LSJTD - Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

Once a month, Kelly dares Jessica to watch a film surrounding the monthly theme. These challenges are meant to scare, or unsettle, Jessica, and broaden her horror horizons.


KELLY:

Japanese horror and cinema is a VAST world with a lot to explore, and there is still so much I have yet to see. But, I did watch Tetsuo: The Iron Man recently and thought that this was the perfect choice! It's bizarre, interesting, surreal, with a industrial/noise soundtrack and metallic base. It's truly a feast for the eyes! So, enjoy this peculiar treat Jess, as I think it might get under your skin....

JESS:

When I finished this movie, I literally sat on my bed and asked myself - "What the fuck did I just watch?" I can definitely see why this film is a cult sensation because it is both bizarre and absurd all at the same time. I am still trying to figure out what the logic behind the plot was and how it all comes together at the end, but then my brain starts to hurt. Visually, this film was a lot to take in, at times it felt like I was watching an 80s music video with the combination of the intense imagery and synth like score. I was also trying to place where I could situate this film in the various subgenres of horror; you get body horror, extreme horror, erotica and sci-fi. It also felt like I was watching a live action Japanese anime, as there where scenes that were reminiscent of Akira, L.i.l.y CAT and many other sci-fi type anime I have seen over the years. I feel like my 20+ years of watching Japanese anime prepared me for some of the imagery I witnessed, but I still cringed at scenes like placing a metal rod into his leg and the penis drill (that will haunt my dreams). Will I watch this again? YES, because while I give you my initial reactions, I feel like this film was saying things about our relationship with technology/industrialization, sexual repression and even a homoerotic relationship between the two men when they combine together to create a new world. Also, apparently there are sequels - I am curious to see how those hold up to this!

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