Tokyo Fist

  • 1997
  • 1 HR 30 MIN
  • NR
  • Drama, Horror, Romance

Move over, David Cronenberg: Japanese writer-director-actor Shinya Tsukamoto's cracked, kinetic take on the eternal triangle plunges deep into Cronenberg body horror-land. High-school buddies Tsuda (Tsukamoto himself) and Kojima (Koji Tsukamoto, the director's brother) were bound together by having witnessed a terrible crime. But they drifted apart after...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Move over, David Cronenberg: Japanese writer-director-actor Shinya Tsukamoto's cracked, kinetic take on the eternal triangle plunges deep into Cronenberg body horror-land. High-school buddies Tsuda (Tsukamoto himself) and Kojima (Koji Tsukamoto, the director's

brother) were bound together by having witnessed a terrible crime. But they drifted apart after graduation: Tsuda is now an insurance agent, while Kojima has become a boxer who compensates for his lack of talent with sheer brute force. Kojima makes a crude pass at Tsuda's fiancee Hizuru (Kahori

Fujii) and follows up with a taunting, suggestive phone call to Tsuda that sets off an explosive emotional chain reaction. Tsuda suspects Hizuru of lusting for the muscle man and confronts Kojima, who beats the bejesus out of him. Before you can say psychoneurosis, Tsuda has joined a gym and

started pumping up; Kojima has begun suffering bloody nightmares in the Dario Argento mode, and Hizuru has started piercing and scarring herself a la VIDEODROME. Tsukamoto's obsessions will be familiar to anyone who's seen the TETSUO films: The soullessness of Tokyo's glittering glass gulches, the

literalization of body-loathing in bizarre physical transmutations, the jittery, machinelike vision of the world. What's new is the relatively (and the word relatively can't be overemphasized) mainstream story, in which two beasts -- one unapologetic, one hiding behind a veneer of

civilization -- battle for a beauty whose self-mutilation seems to be saying something about "skin deep." The picture's bizarre appeal is limited, but undeniable: You don't see a romantic triangle like this one every day.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Move over, David Cronenberg: Japanese writer-director-actor Shinya Tsukamoto's cracked, kinetic take on the eternal triangle plunges deep into Cronenberg body horror-land. High-school buddies Tsuda (Tsukamoto himself) and Kojima (Koji Tsukamoto, the direct… (more)

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