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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 11,837 users  
Reviews: 122 user | 93 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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Title: Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)

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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

Referenced in Sludd (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
the love/hate brigade strikes again
4 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is another one of those films where you have the "sheer brilliance 10/10" battling against the "worst film of all time 1/10" people. I'm not partial to either, I wanted to see this film after watching a preview that was so intense it made my brain hurt. So I absolutely had to pick it up at the video store.

Tetsuo, more than anything, is absolutely surreal. The cinematography and camera work is way ahead of its time, and I have never seen anything quite like it. The stop motion and use of metal twine and scrap is stunning and also menacing, especially with the heavy industrial-electronic soundtrack thumping throughout most of the film. I imagine that some scenes must have taken ages to go through frame by frame and create the visual image of cyberpunk terror that is conveyed in this film.

Besides these things I can't credit the film for much else. Some say it's impossible to follow, but the story is quite simple. A metal fetishist that has been inserting pieces of metal into his body is hit by a car, and begins to transform and haunt the person responsible. Then he begins to transform, and his world quickly spirals down as he becomes the metal obsessed monster that his crash victim was already into. However, there are lots of parts of this film that don't contribute to the overall image of the film, and a few scenes that could have been replaced with something entirely different and were a little slow and unnecessary. While hilarious, there is a scene involving the man and his "woman" (as credited) that, while serving a purpose, became more of a sick joke than a part of the film.

As the movie continues on you get more and more lost as to what is going on when cuts become more frequent and the film becomes extremely frantic and fast paced. I viewed it a second time to see if I missed anything, but I felt the same after a second view. Tetsuo is good for its expiremental editing and cinematography, and has its place in cyberpunk filmography. But if you're looking for a film with solid scriptwriting and direction, you're not going to be happy.

Sheer genius? On some aspects, yes. Worst movie ever? You have to be kidding me. There isn't much talking in this film, and the worst films ever have way too much talking in them. Sometimes it's nice to have the actors shut up and, maybe, scream in terror at a piece of metal sticking out of their face instead.


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