Tetsuo III: The Bullet Man review


Tetsuo: The Iron Man was a shocking and extremely influential independent film directed and starring Shinya Tsukamoto as a strange man with the fetish of sticking metal into his skin. When this man is hit by a car, it begins an odd transformation of metal blending with skin. This leads to carnage and bloody vengeance, and this cult film inspired dozens of recognizable filmmakers. The sequel brought the metal man back and pitted him against skinheads with a gun-like ability.

The third film, Tetsuo III: The Bullet Man is more of a remake than it is a sequel. The attempt seems to be for an international success in this film, casting English-speaking actor Erick Bossick as the metal-man named Anthony. When Anthony sees his son run over by a ruthless driver, a metamorphosis begins inside of him. Like a metal Hulk, whenever Anthony gets angry he grows metal in and around his body. He also absorbs it, and uses it as a weapon.

While the previous films paired the Iron Man against a similarly skilled villain, this one puts him up against a group of skilled soldiers. Tsukamoto may not have cast himself as the lead this time, but he still co-stars as a villainous man known only as The Guy. There is a great deal of bloody carnage in this larger budget rethinking of the previous low-budget cult masterpiece, and all of the signature filmmaking style that includes fast camera work. But somehow this film lacks the same intensity of the other films. While there are some great action sequences that look like an R-Rated Transformers movie, the dialogue is all pretty stiff and unnecessary. 

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