Tetsuo 1 – The Iron Man (1989)

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Avg Rating: 4.5 / 5. Voted: 23

No one cared thus far. Do you?

AKA: Tetsuo – The First Cut
Year: 1989
Directed by: Shinya Tsukamoto
Starring: Tomoro Taguchi (Man), Kei Fujiwara (Woman), Shinya Tsukamoto (First Man)
Country: Japan, Asian Cinema
Language: Japanese (English Subs)
Runtime: 01:07:17
Genres: Bizarre-Surreal, Body Modification, Self-Harm, Sexual-Violence against Men, Gore-Gruesome, Sci-Fi

Plot – Spoilers:
Scrap metal mutant humans!

A man inserts an iron pipe into his thigh after carving it open. The result shocks him and he runs into the streets wildly, where he is hit by a car. The driver of the car and his girlfriend hide the body in the woods and celebrate it with some outdoors sex. But soon, the driver develops a metal pimple which bursts gore when he tries to examine it. This is just the beginning of his descent into a spiral of paranoia and transformation. The first guy also turns up for a final confrontation. In between though, you have some delightful scenes of metal mutation set to some nice industrial music – like when the girlfriend develops a metal-snake-cock and cavorts around before sodomizing the guy, and some cool stopmotion-type scenes set in suburban streets.

At just over an hour, this is a surreal experience that most can afford, even if the bizarre, under normal circumstances, pisses you off.

10 thoughts on “Tetsuo 1 – The Iron Man (1989)

  • April 13, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Well, that was a…different. To say the least.

    • August 2, 2021 at 9:25 pm

      It all starts with someone wanting to achieve something he wasn’t physically designed to achieve (ie modifying his leg with iron to “become” an elite runner).

      This piece of film is of supreme quality! 10 stars out of 5. If you can follow the ideas presented by the director and his team, you are a reliable opinion.

      My view: The movie is an expression of a stance/opinion regarding technological innovation. Specifically, it is a self-aware exaggeration of the possible consequences of technological growth.

      Supporting my view with a couple of summarized scenes (with a lot of detail unexpressed):

      a) Being “chased” by and running away/avoiding technology can sometimes feel like being trapped in a room with grates on top and someone (with a metal hand) pawing at you.

      b) Technology might render the specialness of human sexuality obsolete as the different sexes will no longer be interdependent for reproduction and/or sexual satisfaction.

      c) A race towards power in a technologically advanced era might feel (for the powerless at least) like being glued to a wall of metal at the whims and desires of an overlord who simply has to squeeze his hands to achieve his will.

      This beautiful movie is self-contained, has intelligent, effective and, most importantly, superfluous references (eg cars recur and they were an important element in the evolution of manufacturing) and the typical elements that are unique to cinema (acting, editing, etc.) are elegantly deployed. Even though I don’t exactly agree with the viewpoint adopted, I can’t praise this work enough! Good job.

  • July 13, 2019 at 11:12 am

    Awsome and Visceral, the weirdest cinema I’ve ever seen

  • December 31, 2020 at 6:35 am

    This is a romance and you can’t tell me otherwise. Some of the best outsider-art cinema ever.

  • March 2, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    bro i deadass nearly cried when he shoved that metal thing in his leg :(( why have i come to this site

  • March 2, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    okay changed my mind !! i thought it was funny when that lady had a mf iron strap on, i will watch this again but skip the scary bits <3 hope ur having a nice day queen ! drink water, eat some food n remember to have some time away from ur screens bubs <3

  • March 15, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Very surreal. I didn’t get what was going on half the time but it was very well done. The stop-motion was a nice touch as well


  • May 24, 2021 at 2:04 am

    You want a taste of my sewage pipe?

  • August 12, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Started to watch this and 15 mins into it I turned off. Didnt get it, made no sense to me. More a sci-fi theme than anything, just not to my taste. Yet to see a good Japanese film eventhough I have seen a few here. Maybe they just make crap films?

  • October 3, 2021 at 11:37 am

    bro really decided that fucking his girlfriend was more important than fixing the giant chunk of scrap metal in his arm lmao


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