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

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  1 July 1989 (Japan)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 12,313 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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Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 1989 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Tetsuo, the Iron Man  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

(after end credits) GAME OVER See more »

Connections

References The Fly (1958) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Manga-influenced man vs. machine Japanese scifi film with a razor-sharp visual style
30 November 2005 | by (Indianapolis, Indiana) – See all my reviews

It's so visually striking that you could never fully describe Tetsuo in words. But here are a few that apply: Japanese, hyperactive, perverse, industrial, surreal, Faustian bargain, contrasty, black-and-white, Kafkaesque, scifi, stop-motion, manga-influenced, revenge, technology, alienation, supervillains.

Shinya Tsukamoto is an actor (he's the antagonistic "Metals Fetishist" here as well as Jijii in Ichi the Killer) as well as a ground-breaking writer/director/cinematographer. Tetsuo's influence can be seen clearly in directors as diverse as Darren Aronofsky, Takashi Miike, and even David Cronenberg.

There is definitely a plot, but due to the non-linear editing and sparsity of dialogue you'll need to pay close attention on a first viewing or else you'll be overwhelmed by the engrossing visual style (which might be a good thing). It's filmed in contrasty black-and-white. Each frame is cramped and chaotic, much of the time it's filled with wires, pipes, chain-link fences, and all the other incidental debris of life in the late 20th century... which suddenly seems significant and even menacing.

Towards the fifty-minute mark (it's 67 min. total) the willful excess starts to feel a little too excessive, perhaps the manga influence is a bit too strong. But Tetsuo finishes strong, with an end that's at once unexpected and inevitable. Highly recommended.


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