NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE is the stuff DREAMS are made of!
Saint Thomas | Kent, Ohio | 10/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Have you ever seen the movie TETSUO : THE IRON MAN? If you haven't then you need to stop reading this review, head to your local DVD store and watch the movie. Anybody who is familiar with my reviews knows that I'm a Horror fan (Gore Hound to some) and they should have already seen TETSUO : THE IRON MAN. If that is the case then you need no explanation as to why. It's just that good.
NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE is made by the same director of TETSUO : THE IRON MAN, Shinya Tsukamoto. He's an amazing director with a lot of visual flair that sometimes reminds me of David Lynch and Oliver Stone, yet he still keeps his own personal touch throughout his own films. TETSUO is a little bit like ERASERHEAD and yet it's nothing like ERASERHEAD. The black and white association between the two films is an obvious observation, if not an unoriginal one because that's where the similarities stop. TETSUO is also an "art" movie in the same sense that ERASERHEAD was and that within itself is also where the similarities end.
So, back to my original question. Have you seen TETSUO : THE IRON MAN? Watching that film and then watching NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE is like viewing two ends of the spectrum. They're two totally different types of movies. TETSUO is a low budget (but not in a bad way) "art" film that was the director's first movie from the 1980's. It's a very personal film in the same way that a poem or a journal is personal to an artist. It's an extremely dark and brooding film that just won't bode well with main stream audiences. TETSUO is the perfect movie for underground artist's, beer drinking parties and the "midnight cinema" crowds. That description might dumb the movie down for some people but it shouldn't. TESUO : THE IRON MAN is an art film and nothing more. Every single fan of Horror movies and creative films (in the sense of daring subject matter) needs to own a copy of TETSUO : THE IRON MAN. There is no arguing the logic behind that. It's pretty blunt.
NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE on the other hand is the opposite end of the spectrum as I stated before. By saying that I'm sure some people are jumping to the conclusion that NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE isn't as visually striking or as creatively ambiguous as TETSUO : THE IRON MAN. They couldn't be more wrong. The difference between TETSUO and DETECTIVE (creatively) are only in how they're executed. NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE is a little more easier to understand right away than TETSUO : THE IRON MAN. Director Shinya Tsukamoto traded in the obvious artistic nature of black and white filming in for a different approach and style. Instead we're treated to interesing camera lens colors, visually jarring camera angles and a very strange plot to boot.
Style wise, NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE is something that works on a more "main stream" level and thats not a bad thing. People these days act as if working on mass appeal is like betraying your artistic roots. Personally I find this perspective to be a little bit silly. It doesn't alow the viewers or other artist's to think outside the box. Yes, sometimes dabbling within the main stream can be considered "outside of the box." I belive art and creative perspective almost always comes full circle. From the "underground" to the "main stream" and back again.
Besides, NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE is anything but "family friendly." I actually consider this movie to be almost like a live action Anime film. It's on the same level as WICKED CITY and DEMON CITY SHINJUKU in terms of it's dark and sometimes "Gothic" story line. Basically the movie is about this man (Kagenuma) who can travel into peoples dreams and help them solve mysteries. Eventually he gets involved in a plot to hunt down another man who can also travel into people's dreams. The only difference with this other man is that he's totally insane and can kill his victims much like Freddy Krueger in their dreams. Minus the clawed glove and the wise cracks of course.
I would go into more detail about the plot but whats the point? With all the search engines out there these days, it's all too easy for everybody to locate the basic plot for any movie they're interested in. What I want to cover is the artistic nature and the psychology behind the directors film making process. NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE is closer to Shinya Tsukamoto's earlier work TETSUO : THE IRON MAN than some people might think. Sure it's not as "cut throat" with it's obvious black and white imagery as TETSUO but then again, it doesn't need to be. Sometimes artist's and directors just want to make a movie. Plain and simple. It's art within the confines of cinema.
In the end NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE will be compared to TETSUO no matter what people think. Thats what happens when you put out such a shocking piece of work as TETSUO : THE IRON MAN. Everybody will be holding that to their expectations no matter what. Even if some people claim they're not comparing it to his earlier work, they are on a subliminal level. If that is the case, nothing Shinya Tsukamoto makes will ever meet the requirements of the so called "fans."
Gore hounds, check this movie out for interesting death sequences and creative F/X make up. Horror fans in general also have much to enjoy here in terms of the new and interesting story line. Fans of TETSUO should also see this movie."