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Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

Cast: Tomoroh Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Shinya Tsukamoto, more...
Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Tartan Video
Genre: Cult, Foreign, Horror, Japan, Experimental/Avant-Garde, Asian Horror
Running Time: 67 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
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An hour-long feature from Japanese director Shinyu Tsukamoto, Tetsuo (also known as Tetsuo: The Iron Man) tells a horrific, cyberpunk-influenced science fiction tale about the intersection of man and post-industrial technology. The central character is a Japanese salary man, an average office worker who is transformed by a brief encounter with a metals fetishist, a man who has purposefully implanted pieces of scrap metal in his body. The salary man soon begins sprouting pieces of metal from various parts of his body, a change which is accompanied by increasingly nightmarish visions and bizarre, metal-filled sexual fantasies. As the man evolves into a strange hybrid of man and machine, he also develops a telepathic connection with another of his kind: the metal fetishist, who has been undergoing a similar conversion, and may indeed be the cause of the salary man's transformation. The two engage in a violent, destructive battle throughout the streets of Tokyo, accompanied by an appropriately industrial soundtrack. Shot on a small budget in 16 millimeter black-and-white, Tsukamoto reprised many of the images and plot elements of Tetsuo in a higher-budgeted sequel, Tetsuo II: Body Hammer. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Disturbing visuals by BFoote December 17, 2002 - 4:20 PM PST
9 out of 10 members found this review helpful
Based on the cover art I half expected this to be an animated film, but it turned out to be a live action black and white movie. There's little plot in this movie and little to explain to the viewer what's going on, just a bunch of disturbing scenes of a person going through a gruesome body transformation. No love story about two people in a difficult situation, no superheros, no feeble attempts to give scientific credibility to the transformation, it just shows this insane thing happening. Special effects are creative but definitely done on the cheap. I kept wondering through the whole movie whether what went on was really happening or just in the main character's head. I don't know that it really matters.

If you're looking for weird, disturbing, and unlike anything coming out of Hollywood, it's worth a rent. I give it an 8 because it delivers what it promises. Not for the squeemish.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.74)
235 Votes
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Cyberpunk films
Tartan Video
Tartan Video has been releasing the very best of cinema from all over the world on DVD and Video. Films that entertain, amaze, shock, excite and continually challenge our perceptions of cinema and the world around us.

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