Tetsuo: The Bullet Man

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Tetsuo: The Bullet Man


Teaser poster
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto [1]
Produced by Shinichi Kawahara [2]
Masayuki Taneshima [1]
Written by Shinya Tsukamoto [1]
Hisakatsu Kuroki [1]
Starring Eric Bossick [3]
Akiko Monō [1]
Shinya Tsukamoto [1]
Stephen Sarrazin [1]
Yuko Nakamura [1]
Tiger Charlie Gerhardt [1]
Music by Chu Ishikawa [1]
Edited by Tsukamoto [1]
Yuji Ambe [1]
Release date
  • 5 September 2009 (2009-09-05)(Venice)
  • 22 May 2010 (2010-05-22)(Japan)
Running time
79 minutes [1]
Country Japan
Language English [1]

Tetsuo: The Bullet Man is the third film in Shinya Tsukamoto's cyberpunk film series, and the first to be filmed in English. [4] It was preceded by Tetsuo: The Iron Man and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer .

Shinya Tsukamoto Japanese director, producer, writer, and actor

Shinya Tsukamoto is a Japanese film director and actor with a considerable cult following both domestically and abroad, best known for the body horror/cyberpunk films Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992). Other films of his include Tokyo Fist (1995), Bullet Ballet (1998) and A Snake of June (2002).

<i>Tetsuo: The Iron Man</i> 1989 film by Shinya Tsukamoto

Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a 1989 Japanese cyberpunk horror film. It was written, produced, edited, and directed by cult-film director Shinya Tsukamoto, and produced by Japan Home Video. It is shot in the same low-budget, underground-production style as his first two films. Tetsuo established Tsukamoto internationally and created his worldwide cult following. It was followed by Body Hammer (1992) and The Bullet Man (2009).

<i>Tetsuo II: Body Hammer</i> 1992 film by Shinya Tsukamoto

Tetsuo II: Body Hammer is a 1992 Japanese cyberpunk body horror film directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. It is a bigger-budget sequel to Tsukamoto's 1989 film Tetsuo: The Iron Man, utilizing similar themes and ideas as his first film.



Anthony is a man with an American father and a deceased Japanese mother living and working in Tokyo. One day his son is run over and killed by Yatsu, this film's version of "The Metal Fetishist". [4] [5] Shortly afterward Anthony begins to transform into metal. He discovers that the work of his scientist father may be the key to his transformation. In his father's house he discovers a secret room with files and papers detailing the Tetsuo Project as a way to turn people into androids. He also learns that his father met his mother while they each researched the project. Anthony's wife arrives but before she sees her transformed husband a S.W.A.T. team arrives and she is taken hostage. Anthony's transformation finishes its hold and he defeats the S.W.A.T. team with bullets fired from his body, but refrains from killing them. The severely injured team is extracted, but then killed by Yatsu.

Anthony's father then calls to him and his wife to explain everything: Anthony's mother was disgusted with the outcome of the Tetsuo project, having joined it as a way to help give crippled and sick people new bodies. When Anthony's mother realized that she would soon die from cancer, she insisted that her husband recreate her as a Tetsuo android so that he may still have a child with his recreated wife. That child became Anthony, which means that Anthony and his late son were always part Tetsuo. Meanwhile, Yatsu realizes that the only way he will find peace is to be shot by Anthony's body. Yatsu and Anthony have a final confrontation in which Anthony's wife is nearly killed. Anthony's rage and transformation reaches its pinnacle and he becomes a gigantic metal beast with a cannon in his center. Yatsu provokes and threatens Anthony to shoot him. Finally, Anthony denies this wish and instead consumes Yatsu whole into his metal body and then returns to human form. Five years later Anthony and his wife and new child have returned to a normal, contented life. As he stands before a mirror he hears Yatsu's final words: "You don't know what I'll do." However, when a group of young thugs attempt to intimidate him while walking down the street, rather than allow his anger to overtake him, he simply walks calmly and confidently past them.


The film premiered on 5 September 2009 as part of the Venice Film Festival [6] and premiered in the US on April 25, 2010 as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. [7]

Venice Film Festival annual film festival held in Venice, Italy

The Venice Film Festival or Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the "Big Three" film festivals, alongside the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival. These three film festivals are nationally acclaimed, and give creators the artistic freedom to express themselves through film.

Tribeca Film Festival annual film festival held in New York, USA

The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) is a prominent film festival held in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, showcasing a diverse selection of independent films. Since its inaugural year in 2002, it has become a recognized outlet for independent filmmakers in all genres to release their work to a broad audience.


The closing credits of the film feature an original track by industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails entitled "Theme for Tetsuo: The Bullet Man." [8] Director Shinya Tsukamoto has stated that the collaboration with band leader Trent Reznor marked the fulfillment of a long held ambition to work with the group. [9]

Nine Inch Nails American industrial rock band

Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band from Cleveland, Ohio, founded in 1988. The band consists of producer and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, as well as English musician Atticus Ross. Over the course of their three-decade existence, the band has signed with several major labels, the most current being Capitol Records, under the name The Null Corporation.

Trent Reznor American musician

Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, primary musician, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails, which he founded in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success. He has since released eight Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.


Kotobukiya released the official Bullet Man Real Figure on the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International. [10]

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