Title: The Phantom of Regular Size

Also known as:
Futsu saizu no kaijin (Original title)

Year: 1986

Genre: Short / Cyberpunk / Surrealism

Language: Japanese

Runtime: 18 min

Director: Shinya Tsukamoto

Writer: Shinya Tsukamoto

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166304/

A quiet man is chased by a person with a huge metal claw as a hand. When this figure catches up with him, he will soon start turning into metal himself.

Our thoughts:
This is the film that would eventually become "Tetsuo". The concept is very much the same, and style is also there. It's not nearly as good or impressive as the coming masterpiece, but it's a really fun film to watch if you are a fan of "Tetsuo".

As I said, they are very much alike. Although, "The Phantom of Regular Size" is in color and has less of an industrial theme, the plot of a man who slowly turns to a piece of junk doesn't differ that much. We even have the infamous cock-drill we all remember from "Tetsuo", and also the crazy speeded chase/run scenes. The actors are even the same. But all of this would make you believe that it's exactly like "Tetuo" (or rather that "Tetsuo" is exactly like this one), but that's not the case. Of course, you will be nodding your head because you recognize the scenes alot, but this one has a different feel. The budget is obviously smaller, and that adds to the entire atmosphere in many ways, and since almost all the overly industrial themes are gone, the metal is really the only industrial/cyberpunky thing about this film. And yes, the slight homosexual touch is in this one too.

The effects are actually very good though. The costumes are just as fun to watch as in "Tetsuo", even though they aren't as well-made. But there are parts of them that I actually prefer, like the big claw, I thought that looked wicked. And not to mention the fully transformed metal beast towards the end, which looks like a robot astronaut. That one honestly beats all the costumes that can be seen in his later film.

Needless to say, there is no reason what-so-ever to expect this to be better, cooler, more insane or more impressive than "Tetsuo", it doesn't hold a candle to it. But it is a really great short film that I suggest anyone who has a slight interest in Shinya Tsukamoto and his crazy cyberpunk masterpiece. It's a pleasure to see that Shinya had it in him from his very first attempt, and it's obvious that he would make some fantastic movies in the future.

Positive things:
- An awesome film to see if you like "Tetsuo".
- The robot astronaut-looking costume towards the end.
Negative things:
- It's not different enough from "Tetsuo", even though it has a slightly different atmosphere.

Gore: 1/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 3/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 1/5

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