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Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)

Tetsuo (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 1 July 1989 (Japan)
A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.

Director:

Shin'ya Tsukamoto
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tomorô Taguchi ... Man
Kei Fujiwara ... Woman
Nobu Kanaoka ... Woman in Glasses
Shin'ya Tsukamoto ... Metal Fetishist
Naomasa Musaka Naomasa Musaka ... Doctor
Renji Ishibashi ... Tramp
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1 July 1989 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Tetsuo, the Iron Man See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was 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 »

Alternate Versions

Tetsuo The First Cut is an extended version released on DVD, running 10 minutes longer than the original 67 minute running time. See more »

Connections

Followed by Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Modern, Metallic Ghost story
8 November 2002 | by SCUM-AuxiliarySee all my reviews

Tetsuo is, perhaps, the most brilliant film I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. I feel that most viewers are not mature enough/experienced with extreme cinema to look beneath the superficial "story," of which there is very little, to appreciate the wealth of subtext lurking beneath the most mind-blowing and exhilarating hour and seven minutes ever committed to film.

At once, it is an allegory of technology in the modern age (and the dehumanizing effect it has on its unwitting victims), a commentary on the psycho-sexual fetishization of industrialization, a critique of vengeance and violence, a celebration of nihilism and the potential beauty of destruction, a deranged superhero fantasy, a metaphor for failed dreams, an indictment of sexual repression (including homosexuality) and, at its core, a modern day ghost story, in which a hit and run driver (of sorts; he does carelessly dump the metal fetishist's body in the woods) is haunted by his metal-obsessed, ambiguously homosexual, marathon runner victim, a crazed nihilist who has acquired the ability to manipulate metal with his mind after a piece of steel (from the car) became lodged in his brain during the accident. In this modern age, the fear of the afterlife and the spirit has been replaced with that of technology gone haywire, the fear of weapons falling into in the "wrong" hands and of a human creation rising up to overcome, overpower and, ultimately, destroy the humans responsible for it. The events of the film, when taken to be no more than the actual images depicted, are too disturbing, complex and, ultimately, too alien, for the average, unthinking audience member to make heads or tails of, and thus are insulted as pointless, "offensive" and "weird," as if these highly subjective concepts denote something inherent in the movie. If you are one who can handle complex films with fairly simple story lines told in a completely non-linear fashion (what we actual artists/filmmakers call USING THE ART FORM!), then, please, do yourself a favor and buy this film immediately! You will gain something new from it each time you view it (I have seen it over thirty times and am still learning!). If you, however, are unable to read (and read into) images (the currency with which the medium of film traffics), and are unable to handle "weird" things without being spoonfed clear cut "heros" and "villains," then rent/buy "Titanic" and leave complex films to the thinkers and artists and revel in your own ignorance, but do not put down Shinya Tsukamoto, a man who has won my undying respect with ONE film.


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