Tetsuo: The Bullet Man

Last updated
Tetsuo: The Bullet Man
Teaser poster
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto [1]
Produced byShinichi Kawahara [2]
Masayuki Taneshima [1]
Written by Shinya Tsukamoto [1]
Hisakatsu Kuroki [1]
StarringEric Bossick [3]
Akiko Monō [1]
Shinya Tsukamoto [1]
Stephen Sarrazin [1]
Yuko Nakamura [1]
Tiger Charlie Gerhardt [1]
Music by Chu Ishikawa [1]
Edited byTsukamoto [1]
Yuji Ambe [1]
Distributed by Asmik Ace
Release date
  • 5 September 2009 (2009-09-05)(PlayStation 3)
  • 22 May 2010 (2010-05-22)(Japan)
Running time
79 minutes [1]
LanguageEnglish [1]

Tetsuo: The Bullet Man is a 2009 Japanese cyberpunk horror film. [4] It was preceded by Tetsuo: The Iron Man and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer .



Anthony is a man with an American father and a deceased Japanese mother living and working in Tokyo. One day, his son is killed in a car accident and shortly afterward, Anthony begins to transform into metal. Receiving a vision of scientific documents, Anthony uncovers a secret room in his father's house which contains files detailing a mysterious Tetsuo Project. He also learns that his father met his mother while they each researched the project. Anthony's wife Yuriko 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, this film's version of "The Metal Fetishist". [4] [5]

Anthony and Yuriko then meet up with Anthony's father, who explains everything: Anthony's mother was disgusted with the militaristic 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, it is revealed that Yatsu was the one that killed Anthony's son via vehicular homicide, as a way to provoke Anthony's transformation. Yatsu, in this version without metal powers, has come to the conclusion that the only way he would prefer to die is by a bullet from Anthony's body as committing murder would push Anthony to consume and destroy the world in Yatsu's stead. Yatsu kidnaps Yuriko and threatens to detonate a bomb he has fashioned into her necklace if Anthony does not shoot him. Anthony's rage transformation reaches its pinnacle and he becomes a gigantic metal beast with a cannon in its center. Yatsu provokes and threatens Anthony to shoot him. Receiving a vision of the city exploding in a giant ball of light if he does kill Yatsu, Anthony denies this wish and instead consumes Yatsu whole into his metal body, then returns to his human form.

Five years later, Anthony and Yuriko have had a new child and have returned to a normal, contented life. As he stands before a mirror, Anthony hears Yatsu's final words: "[You don't want me inside you.] You don't know what I'll do." However, when a group of young thugs attempt to intimidate Anthony while walking down the street, rather than allow his anger to overtake him, he 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]


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]


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

Related Research Articles

Robert Rodriguez American film director and producer

Robert Anthony Rodriguez is an American filmmaker and visual effects supervisor. He shoots, edits, produces, and scores many of his films in Mexico and in his home state of Texas. Rodriguez directed the 1992 action film El Mariachi, which was a commercial success after grossing $2 million against a budget of $7,000. The film spawned two sequels known collectively as the Mexico Trilogy: Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. He directed From Dusk Till Dawn in 1996 and developed its television adaptation series (2014–2016). Rodriguez co-directed the 2005 neo-noir crime thriller anthology Sin City and the 2014 sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Rodriguez also directed the Spy Kids films, The Faculty, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, Planet Terror, Machete, and Alita: Battle Angel. He is the best friend and frequent collaborator of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who founded the production company A Band Apart, of which Rodriguez was a member. In December 2013, Rodriguez launched his own cable television channel, El Rey.

<i>I Am Legend</i> (novel) Science fiction horror novel by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend is a 1954 post-apocalyptic horror novel by American writer Richard Matheson. It was influential in the development of the zombie-vampire genre and in popularizing the concept of a worldwide apocalypse due to disease. The novel was a success and was adapted into the films The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971), and I Am Legend (2007). It was also an inspiration behind Night of the Living Dead (1968).

Trent Reznor American musician

Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock band 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 nine Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.

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 his Tetsuo trilogy of horror films, consisting of Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989), Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992) and Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2009). His other films include Tokyo Fist (1995), Bullet Ballet (1998) and A Snake of June (2002).

<i>Road to Perdition</i> 2002 American crime film directed by Sam Mendes

Road to Perdition is a 2002 American crime film directed by Sam Mendes. The screenplay was adapted by David Self from the graphic novel of the same name written by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Richard Piers Rayner. The film stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, and Daniel Craig. The plot takes place in 1931, during the Great Depression, following a mob enforcer and his son as they seek vengeance against a mobster who murdered the rest of their family.

Lady Deathstrike comic book character

Lady Deathstrike, occasionally spelled "Deathstryke" is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is a foe of the X-Men, especially Wolverine.

<i>Hulk</i> (film) 2003 film directed by Ang Lee

Hulk is a 2003 American superhero film based on the fictional Marvel Comics character of the same name. It was directed by Ang Lee and written by James Schamus, Michael France, and John Turman, from a story by Schamus. Eric Bana stars as Bruce Banner / Hulk, alongside Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas, and Nick Nolte. The film explores the origins of Bruce Banner, who after a lab accident involving gamma radiation, finds himself able to turn into a huge green-skinned monster whenever he is emotionally provoked or stressed, while he is pursued by the United States military and comes into a conflict with his biological father, who has his own dark agenda for his son.

