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December 13, 2010

Movie Review: Tetsuo - The Iron Man

by Dineh Tom

I finally watched it. After a few weeks of having the DVD sitting around, I have at last seen what cannot be unseen! What, you may ask? Tetsuo, the Iron Man. Yes, that film directed, written, and even starring Shinya Tsukamoto. I must say those 67 minutes were a time of shocking, disturbing, squirming, inspirational, and beautiful piece of cinema I have seen for quite some time. I do not mean beautiful in the sense of a landscape perfectly lighted by the rays of the sun, and humans with animals enjoying the fruits of the earth. What I mean by beautiful is more along the lines of a piece of art crafted in a way that not many people dare to go. Creating something we may perceive of sure ugliness, but also creating it in a way that echoes how we struggle, destroy, and continue to live.

Buy Tetsuo - The Iron Man on DVD!

The plot of this film is relatively simple. We are introduced to a metal fetishist (Shinya Tsukamoto) who literally cuts open his leg and places a piece of metal into his leg. Maggots then plague his wound and he runs off into the streets and gets hit by a car. Within this car are two characters, a salary man (Tomorowo Taguchi) and his girlfriend (Kei Fujiwara). After the incident, the salary man begins to change by first noticing a piece of metal protruding from his cheek as he is shaving. Slowly his body (yes, even his love stick) begins turning into metal and his girlfriend has to face what he has become. The metal fetishist at the beginning comes back and soon we have the two monsters at battle. Metal Salary Man vs. Metal Fetishist.

Regardless of the simplicity of the plot, the film is shot, composed, and edited in a way that would make David Lynch pat Shinya Tsukamoto on the back. The film feels like a technological ride, and one of the best rides I have ever had the chance to take. The images, grittiness, industrial soundtrack, and sound effects are genius. The battle between Metal Salary Man vs. Metal Fetishist was ridiculously well done. Definitely a recommendation for audiences who love cyber, stop motion, creative, films and aren’t afraid to see something new!

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