The Sunday Cult Film Corner: “Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)”

01 Apr

Sorry for the slight haste but I’m on a bit of a rush right now. so there will be no floral intros this time. We’re getting right into some really metal meaty body horror of the best kind, straight from Japan obligatory land of WTF? Ladies and Gentlemen, i give you TETSUO: THE IRON MAN.

Directed in 1989 by Shinya Tsukamoto, Tetsuo starts with a scene of a character known only as the Metal Fetishist. inserting a piece of metal tube into an open wound on his body. However upon leaving his building, he is run down by a business and his girlfriend. After dumping his body to conceal their crime, the metal fetishist extracts his revenge by forcing the businessman to slowly turn into a hideous mix of man and metal. the film then shows the beginnings of a hideous transformation from man to a hideously disfigured metal monster. Can he regain his humanity and defeat the metal fetishist, or will he succumb to this brave new world?

Shot on a very low-budget, TETSUO is a classic lo fi cyberpunk body horror that follows in the tradition of Cronenberg and Ballard. As he begins to change, we see the pursuit of transhumanism to its terrifying conclusions. There is very little dialogue and a simplistic plot, but the effects, on such a low-budget, are absolutely stunning (not to mention gut wrenching). the camera work is also impressive as it’s twists, turns, hyper jump cuts that almost make you feel dizzy. Add to that a truly pessimistic ending, and you have the making of a new form of society, a society of metal and rust. Game Over.

so grab a cup of motor oil, chew on a few nuts and bolts, and enjoy this trip into the terrifying unknown. Long live the new flesh.

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Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Film


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