I was ecstatic to find that the ending to Tetsuo: The Iron Man, was in our list of options for movie scene analysis. It has long been a favorite movie of mine. I’ve always admired how such a low budget effort could have such a perfect storm of fantastical and disturbing imagery, haunting music, and a dystopian world.
Camera Work Analysis:
The first thing I noticed while watching this is the slow reveal of the fully transformed Tetsuo. The editing creates tension by revealing the creature in pieces, cutting from one extreme close up to another before the camera pans up to reveal to full costume. The low angle shot that is constant throughout Tetsuo’s dialogue makes him seem much more intimidating and terrifying. This unnerving atmosphere is helped in part by the costume which is a disgusting mixture of mechanics and biological vomit. The final scene where Tetsuo zooms around the city destroying what is in his path is shot in a very bizarre way. Obviously the film makers didn’t have the budget to simulate a total city destruction so instead they opted to visually imply it, having a stop motion sequence that made it look as if Tetsuo was moving at unimaginable speeds, interspersed with brief flashes of light symbolizing his wake of destruction.
Tetsuo: The Iron Man has always had one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. The pounding industrial beats mesh well with the artificial urban wasteland of the movie. However, without the visuals it became difficult to understand what was going on. The soundtrack overtakes most of the audio during the movie, so aside from dialogue lines it can be hard to know what’s really happening.
Putting everything together, the audio and the visuals, the movie really comes to life. The noisy electronic soundtrack is synced perfectly to the slow reveal of the mutated Tetsuo, and as his artificial body pulsates and lets out exhaust it’s difficult to tell what is part of the soundtrack and what is his rhythmic, mechanical breathing. Then Tetsuo let’s out a horrifying cry and shoots his weapon before speeding off. The score then climaxes as he moves faster and faster and their trail of world destruction reaches it’s peak.