<i>Akira</i> (manga) Manga series by Katsuhiro Otomo

Akira (アキラ), often stylized as AKIRA, is a Japanese cyberpunk manga series written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo. It was initially serialized in the pages of Young Magazine, a seinen manga magazine, from 1982 until 1990, and then collected into six tankobon volumes by its publisher Kodansha between 1984 and 1991. It was published in the United States by Marvel Comics under Epic Comics, becoming one of the first manga ever to be completely translated into English. Otomo's art is considered outstanding and a watershed for both Otomo and the manga form. The manga is also famous for spawning the seminal 1988 cyberpunk anime film adaptation of the same name.

James OBarr American graphic artist

James O'Barr is an American comics artist, writer and graphic artist, best known as the creator of the comic book series The Crow.

<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 Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992) and Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2009).

<i>Werewolf</i> (TV series) American horror television series

Werewolf is an American horror series, and one of the original shows in the Fox network's broadcast line-up during its inaugural season of 1987–1988.

<i>Fist of the Blue Sky</i> Japanese manga series

Fist of the Blue Sky is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tetsuo Hara, with plot supervision by Buronson. It was serialized in Weekly Comic Bunch from 2001 to 2010, with the chapters collected into 22 tankōbon volumes by Shinchosha. It is a prequel to the popular 1980s manga Fist of the North Star, which Hara originally illustrated with Buronson writing. Set primarily in Shanghai during the 1930s, the series centers on the 62nd successor of the Hokuto Shinken martial arts style, Kenshiro Kasumi, the namesake and predecessor of Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star. The manga was adapted into a 26-episode anime series that aired on TV Asahi from 2006 to 2007.

<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.

<i>The Wolfman</i> (2010 film) 2010 film by Joe Johnston

The Wolfman is a 2010 American horror film directed by Joe Johnston and written by Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self, it is a remake of the 1941 film of the same name. Starring Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving, the plot follows an American man who is bitten and cursed by a werewolf after returning to his ancestral homeland.

<i>Whiteout</i> (2009 film) 2009 film by Len Wiseman, Dominic Sena, Stuart Baird

Whiteout is a 2009 thriller film based on the 1998 comic book of the same name by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. Directed by Dominic Sena, with uncredited reshoots by Stuart Baird and Len Wiseman, it stars Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Columbus Short, Tom Skerritt, and Alex O'Loughlin. The film was distributed by Warner Bros. and released on September 11, 2009. It was produced under the banner of Dark Castle Entertainment by Joel Silver, Susan Downey and David Gambino.

Lawrence Stewart "Larry" Talbot, also known as The Wolf Man, is a title character of the 1941 Universal film The Wolf Man and its sequels. He was portrayed by Lon Chaney Jr. In the 2010 remake of the film, he is portrayed by Academy Award-winner Benicio del Toro. The Wolf Man was part of the Universal Monsters ensemble.

Japanese cyberpunk refers to cyberpunk fiction produced in Japan. There are two distinct subgenres of Japanese cyberpunk: live-action Japanese cyberpunk films, and cyberpunk manga and anime works.

The Twenty Thirteen Tour was a concert tour by industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails to support the album Hesitation Marks. It marked the return of the band for live performances after a four-year touring hiatus. It began on July 26, 2013 and ended on August 30, 2014.

<i>Holidays</i> (2016 film) 2016 anthology horror film

Holidays is a 2016 American horror anthology film of subversive short horror films, each inspired by a different celebration. The directors include Kevin Smith, Gary Shore, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Scott Stewart, Nicholas McCarthy, Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, Sarah Adina Smith and Anthony Scott Burns.

Jared Ian Goldman is an American film and television producer. He is known for his work on Alex Strangelove, Ingrid Goes West, The Skeleton Twins, the Academy Award-nominated Loving, The Punisher for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wilson,Kill Your Darlings, Solitary Man, And So It Goes, The Wackness, and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning documentary Manda Bala .


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Felperin, Leslie (2009-09-04). "Tetsuo the Bullet Man". Variety. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  2. "Tetsuo The Bullet Man Panel – San Diego Comic-Con International 2009". Anime News Network. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
  3. 1 2 Newitz, Annalee. ""Tetsuo: The Iron Man" Gets A Crazy English Sequel – Sdcc". io9. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
  4. "More details on TETSUO THE BULLETMAN and brief first footage". Quietearth.us. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
  5. Tribeca Horrors 2010: Tetsuo, The Bullet Man
  6. Tribeca Horrors 2010 Wrap-Up: Tetsuo, The Bullet Man; Dream Home; The Killer Inside Me
  7. "Soundtracks: Trent Reznor's New Song for Tetsuo: The Bullet Man; Hear Inception Trailer Music in Full | /Film". Slashfilm.com. 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
  8. Reported by leviathant at 22:37 (2010-04-26). "Tetsuo/NIN Round-up – published at the Nine Inch Nails Hotline". Theninhotline.net. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
  9. "SD Comic-Con 2010: Kotobukiya Births a Bullet Man". DreadCentral.