Tetsuo (Iron Man) (1988)

Original Title : Tetsuo
Director : Shinya Tsukamoto
Writer : Shinya Tsukamoto
Genre : Drama
Country : Japan
Language : Japanese
Producer : Shinya Tsukamoto
Music : Chu Ishikawa
Photography : Kei Fujiwara
Shinya Tsukamoto
Distributor : Des Films [fr]
IMDB ID : 0096251
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poster for "Tetsuo (Iron Man)" by Shinya Tsukamoto (1988)
Tetsuo (Iron Man) (1988) - Shinya Tsukamoto


ÂTomorowo Taguchi Man
ÂKei Fujiwara Woman
ÂKei Fujiwara Woman


A man is experiencing problems with metal showing up and protruding from his body. Apparently he got a piece of metal in his head when he was hit by a car. He must face the antagonist which lives inside him as he continues to sprout more and more metal. 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.


Unwatchable This excruciating studenty clag could only appeal to those pseudo-intellectuals who: a) liked Eraserhead, b) really want to spend an hour staring up Shinya Tsukamoto's back passage, and c) actually read Sight &, Sound for fun. It's one of those movies that tries hard to be as incoherent as possible so people mistake it for something worth analysing. It was Eraserhead all over again for me –, a depressing, boring, ugly, sadistic movie that provides nothing more than seventy minutes of pure misery. The movie stars Tomoro Taguchi as an office worker who gets hit by a car, which leads to him sprouting metallic parts and eventually turning into a huge robotic thingummy. Um... and he has a girlfriend (Kei Fujiwara) who sees him transform and screams a lot. Then, erm, this metal fetishist (Tsukamoto) with rockets on his feet duffs him up. That's as much as I could make of it, and I had to look the plot up on the IMDb to get most of that! It makes about as much sense as this: kjbrfvyvb! Tetsuo is so pretentious that while watching it I actually sprouted a goatee and stuck my head up my own backside. The problem is not just that it's monumentally ‘,meaningful' but that it's so badly directed that it's impossible to tell what's going on half the time, and impossible to care for the other half. Tsukamoto overdoses on sped-up shots of the camera zooming through the streets and stop motion animation that looks as if it was done by an arthritic Ray Harryhausen, throws in way too many unbearable close-ups of people screaming, sweating and grimacing and then tries to be Giger-esque in the design with a budget of 1p and some hoover attachments. The mechanical man looks like one of the Borg with a really bad skin disease. And what about the scene where his fat one becomes an enormous whirring drill... subtle it ain't. Laughable, yeah. Never mind that it seems about three times as long as it really is. Still, it must be art, right? I mean, it's foreign, black and white and completely incomprehensible –, quick, everyone kiss its butt! Oh no, wait –, it's actually an unwatchable, dreary, cacophonous bore of a horse's butt clag fest! Your mistake, everyone. As for the sequel: you couldn't pay me enough, you really couldn't.