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Tetsuo II: Body Hammer
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto
Produced by Hiromi Aihara
Hiroshi Koizumi
Fumio Kurokawa
Fuminori Shishido
Nobuo Takeuchi
Shinya Tsukamoto
Starring Tomorowo Taguchi
Shinya Tsukamoto
Music by Chu Ishikawa
Cinematography Fumikazu Oda
Shinya Tsukamoto
Katsunori Yokoyama
Editing by Shinya Tsukamoto
Distributed by Manga
Release date(s) Japan 1992
Running time 80 min.
Country  Japan
Language Japanese
Preceded by Tetsuo: The Iron Man
Followed by Tetsuo: The Bullet Man

Tetsuo II: Body Hammer is a 1992 Japanese science fiction/horror film directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. It is a bigger-budget reworking of the same director's 1989 movie Tetsuo: The Iron Man, utilizing similar themes and ideas to the earlier film (a Japanese salaryman, played by cult actor Tomorowo Taguchi, finds his body transforming into a weapon through sheer rage after his son is kidnapped by a gang of violent thugs.) It was not as well received as its predecessor but it did win the Critic's Award at the 3rd Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival in February 1992.[1]

During the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International, Shinya Tsukamoto announced that a third Tetsuo movie, entitled Tetsuo: The Bullet Man, would be released in 2010.[2]

Contents

Plot

The film opens with a scene of a man being shot by Yatsu - known in the first part as "The Metal Fetishist" and also known as "The Guy" in this movie - who kills his victim by a gunshot fired from his hand that he holds like a gun (index finger and thumb extended.)

While in the city and discussing his past with his wife, remembering that he doesn't have any memories before his adoption when he was eight years old, a man named Taniguchi Tomoo narrowly escapes death after two cyborg skinheads try to kidnap his son, Minori. During the event, Taniguchi is forcefully given an injection by one of the skinheads. Frightened by the experience, he starts working out. While he doesn't have any success at lifting even the most light of weights at first, he suddenly is capable of enormous feats of strength. Later, the man receives an anonymous phone call that asks him how the training went, the caller obviously knowing about the kidnapping attempt. The caller proceeds to inform Taniguchi that he's succeeded kidnapping Minori by entering and exiting the building through the back door. Taniguchi chases the kidnappers to a roof where he once more finds himself hanging on the edge, close to death. However, this time around, he manages to pull himself up only to be informed that the skinhead has thrown Minori off the roof.

Enraged by this, Taniguchi begins his transformation and grows a gun from his arm. He proceeds to shoot the skinhead who, obviously having lied about dropping Minori, holds Taniguchi's son in front of him, having the father kill his son. The skinhead takes flight, leaving behind a distraught Taniguchi who realizes that his wife has been watching the traumatic event.

The skinheads make their way back to their hideout where their accomplices work out heavily, lifting enormous weights. They meet a Mad Scientist who asks them what kind of specimen they picked for the injection, revealing that Taniguchi's injection is part of an experiment. Later, Taniguchi gets kidnapped by the skinheads only to be experimented on by the Mad Scientist who manipulates Taniguchi's memories thus furthering his transformation from man to machine. During the experiment, it is revealed that the Mad Scientist works together with Yatsu who - after the experiment has proven successful and Taniguchi's death has been ordered - informs the Mad Scientist that his goal is only destruction and that every skinhead should be given an injection.

After Taniguchi's escape, one of the skinheads injects himself and transforms much quicker than Taniguchi, given that his will to kill is much greater. During the escape, it is also revealed that both Taniguchi and the skinhead have the ability to transform back into their human forms. The two face off in an abandoned factory and the skinhead informs Taniguchi that they all want to be made into gods by "the man who can make them all into Gods" referring to Yatsu.

Back at home, Taniguchi's wife discovers that the injection that was given to Taniguchi did not enter his body as it was stopped by his pocket organizer, thus revealing that Taniguchi has the ability to transform into a machine in himself and does so of his own will. Upon Taniguchi's return, his wife is visibly scared of her husband who doesn't know what's going on with him either. Kana, the wife, leaves in a hurry, only to be also kidnapped as soon as she's left the house. Taniguchi pursues the car on a bicycle, transforming during the chase and eventually catching up with the vehicle. Still, the skinheads manage to escape. Kana meets Yatsu who tells her about the past of her husband, who apparently has possessed incredible power all along, but chose to not use it unless he's been pushed beyond a certain point. However, the last time he's used this power - before his eighth birthday - not only did he kill all the children who bullied him but also destroyed what was precious to him.

Taniguchi enters the building where Kana is held and does not react to threats of the skinheads killing her. Yatsu talks to Taniguchi before seemingly killing Kana because Taniguchi has no mercy and hostages don't mean anything to him. Still, Kana's death finally pushes Taniguchi completely over the edge and he fully transforms into a machine. The fight between Yatsu and Taniguchi ensues, Yatsu trying to rust Taniguchi to death, picking up the theme from the first movie. After Taniguchi's seemingly won, Yatsu shoots a cable into Taniguchi, furthering both their metamorphoses.

During this transformation, Taniguchi learns that his father was creating the perfect human weapon, first training his sons - Tomoo and Yatsu - with guns, then making the guns part of them. Tomoo leaves before killing a dog, while his brother kills the animal. The boys also witness their father killing their mother in a bizarre sex ritual involving the woman sucking on a gun. Tomoo loses his memory after witnessing the death of both his mother and killing his father. This makes him realize the beauty of destruction and both Tomoo and Yatsu merge into a humongous creature. Tomoo begs Kana to inject him with the gun that will make him rust to death, but she refuses to harm him. The Tomoo/Yatsu creature merges with the remaining skinheads and they turn into a giant, tank-like machine rolling through the city.

The final shots of the movie show Kana, Tomoo and Minori walking through the ruins of what was once a city, with her remarking how peaceful the place has become.

Film facts

Tetsuo II: Body Hammer is in color as opposed to Tetsuo: The Iron Man which was in black and white.

The DVD was available in the vending machines that are often found on the sides of Japanese roadways.

References

External links

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