TETSUO: THE IRON MAN – The Dungeon Review!

tetsuo dvd coverI had seen this film many years ago and recalled enjoying it. When I spied it at Cinema One for $5.00 I decided to bring it home with me. Hell, that is pretty much the price of a rental anyway. This strange surrealistic black and white nightmare is stranger and more frantic than I remembered. The film is definitely a trip, and is packed full of fascintating and horrifying images. Even if you hate the film it is unlikely you will see anything quite like it.

A couple hit a man while out driving, and leave him for dead. Shortly after the incident the male half of the couple discovers his body is transforming into scrap metal. It turns out the man they hit is a “metal fetishist”, who likes to stick scrap metal into his body for kicks. Not only is the man not dead, but it appears he is the cause of his bizarre transformation.

Based on the plot summary alone, you know you’re not going to get regular mainstream fare. But whether or not you can be prepared for this lightening paced, twisted tale is something completely different. Visually this film is exceptional. The film was made in 1989 before CGI started whoring everything up. Stop motion animation is used to great effect making wires, cables and metal come to life. Fast forwarding, quick cuts, severe camera angles and black and white photography add to the films hysterical, nightmarish feel. The running time is only 67 minutes, which is probably a good thing, as the film severely messes with your brain’s synapse. ‘Tetsuo’ is not an easy film to summarize. At times the film will seem incomprehensible and its startling images of sex and violence will leave some viewers aghast. I understand the paralells to David lynch, but he would have to be on a severe speed binge to complete a film with this bullet-pace. The accident angle of the film is particularily demented and there are more than a few cringe-worthy scenes, one involving a drilling penis. The graphic scenes of sex and violence will not sit well with everyone, but I found ‘Tetsuo’ fascinatingly hypnotic. If you enjoy films that make you feel like you just went on a 3 hour jog on acid then this one is mandatory viewing. Highly recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4.5/5

Directed By: Shinya Tsukamoto

Starring: Tomorowo Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka, Renji Ishibashi, Naomasa Musaka and Shinya Tsukamoto
tetsuo still 2

6 Responses to “TETSUO: THE IRON MAN – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. wow i havent’ seen this one, I’ll have to imitate your comment you left me and say that this will have to be put in my ‘must-see’ list. Thanks! 🙂

  2. This movie is quite the trip and I was just reading about the director returning to this series with a third film. It made me wanna revisit this one. So weird thought it’ll be hard to review! HAHA!

  3. one of my favorite movies ever!!

  4. Great review. It was such a spectacle I was bowled over and left in shock when I watched it in high school. Ten years later, same reaction. As far as I’m concerned, this is a classic. Anybody who considers themselves a film enthusiast should see this film!

  5. […] GIF set for Shin’ya Tsukamoto’s 1989 film Tetsuo, the Iron Man; a freaky trip of a film about a metal fetishist. A cyberpunk classic and a personal favourite. I wrote a review for Tetuso in 2009, Goregirl’s Dungeon’s first year. It also made my top 10 list for 1989. Read my review for Tetsuo, the Iron Man here. […]

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