IMDb > Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989) More at IMDbPro »Tetsuo (original title)


User Rating:
7.0/10   13,327 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Tetsuo, the Iron Man on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 July 1989 (Japan) See more »
A strange man known only as the "metal fetishist", who seems to have an insane compulsion to stick scrap metal into his body... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 wins See more »
(108 articles)
Daily | Toronto 2014 | Shinya Tsukamoto’s Fires On The Plain
 (From Keyframe. 12 September 2014, 9:05 AM, PDT)

Venice 2014: 'Fires on the Plain' review
 (From CineVue. 2 September 2014, 11:41 AM, PDT)

The Definitive Foreign Language Horror Films: 30-21
 (From SoundOnSight. 22 July 2014, 5:53 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
F***ed up but fun and cool See more (123 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Tomorowo Taguchi ... Man
Kei Fujiwara ... Woman
Nobu Kanaoka ... Woman in Glasses

Shin'ya Tsukamoto ... Metal Fetishist
Naomasa Musaka ... Doctor
Renji Ishibashi ... Tramp

Directed by
Shin'ya Tsukamoto 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Shin'ya Tsukamoto  writer

Produced by
Shin'ya Tsukamoto .... producer
Original Music by
Chu Ishikawa 
Cinematography by
Kei Fujiwara 
Shin'ya Tsukamoto 
Film Editing by
Shin'ya Tsukamoto 
Art Direction by
Shin'ya Tsukamoto 
Costume Design by
Kei Fujiwara 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Tetsuo" - Japan (original title)
See more »
67 min | Argentina:69 min (Mar del Plata Film Festival) | 77 min (extended cut)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Based on a play that Shin'ya Tsukamoto had written, directed, and performed in college.See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Denchu Kozo no boken (1987)See more »


What are the differences between Standard Version and the First Cut?
See more »
23 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
F***ed up but fun and cool, 7 December 2002
Author: rottingcarrot ( from Toronto Canada

Tetsuo or Ironman is a very interesting movie that explores the themes of metal and flesh and how they interact......I think. The story is sketchy at best, it's more of a visual assault on the senses. Tetsuo is some regular looking Japanese business man type dude who has a girlfriend. One day while shaving he notices a shard of metal protruding from his face. Metallic pieces of metal start spreading all over his face and then leave, and then return again until eventually his body becomes more metal than man. There is some kind of subplot of how he came to get this strange desease. Tetsuo and his girlfriend hit some guy (who just before cut open his leg and jammed an iron bar into the slit) with their car. They take his body out into the forest to hide it -i think- and then have sex in front of the corpse for a thrill. The guy isn't dead though and somehow he gives tetsuo the desease -i think-. He comes back to haunt tetsuo as tetsuo turns into a human scrapyard and then attacks him physically in a very strange dual of metalic body morphing near the end of the film.

A lot of the movie is stop motion animation mixed with live action actors. It is comparable to Eraserhead in that way but i liked this a lot more than eraserhead. While Eraserhead is really slow and monotunus, Iron man moves at a breakneck pace to an awesome industrial music soundtrack. The industrial music is perfect for this film because the film is based on dirty grimy and rusty industrial metal garbage and even the environments are all streamlined industrial parks and monotonous suburbs.

The thing i like about this movie is although it is "artsy" it's the kind of art that's fun to look at. You don't have to be some rich art fag pretending to like weird s*** to prove that your some kind of an intellectual to like it. I was really entertained by this movie! Unlike the other reviewer I don't think this movie is purposely all f***ed up for the sake of being artistic. I think the director wanted to make a visual statement about the relationship technology has with our physical lives. More interested in telling a cool sci fi story with fantastic visuals than with coherent dialogue that makes you ponder the universe. I also didn't get the feeling that this movie took itself too seriously. It's actually quite funny at times and that's why i had fun watching it.

If you don't like movies that give you no hope in understanding every aspect of the plot don't watch this, but if you like WEIRD sci fi stuff that's unlike anything you've seen before than watch this!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (123 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Can anyone recommend any other good drilldick movies? thereflectingvoid
was the b+w a deliberate choice? hpellison
I'm 8 minutes into the movie... All I can think is... Nine Inch Nails... fizzlesticks
Anti-Gay Message? flatlinebeforedeath
I wrote my 8th grade researchpaper on Shinya Tsukamoto and Takashi Miike cltravag
podcast about tetsuo the iron eltopoxl
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Akira Dreamcatcher Ring Evil Dead II Branded to Kill
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Horror section IMDb Japan section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.