Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989, Shinya Tsukamoto)


How does one describe Tetsuo: The Iron Man? Is Shinya Tsukamoto’s movie the disturbed love child of Eraserhead and David Cronenberg body horror? The beginning of industrial metal music, combined with music video style imagery and editing cuts? Or something even beyond all that, a nightmare fuel vision that draws the viewer in, never letting go, haunting all who view Tsukamoto’s masterpiece of flesh and metal. Bound together forever, entwined, destined to conquer a world that has let technology and industry that holds domain over mankind. After all, humanity has surrendered control to beings that will eventually overwhelm us if we are not careful. Plus the images presented are horrific yet also fascinating, literal but also metaphorical: I give this movie credit for managing to walk the fine line between desperation and meaning, a very uneasy task for any filmmaker tackling such material.

If you are looking for a movie with drawn out characters or an easy to follow plot, this movie is not for you. Instead if, like myself, you wish to seek out challenging films that present another worldview, then Tetsuo is a great choice. I also chuckled at how the end title says “Game Over,” as if the last insane act is a video game. Considering the 1980s, its a perfect title image, and predicted how many films in the years to come either adapted video games or choose to be structured like them. Also be prepared for a movie where a man has a giant drill coming out of him, not to mention turning into a monstrous pile of scrap metal, consuming all other metal around him. I wish I could write more about this film, however I wish to avoid spoilers and I think Tetsuo requires additional viewings. Which will have to be achieved through Shudder again, since according to Wikipedia all releases of the film are out of print. Maybe I should appeal to Criterion to add the film to their collection.

Broads In Atlanta


Desiigner’s “Panda” is this bizarre rap track that has lyrics I barely understand (or get at all) and is punctuated by weird noises. It’s all really catchy and entertaining, plus the video is a strange nighttime odyssey through what is probably Atlanta. It could be any city, I guess. Panda. Panda panda.

Favorite Songs: Part XIX


This is one of my favorite songs, and I can thank NPR for me hearing it in the first place. I love how Dr. Dog has fantastic lyrics and then combines that with a well rounded musical sensibility. Plus some wit thrown in, too. The music video is excellent too, underlying Dog’s tale of the lonely. Love it.

Selling Out Is Too Easy To Do….Possibly


“The saddest thing about selling out is just how cheaply most of us do it for.”

― James Bernard Frost

In some ways that is rather true. A good friend of mine and I were discussing bands and how some of them say they haven’t sold out when they clearly have. Selling out is the main fear of all artists, and yet all of them do it in the end save for those who never made it in the first place.

There hasn’t been an opportunity for me to sell out because I’ve never made money off of writing, although I did get paid for being an editor at my local community college’s newspaper once, so I guess that counts. One of my favorite moments in mocking selling out history is when The Who released a great double LP The Who Sells Out, which had joking commercials included and was the band admitting to a degree that even they had become capitalist slaves, too.

Sure there are people who have never given in, yet those folks were either lucky, incredibly talented or rich. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, even Bob Dylan and Nirvana arguably all gave in, and Metallica was bashed by their fans for daring to make music videos, not to mention The Black Album, the point where the band reportedly “Sold out.”  I love REM but there is simply before and after Losing My Religion, where the band went from being indie darlings to breaking into the mainstream. How does one contrast making art with the need to pay the bills, all without selling one’s soul in the process?

Its a rather difficult balancing act. Yet there is a difference between someone like Quentin Tarentino, who has become a famous success while still making great or good movies, and Brett Ratner, who has no talent and only makes films for money. I think that’s the difference. Maybe.

Favorite Songs: Part XVI


Genesis is one of the best bands of the 70s and 80s. They are fantastic, and in this video the entire group is still altogether-Peter Gabriel was still the front man, but Phil Collins was slowly taking over. “A Trick of The Tail” is a witty and fun piece, and I love how the video manages to work in some trippy moments. Just listen to the guitar and piano work, too. Bloody fantastic.

Favorite Songs: Part XV


“I’ve got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one/hit me”-the words of one Jay-Z, one of the best rappers of all time. The video itself is great, depicting him driving around with a crazy white guy and ending with him famously getting blasted. Sick beats and nasty lyrics combine to create a classic and an all time favorite of mine. “If you got girl problems I feel bad for yah son…”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