn Japan into a living hell.

Like Machine Girl, the gore effects in Tokyo Gore Police are pushed to an absurd extreme, though this film ups the ante in the area of lawn sprinkler bloodshed and throws a healthy dose of kinkiness and bizarro random humor into the mix. The director borrows a little from Robocop and Starship Troopers, interrupting the story with satiric advertisements advocating suicide with fashionably stylish razor blades and home consoles that allow families to execute state prisoners by remote control from the comfort of their living rooms. A fun splatter film with a sick, demented sense of humor, chock full of inventive and unforgettable visuals.

 

2. Big Man Japan

Big Man Japan

From the whimsical and sarcastic imagination of Hitoshi Matsumoto comes what is probably the final, most logical extremity of the kaiju genre, a mocking, satiric, yet respectful parody of Japanese giant monster movies that reinvents the entire concept in the form of a mockumentary about one man whose job it is to use high voltage electricity to make himself grow into a giant wrestler with hair like boxing promoter Don King in order to keep Japan free of giant monster attacks.

He is part of a tradition of monster fighters, going back two generations, who received in their time a lot more respect than he gets in the present day, as he finds himself the target of criticism and worse, low TV ratings. He rents space on his body for advertising on the advice of his agent, suffers memories of a terrible childhood, and does the best he can despite dwindling enthusiasm and mediocre ability.

As this is a comedy, Big Man Japan doesn’t limit itself to monsters that are supposed to be thrilling or exciting. Matsumoto treats us to a lanky, Michelin Man-type creature that uproots buildings, a sassy and flatulent octopus with a human face in search of a mate, and a foot with a head on it that looks like actor Riki Takeuchi. He ends with his giant character getting thoroughly beaten by a wild red devil, only to be rescued, in the film’s one live-action monster sequence (the rest are realized through CGI) by Ultraman-like robowarriors, who later argue over the dinner table about who contributed what to the fight.

Matsumoto pokes fun not only at kaiju films but consumerism and reality TV, as well as a jaded viewing population that seems less and less impressed by or involved in what goes on around them. That last part is possibly meant as a commentary about the film-going public as a whole, who require greater heights of stimulation to remain engaged in the movies they watch. No wonder, then, that Matsumoto felt compelled to take such an off-kilter, unprecedented approach.

 

1. Tetsuo: The Iron Man

Tetsuo

A seminal work in cinematic Japanese cyberpunk shot in black and white, the incomparable Tetsuo is the simple (and short—the movie only clocks in at about an hour) story of a man who becomes infected with a piece of metal, and slowly transforms into a part-human, part-mechanical monstrosity. Another being, suffused with rust, discovers his whereabouts, and the two fight until they fuse into one hideous, bio-mechanical creature that means to take over the world.

Often compared to Lynch’s Eraserhead, Tetsuo: The Iron Man does that film one better by jacking up the energy levels tenfold, hurling one insane and astounding image after another at the audience as it builds to a psychotic crescendo. It is all at once an art film, a science fiction allegory about the gradual fusion of humanity with technology, and a triumph of independent filmmaking, showing unequivocally what can be done with a low budget, creative stamina, and a demented vision.

One has to stand in awe of the herculean effort that went into creating the film’s many stop motion scenes, a lot of which involve live actors in outdoor settings, not to mention the baroque, found-object costumes. Followed some years later by a more subdued, yet still very odd, sequel, Tetsuo II: The Body Hammer.

 

Courtesy of Taste of Cinema

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