films seen
19
average score
3.89*
nationality
Japan - 63 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

The undisputed king of Japanese cyberpunk cinema. A real renaissance man who wrote, shot, edited, directed and even acted in many of his own films. If you like your films raw and undiluted, Tsukamoto's oeuvre is a real treasure trove.

Beyond exceptional

Tetsuo: The Iron Man

1989 / 69m - Japan
Sci-fi, Horror
Tetsuo: The Iron Man poster

Tsukamoto's Tetsuo is an almost perfect cyberpunk endeavor, sporting lush black and white visuals and a superb industrial soundtrack, while providing a nerve-wrecking and overwhelming experience.

Vital

2004 / 86m - Japan
Drama, Mystery
Vital poster

This is a typical Japanese drama infused and enriched with plenty of Tsukamoto goodness. The result is haunting, morbid, poetic and beautiful all at once.

Rare treats

A Snake of June

Rokugatsu no Hebi
2002 / 77m - Japan
Mystery
A Snake of June poster

Tsukamoto went through his own transformation when the previous millennium ended, A Snake of June is one of the films that illustrates that pretty well.

Haze

2005 / 49m - Japan
Horror, Mystery
Haze poster

Haze may be a little less refined and accomplished than some of his more famed films, but Tsukamoto did manage to regain that guerrilla charm that made his first films so irresistible.

Gemini

Soseiji
1999 / 83m - Japan
Mystery
Gemini poster

Gemini could be considered a good entry-level Tsukamoto since his typical style isn't as demanding as in his other films.

Tokyo Fist

Tokyo Ken
1995 / 87m - Japan
Thriller, Sport
Tokyo Fist poster

Tokyo Fist is somewhat of a forgotten Tsukamoto film, which is weird considering its many qualities.

It bears the same charm and defects as the first Tetsuo and some very minor extra glitches, but the core is still there. An assault to the senses in pretty much every way possible.

Kotoko

2011 / 91m - Japan
Drama, Mystery
Kotoko poster

Kotoko is another work of love.

Killing

Zan
2018 / 80m - Japan
Drama, Action
Killing poster

Starts off a little restrained, especially for a Tsukamoto film, but once it gets going it becomes an unstoppable force. Well acted, beautifully scored and largely defined by Tsukamoto's trademark camera work, Killing is a film that may be short and light on plot, but leaves a big impression nonetheless. Great stuff.

This is not a very happy film, nor is it very subtle.

The good stuff

Nightmare Detective 2

Akumu Tantei 2
2008 / 94m - Japan
Mystery
Nightmare Detective 2 poster

Nightmare Detective 2 might be his most commercial work to date, there is still plenty here to scare away the regular movie fan.

The second time around I was little let down by the acting performances of the secondary cast. For a film that puts more focus on drama than usually the case, that's somewhat of a problem.

Nightmare Detective

Akumu Tantei
2006 / 106m - Japan
Horror
Nightmare Detective poster

It's still a great film though. Even a slightly watered down Tsukamoto film is way better than most of the J-Horror films released in the past 15 years.

Solid pieces

Tetsuo II: Body Hammer

1992 / 83m - Japan
Sci-fi, Horror
3.5*/5.0*
Tetsuo II: Body Hammer poster

Adventures of Electric Rod Boy

Denchu Kozo no Boken
1987 / 47m - Japan
Comedy, Sci-fi, Horror
3.5*/5.0*
Adventures of Electric Rod Boy poster

The inoffensive

Kaidan Horror Classics

Ayashiki Bungo Kaidan
2010 / 163m - Japan
Horror
3.0*/5.0*
Kaidan Horror Classics poster

Decent anthology, sadly without stand-out entries. Kaidan stories aren't very scary or gory, so don't expect any modern horror action. Tsukamoto and Koreeda deliver the best entries, Lee's one is decent, the only subpar short is coming from Ochiai. Ironically, the only true horror director present.

3.0*/5.0*
Female poster

Dubious filler

Hiruko the Goblin

Yôkai Hantâ: Hiruko
1991 / 89m - Japan
Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
2.0*/5.0*
Hiruko the Goblin poster

Big nopes