Today, I’d like to introduce to one of the marvels of the cyberpunk genre, Tetsuo: the Iron Man.
Directed in 1989 by Shinya Tsukamoto, this movie drinks from a lot of different sources. Even though most critics link it directly to Cronenberg’s and Lynch’s works, I see a lot more influences from Japanese animation and manga (Akira was released one year before in fact). All in all, the movie can’t be judged by any of the standards mentioned above. It’s a cult movie, done with a ridiculous budget and with a filming approach closer to video-art than to animation / movies.
Another thing worth mentioning is the soundtrack. Think in the most hardcore industrial tunes ever and you’ll get the picture. Using factory samples and mixing them accordingly, Chu Ishikawa gets the desired effect.
The plot involves the story of a man who by some unknown and obscure reason keeps turning into a living metal form. That’s the pretext Tsukamoto will use to show us the living beings of an apocalyptical future he envisions in his mind. The title itself is a play on the Japanese name Tetsuo (鉄男) composed with the kanjis 鉄 (steel) and 男(man).
Blood, metal and sex mix in this bizarre film which became an instant cult-classic back in its day.