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"Tetsuo: The Iron Man" (Film Review)

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Tetsuo: The Iron Man


With "Tetsuo: The Bullet Man", the third film in Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo series, coming to Columbus' Grandview Theatre February 11 it seemed an appropriate time for a review of the first intallment "Tetsuo: The Iron Man".

The original follows a strange man known only as the "metal fetishist" (played by director Shinya Tsukamoto), who seems to have an insane compulsion to stick scrap metal into his body, he is hit and possibly killed by a Japanese "salaryman", out for a drive with his girlfriend. The salaryman then notices that he is being slowly overtaken by some kind of disease that is turning his body into scrap metal, and that his nemesis is not in fact dead but is somehow masterminding and guiding his rage and frustration-fueled transformation.

Not a film for everyone, Tsukamoto's classic is obscure and bizarre in the vein of other classics ranging from "Eraserhead" to "Videodrome", not making sense to everyone but to those who understand it they would never trade it. For the budget and 16mm film, Tsukamoto creates a visually striking masterpiece that even if not a pleasant storyline should be recommended viewing for anyone with passion for the art of film.

"Tetsuo: The Iron Man" will not be appreciated by everyone, down righted hated by some, but is highly recommended to be viewed at least once for any true film buff (it is only an hour long, what would it hurt). The shortcoming to me would be that I don't see myself finding a rewatchable value to the film, beautiful to watch, but a hard watch none the less.