Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
January 12, 2023 12:08 PM - Subscribe

A “metal fetishist,” driven mad by the maggots wriggling in the wound he’s made to embed metal into his flesh, runs out into the night and is accidentally run down by a Japanese businessman and his girlfriend. The pair dispose of the corpse in hopes of quietly moving on with their lives. However, the businessman soon finds that he is now plagued by a vicious curse that transforms his flesh into iron.

Starring Tomorowo Taguchi, Shinya Tsukamoto, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka, Naomasa Musaka, Renji Ishibashi.

Directed, produced, written, edited, and art directed by Shin'ya Tsukamoto, who also served as co-director of photogrpahy.

82% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Shudder, Arrow, Criterion, and Kanopy. Also available for digital rental. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Tough to watch and tough to forget, it remains unlike anything even Cronenberg could produce.

I tried to find out how much the production budget was when I watched it maybe five years ago and I think it was somewhere between Clerks and Primer levels.
posted by Molesome at 1:20 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]

One of the top 10 most influential films in the very specific universe of my skull and its understanding of film, and one of my fave scifi movies ever. Was a revelation to me when I saw it at some midnight showing years ago. So darkly, bloodily poetic and disconcerting but also laugh-out-loud funny. Been a while since a rewatch but I recall the sound design is fantastic, too. I suppose decades of shock horror may minimize its impact to someone watching it fresh today, but I dunno. I bet it holds up.
posted by mediareport at 2:41 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]

Love this film unreservedly... Tsukamoto's later work is usually good-to-great too, though the Tetsuo sequels are really not his best work. Lead actress Kei Fujiwara and crew member Shozin Fukui went on to direct further things along these lines as well (the latter having already made a few shorts and one feature).

And yes, great soundtrack by the late Chu Ishikawa.
posted by remembrancer at 4:47 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]

Thanks for reminding me of this amazing soundtrack
posted by eustatic at 9:49 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]

I watched this movie 20 odd years ago, and Did Not Like It At All. This and Meet the Feebles. That's a recommendation of sorts, I guess,
posted by Spike Glee at 8:43 AM on January 13

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