Apr 7, 2008

The Phantom of Regular Size


AKA Futsu saizu no kaijin

This film, more than likely, won't ring any bells or sound familiar at all. The Phantom of Regular Size is actually the prototype of the classic cyberpunk film Tetsuo: The Iron Man. Seeing as it's a rough draft of sorts, there are differences aplenty.

The soundtrack is completely different. Most of it rests on an early theme from Chu Ishikawa. Rather than it being industrial sounding with clanking and pistons, it sounds more produced. The rest of the soundtrack is composed of weird grinding noises with some English lyrics in the background. This soundtrack in no way is comparable to the finished product but the tribal harmonics are enjoyable.


The finished product of Tetsuo focused more on the entity of flesh fused with metal, whereas his early vision was more of a metal inspiration. Perhaps his inspirations changed course after viewing Cronenberg's Videodrome. In The Phantom of Regular Size, jaunty metal protrudes from yellow flesh and covers most of his body. In Tetsuo, we are given the black & white treatment, mixed with body sores that are masking metal.

Dreamlike cognizance is the formula for his madcap Super8 adventures. Shinya Tsukamoto made homosexuality a relevant cause in Tetsuo, but masked it well. In his prior outing, he manages to create some darkly provocative scenes, such as when Salaryman drills his wife, Tsukamoto comes up behind him and grabs his drill penis while giggling.

The plot is much more linear in this short. When you watch this film, make sure to watch Tetsuo again because a lot will be explained. While Tetsuo is more on the visually erotic side, The Phantom of Regular Size manages to at least give out a small percent of the original thoughts on viewing his masterpiece. Tsukamoto is a hard person to analyze. His contributions to cinema seem unprovoked. Perhaps that is why when i saw a Woody Allen poster in his room during this short, I was shocked and had to pause the film.


The effects are amateurish and can be dismissed. The drill penis scene is more primal and results in a lustful rape and the untimely death of his girlfriend. After viewing this, there is no doubt that Tetsuo is the homosexual's surreal metal masterpiece.


-Maq

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