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  • Tetsuo - The Iron Man (Special Edition)
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Tetsuo - The Iron Man (Special Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

Somewhere between nightmare and a techno-fetishist's ultimate fantasy, this extraordinary film from Shinya Tsukamoto caused a sensation when it was first released, and spawned a companion piece, Tetsuo II: The Body Hammer. Concerning itself with a young man's gradual mutation into a metal-being, the film takes a surreal journey into a dark and disturbing world where D.I.Y. body transformations and post-human women with deadly robot arms form the fabric of a strange new reality. Likened to the work of Lynch and Cronenberg, Tetsuo molds explosive violence, bizarre sexual imagery and jet-black humor into a cinematic experience like you've never seen before.

Special Features

  • First look at Tsukamoto's film Vital

Product Details

  • Actors: Kei Fujiwara, Tomorowo Taguchi, Nobu Kanaoka, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Naomasa Musaka
  • Directors: Shin'ya Tsukamoto
  • Writers: Shin'ya Tsukamoto
  • Producers: Shin'ya Tsukamoto
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 19, 2005
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009GV9FK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,655 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tetsuo - The Iron Man (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Ronnie Sortor on August 12, 2005
Format: DVD
The rating is for the lousy transfer of the new Tartan DVD release. TETSUO is one of my top-ten favorite movies of all time. Purchasing this new release represented a quadruple-dip on this title. First was a bootleg vhs tape back in the early 90's followed by the official Fox-Lorber tape, then the first DVD. The main reason, other than my love for the movie, for buying again was for the new 5.1 sound mix because TETSUO has a great soundtrack. Tartan did a great job with the remix. I love it! It's really impressive in my home theater. But the image doesn't live up to the audio, especially projected on my big screen. It looks like they just did a cheap transfer of the PAL master (Tartan is a UK company, I believe) to NTSC because it's riddled with artifacts like ghosting during fast movements (there's a lot of that in this film) and the image is very soft and contrasty. The old Fox-Lorber DVD from '98 has more image detail, especially in shadows, and none of that ugly ghosting. I assumed that since it's 2005 now and most DVD companies have kept up with the state of the art, knowing that audiences are more discriminating about audio/video quality, Tartan would live up to our expectations. But, no.

I see that there are several sellers dumping their old discs here at Amazon. I recommend that you just pick up one of those rather than Tartan's shameless release...
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47 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Dan Seitz on January 14, 2002
Format: DVD
First of all, let me state something that nobody seems to want to say explicitly; this is one unnerving movie with some of the most unpleasant scenes I've ever seen, and that includes Cronenberg. Also, there's an undeniable homoerotic subtext to the whole thing (and I'm not inferring; it's pretty clear, despite the lousy subtitle job Image subcontracted out.)
As far as comparisons go, this is a lot like the work of Jan Svankmajer, in terms of effects and narrative feel (and I suspect Tsukamoto knows the work of Svankmajer well.) But the material is about as far from Svankmajer's social concerns as you can get.
I don't claim to know Japanese society that well, but I DO know it wasn't (and still isn't) nearly as tolerant as the US, and "Tetsuo" is a strong reflection of that. The main character is a man who is torn apart by guilt over a crime he has committed, and also for his failure to conform to societal standards. He is terrified of women, and he also resents them (epitomized in two extremely gory and unnerving scenes.) And because, one feels, that he's told that he's unnatural and inhuman, he BECOMES unnatural and inhuman, literally an iron man.
This is not a upbeat story; this is a story about a man who has destroyed himself and achieves the power to take the society that caused it down with him. Even finding love isn't enough for him. This is a movie about a man who is twisted and warped by society, and who will destroy everyone thanks to that society.
Personally, I found it fascinating, but unless you've explored Jan Svankmajer, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, and others extensively, I would be careful about approaching this. Put it this way; if you weren't bugged by "Crash" but found it interesting, "Tetsuo" won't be too much for you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Seth G Macy on September 14, 2001
Format: DVD
After watching this movie, a small void formed in the exact center of my brain. The void began to inhale all the matter around it until a black hole had formed and my entire cranium collapsed in on itself. This movie is the most bizarre spectacle I have ever witnessed. I first saw this movie in 1996 and to this day I still can't figure the damn thing out. But I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to also have their heads implode. It's a good kind of implosion... BONUS: Most people never make it past the first ten minutes of this flick. If you watch the whole thing, it's like you're in a secret club!
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By matt (mtchu@conncoll.com) on July 3, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Testsuo: the iron man may be a difficult film for a lot of people. you will probably either love it or think in is trash. this film struck a deeply personaly chord within me, so it is difficult to write about it objectivly. as a teenager i dreamnt of a film shot in gritty black and white that would deal with terrifing and ghostly subjects. this film is it. tsukamoto is a genius for this film. the effects are low buget to the max, but when is the last time your nightmare had a big effects buget? the film actually follows a plot line somewhat resembling a Noh play, except very convoluted; the man runs the fetishist over with his car, and then has sex with his girlfriend in frount of the fetishist's broken body. because of this sexual arousal in the presense of machine induced death, the man is cursed with his sexual/physical merging with the machiene realm. the fetishist wants revenge. the visual effect of the film is beyond incredible, and the music is perfect. very few films incorporate music into the visuals as fundamentally as this one (bergman's Persona and otomo's AKIRA are also great examples). this film implanted itself into my brain like a shard of metal. keep an open mind when you watch this film, and don't jump to conclusions and judgements. if you can withstand the films attack, you will find it to be truly beautiful and rewarding.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
whats with all the homophobic extrapolation of the story- get a grip...
Heh, well other than your statement that one who sees homosexuality in the imagery says alot about him or self (a quick assumption is all) i do agree with you. A lot of americans find japanese films hard to follow, and usually take symbolism for what it literally is seen as in the movie. This is... Read More
Dec 30, 2007 by Benjamin Nawrocki |  See all 2 posts
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