Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a 1989 Japanese cyberpunk film by cult-film director Shinya Tsukamoto produced by Japan Home Video. This, his third film, is an extremely graphic but also strikingly-filmed fantasy shot in the same low-budget, underground-production style as his first two films. Revolving around the transformation of people into grotesque hybrids of flesh and metal, Tetsuo is above all an overwhelming audiovisual experience, set to a brain-pounding score by Chu Ishikawa and complemented by suitably exaggerated sound effects.
Set in a future-world vision of Tokyo where the police have been privatized and bitter self-mutilation is so casual that advertising is often specially geared to the “cutter” demographic, this is the story of samurai-sword-wielding Ruka and her mission to avenge her father’s assassination. Ruka is a cop from a squad whose mission is to destroy homicidal mutants known as “engineers” possessing the ability to transform any injury into a weapon.
Mr. Takazawa, an elderly invalid who is cared for at his home by Haruko, a young nursing student, is chosen by the Japanese Ministry of Public Welfare to test the Z-001, a computerized hospital bed with robotic features that allegedly displays more efficiency and skills than any human nurse, but Haruko mistrusts a machine unable to consider human feelings.
A traumatized young man abducts Korean leaders, believing they're toxic reptilian aliens - a fifth column launching a takeover of beloved Earth. Stumped law enforcement geniuses half-seriously hire a disgraced, disheveled private detective with a long-ago history of super-crime solving. The alienated South Korean youngster Lee Byeong-gu builds an isolated basement command post/torture chamber/film studio to force the awful truth out of the slimy, uncooperative politicians and businesspeople, then alert the public. Byeong-gu is helped by his devoted girlfriend, who buys his theories, but wonders if his horrible childhood has colored his thinking.
A dwarf scientist has his dreams frustrated when his sister becomes seriously ill. Determined to find a way to preserve the essence of his sister after the death, the scientist begins to use humans as guinea pigs in a bizarre experiment.
An American named Anthony is living and working in Tokyo and married to a Japanese woman. When their son is killed by the same driver who creates the Tetsuos in previous films, he makes the transformation into Tetsuo.
Luchino's routine morning elevator ride up from her subterranean home on level 138 to her school many stories above turns horrific when the elevator operator is ordered to pick up two passengers from floor 99, the maximum security level. What starts as psychological manipulation soon turns wholly physical as both the cruel convicts and Luchino's own dysfunctional past are unleashed. And then every passenger must fight for his or her survival.
A young boy gets jolted with electricity as he's climbing a cable pylon. As he gets older, he experiences intense fits of violence in which bolts of electricity burst from his fists. Elsewhere in Tokyo, there is an electronics wizard who also happens to be a vigilante with a taste for electric weapons. When the pair catch each others attention, the result is a battle that will light up the city.