Tetsuo: the Iron Man (1989)

Dir. Shinya Tsukamoto
67 minutes

I wouldn’t recommend this to most of you, except for maybe Penny. (I’ll reveal the reason below.) I liked the movie, but when I think about the 7 seems high. However, for what it is, I think the score is justified. One of the films of 1001, and I think it’s justified.

This is purely an art film and maybe more specifically a cult film; one of the first “cyber-punk” films(?) (the reason Penny would want to see it, as she seems to like cult films). Think David Cronenberg making his version of Eraserhead and you get an idea of what this film is about. It is nighmarish, although it has a more understandable plot than Eraserhead imo. A man puts mechanical parts into his body to become a fast runner. Later he is accidently hit by a man and woman and taken out to die, except he does not die. Someone the man sends out a kind of “industrial virus” that transforms a woman into a cyborg and later the driver of the car. Eventually, the two battle it out. The film is a sort of valentine to David Cronenberg as it covers a lot of the themes Cronenberg seems interested in sex, gore, the human body and technology.

Part of the reason I hesitated about the 7 score was that this the narrative is sort of weird. Well, it barely exists. What I liked was the visual qualities (gritty black-and-white) the editing and the industrial sounding score. The film had an energy and vibe that I just enjoyed.

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