Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)
"Tetsuo" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  1 July 1989 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 13,618 users  
Reviews: 123 user | 95 critic

A strange man known only as the "metal fetishist", who seems to have an insane compulsion to stick scrap metal into his body, is hit and possibly killed by a Japanese "salaryman", out for a... See full summary »


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Complete credited cast:
Tomorowo Taguchi ...
Kei Fujiwara ...
Nobu Kanaoka ...
Woman in Glasses
Metal Fetishist
Naomasa Musaka ...
Renji Ishibashi ...


A strange man known only as the "metal fetishist", who seems to have an insane compulsion to stick scrap metal into his body, is hit and possibly killed by a Japanese "salaryman", out for a drive with his girlfriend. The salaryman then notices that he is being slowly overtaken by some kind of disease that is turning his body into scrap metal, and that his nemesis is not in fact dead but is somehow masterminding and guiding his rage and frustration-fueled transformation. Written by Serdar Yegulalp <syegul@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 July 1989 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Tetsuo, the Iron Man  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| | (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Based on a play that Shin'ya Tsukamoto had written, directed, and performed in college. See more »


Metals Fetishist: Together, we can turn this fucking world to rust!
See more »

Crazy Credits

(after end credits) GAME OVER See more »


References The Fly (1958) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

amazingly unconventional
7 June 2005 | by (Poland) – See all my reviews

Japan is a crazy country. Their workaholism is affecting western culture all the time. Coming to Tokyo first time, one can get lost not only in translation, hehe, but mostly in all these technological gadgets that leave you with only three questions: "what the hell is this for?", "what the hell is that for?", and "how the hell does it work?". On one side, coming to Japan, one might see something very rare today: amazing technology next to tradition, remains of culture hundreds and thousands years old. But on the other, Japanese does seem to have a lot of fear about all that technology. Won't that materialistic, technological approach kill emotional and spiritual aspects of human existence? There has been made a lot of movies asking that question, projecting hypothetical versions of future based on what Japan looks like today. See Ghost in the Shell for example. Yeah, alright, but what does Tetsuo have to do with all that crap? Everything. This Tsukamoto piece of art is a manifestation of great great fear of cold and soulless technology. Main character is a guy who has rather serious problem: one day he notices that metal parts are slowly beginning to reveal themselves from under his skin. Why, and what does it mean? Where will it lead to? You'll see. What I can say is that you don't need to live in Japan to enjoy this movie. The atmosphere is amazingly unconventional, and can be compared only to other industrial/anti-industrial masterpieces of Japanese cinema. The movie is black and white only all the time. Camera work is incredible, it builds intense paranoid atmosphere. If you've seen other Shinya's movies, you know what you can expect. The way the story is told, with all these cut-and-paste elements... oh God :D If you've already seen some totally psyched-out movies like this one, you might get a laugh sometimes, otherwise I guarantee you'll be strongly shocked, because as I said before: you probably haven't seen anything like this before, so watch your back, you have been warned ;) Budget used to make this movie may be equal to something like two cokes and a hamburger, but, as we can see, some don't waste even that small amount of money. There are movies made with a little help of millions of dollars which are not even worth a cent. On the other side, there are gems like this, where you can't notice signs of low-budget, because it doesn't harm this movie even in one moment. I can't think of one thing I'd change in this movie. Highly recommended, this one is a blast!

PS. If you're willing to get some other Tsukamoto movies, avoid Hiruko the Goblin.

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