Tuesday, 19 February 2013

New Stuff: Tetsuo

Have just picked up the recently released Blu-ray of Tetsuo and its sequel from Third Window Films.  The films are not for the conventionally weaned crowd, they're insane splatter epics about humans fusing with machines and the consequential evolutionary routes they undertake towards prospective world domination.  I prefer the first one in terms of sheer raw intensity, however, the second one is more accomplished in its realisation of the uncompromising visuals.

Shot in 16mm, the first film (Iron Man) is black and white, the second (Body Hammer) in colour, both fullscreen (OAR) and presented in 1080p transfers supervised by writer/director Shinya Tsukamoto.  Don't expect beauty,  rather these are faithful representations of what's on the negatives.  They look appropriately rough in many respects, with the former a little on the slicker side.  Advances over DVD in terms of detail are probably quite limited, but I prefer what's here for better edge delineation, reduced artefacts, etc.  It feels like you're projecting the original elements on to your wall and that's very satisfying.  The two main films, Iron Man and Body Hammer are on one Blu-ray Disc, both in Japanese (stereo, DTS-HD) with optional English subtitles.  A second disc (DVD) contains a 19 minute interview with Tsukamoto, some trailers, and best of all the director's little seen 45 minute film Denchu Kozo No Boken plus a background featurette on the same.

The two discs are packed in a standard Blu-ray case, the cover of which is reversible for different artwork choices.  That all comes in an outer cardboard slipcase.  This is a stunning, essential release from Third Window, aimed directly at the collector of unusual horror material and Eastern cinema fans.

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