The Spring of Sci-Fi #16
To say Tetsuo: The Iron Man is one of the most bizarre movies I have ever seen is an understatement. When I initially watched this film over a week ago, I was planning to write a review on it immediately, but after it ended I didn’t have the words to express how I felt. Tetsuo is a truly unique experience, and trying to put into words what is presented on-screen visually is quite difficult. Oftentimes I find myself recounting plot points in my reviews and I feel that undermines the visual element of filmmaking and film viewing. Tetsuo: The Iron Man is not concerned with telling a neat plot; instead, the director aims to create an atmosphere with its visual body horror.
Tetsuo: The Iron Man was released in 1989 and has become a cult classic. The film was directed by Shinya Tsukamoto who directs the film with a frenzied energy which I haven’t seen in many films. The story concerns a metal fetishist, played by director Shinya Tsukamoto, who after getting an infection from inserting a piece of metal into his thigh runs into the streets and is hit by a Business Man, played by Tomorowo Taguchi, and his Girlfriend, played by Kei Fujiwara. The Business Man and his Girlfriend dispose of the body and are haunted by a metal virus that begins taking over different hosts to get revenge on them. This movie is reminiscent of David Cronenberg’s body horror films and David Lynch’s Eraserhead. The events of the movie unfold like a nightmare. Logic and reason are abandoned for madness and insanity. To clarify how insane this movie is: at one point as the Business Man is infected by the metal virus, his penis turns into a power drill.
This is less of a review and more of a lengthy recommendation. Tetsuo is a phenomenal movie that needs to be witnessed. I could tell you plot points or point out how frantic the editing is, but ultimately this is a movie that relies too heavily on surrealism and visuals to adequately explain. Shinya Tsukamoto wonderfully directs this frenzied film and created a cult classic. Tetsuo is a movie that invites multiple re watches and interpretations. Please give this movie a watch if you want to watch something insane and surreal. It is a unique experience that no other movie can give you.