Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look47.62%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 4.76%
Sucks: 0%

2 reviews, 9 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Clickbait by Jay Seaver

Her Smell by Peter Sobczynski

Under the Silver Lake by Peter Sobczynski

Chaperone, The (2019) by Jay Seaver

Missing Link by Jay Seaver

Master Z: Ip Man Legacy by Jay Seaver

Hail Satan? by Jay Seaver

Diane by Rob Gonsalves

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse by Rob Gonsalves

Dragged Across Concrete by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed

Tetsuo: The Iron Man
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"Heavy metal poisoning."
4 stars

Shinya Tsukamoto's "Tetsuo: The Iron Man" is a heavy-metal nightmare that has invited comparison to "Eraserhead" -- except that David Lynch's film was obsessively slow, while Tsukamoto (who serves as his own editor) keeps the scenes short, fast, anguished.

What is it, exactly? It's a hyperactive Japanese idea of apocalyptic surrealism -- so fractured and jangled that its themes (tormented flesh revolting against encroaching technology) come through only in spurts. For a while, I thought the whole thing was the dream of a car-crash victim in the hospital and hooked up to a life-support system -- there's a recurring image of a car speeding at the camera.

A bespectacled, ordinary drone (Tomoroh Taguchi, looking like David Byrne singing "Once in a Lifetime" in Stop Making Sense) shoves an iron rod into his leg and finds his body turning into a tangled riot of hardware. He dukes it out with a couple of similarly appendaged beings, one of whom drops mad pronouncements about world domination. In the end, these two adversaries merge and, presumably, lay waste to the planet. Tetsuo sometimes seems like an attack on Japan's fascination with technology, sometimes like a parody of the anime in which robots hammer away at each other. It also answers questions like, "What does an Iron Man do for sex?" The protagonist develops a whirring penis-drill and menaces his girlfriend with it. You don't care whether this is a satire of ironclad misogyny or an example of it; you just don't want to see the woman anywhere near that drill.

Shot in black and white (by Tsukamoto and Kei Fujiwara), Tetsuo isn't as disgusting as it would be in color, but it has more than a few images that rival Eraserhead's grossest moments -- and those are the images that Tsukamoto bashes you with again and again. Unquestionably it's a feat of imagination and technique, but an hour of it is more than enough; you're punchy well before the end.

Tetsuo and its sequel, Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (which is more abrasive, more incomprehensible, and more conventional in its story, with much bashing around, much screaming and techno-agony), are like the hallucinations of a college kid who's been up for three days on nothing but coffee and No-Doz. (Weed might sharpen their appeal for some viewers.)

Visually overwhelming (or overbearing), but enough, already. If you've seen it, though, you might understand why I was less than overwhelmed by 2008's "Iron Man."

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6929&reviewer=416
originally posted: 05/05/08 16:20:40
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

2/26/14 Alex Thorne As a piece of art, fantastic. As a filmviewing experience...uncomfortable 4 stars
6/06/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Awesome! 4 stars
10/03/05 K. Sear A non-stop audiovisual assault. A wonderful film 5 stars
5/19/05 MyGreenBed Occasionally has it's moments, though overall cheap campy and crappy. 2 stars
12/23/04 Dr. Fardook Holy fucking shit my eyes exploded. 5 stars
10/29/04 armo comments should be reviews. 4 stars
4/22/04 Mike One of the best surrealistic horror movies ever. 5 stars
3/27/04 Agent Sands Darkly hilarious, creative, really fucked up. At least more decipherable than "Eraserhead." 4 stars
1/08/04 tatum Spooky 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  02-Feb-1988 (NR)
  DVD: 19-Jul-2005


  02-Feb-1988 (R)

Directed by
  Shinya Tsukamoto

Written by
  Shinya Tsukamoto

  Tomoroh Taguchi
  Kei Fujiwara
  Nobu Kanaoko
  Shinya Tsukamoto

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast