Bullet Ballet (2005) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Shinya Tsukamoto ranks up there with the most important Japanese filmmakers working today, along with Miike, Sion Sono, and still prolific Kitano. “Bullet Ballet” is a return to the dark imagery and grainy, video-like metropolis-scape of “Tetsuo: The Iron Man”, only more realistic and familiarized—this is the cyber-punk that could exist in the back alleys of your own town.
A man obsesses over getting a gun after his girlfriend kills herself with one she was holding for a gang. Specifically, he wants her gun, but a gun of its same type will do. Meanwhile, the gang and he keep running into each other, with violent and abusive results, until eventually his obsession with the gun and their need to protect themselves from the violence of the city merge their paths into violent mayhem—and stark, abject beauty.
The sexual overtones of the movie are quite obvious, while the stated theme of “man’s need to create violence” is a little more subtle. One thing I really liked about this movie is that although it’s quite stylized, like most maverick Asian entertainment out there, Tsukamoto shows a real grasp of montage and experimental filmmaking on top of the narrative continuity needed to direct the audience’s emotions as much as compel their intellect. Some of the most memorable uses of back-projection, intercutting, and hand-held cinematography are used with a movie that is not afraid to take a contemplative moment aside to build real tension. It’s not just eye-candy, this one. Of course, neither is anything else of Tsukamoto’s I’ve seen, but sometimes a movie is so well-done it bears worth mentioning.
A minor aside, one that has no real impact on the rating or receipt of this film in whole: that one chick who eventually ends up commiserating with the protagonist was scary thin. It was almost an abject horror unto itself to see her down to bra and underwear, looking like a skeleton. Because of the nature of the imagery, I don’t know if the choice in that actress was intentional for the body-type or if she was the only one he could get.
About Bullet Ballet (2005)
Starring: Hisashi Igawa, Shinya Tsukamoto, Kyoka Suzuki, Kirina Mano, Takahiro Murase
Runtime: 87 minutes
Director: Shinya Tsukamoto