Stylish, violent, depraved, funny – Ichi the Killer is seen by many as the definitive (if such a thing were possible) Takashi Miike film.
It follows Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano), a masochistic yakuza hitman, who is searching for his missing boss. His motivation is not so money, or revenge – it’s that his boss happens to be the preferred sadist in his pain games. In his quest, he finds out about another hitman, the powerful schitzophrenic “Ichi”, who might be able to provide some answers along with the pain Kakihara needs.
The array of gore is disturbingly impressive, including hot grease, involuntary piercing, severed nipples, several rapes, complete vivisection, and particulrly memorable scene in which a gangster is tortured as he hangs from the ceiling on hooks.
As part of the promotion for the film, sick bags were given to the audience when it showed at the Toronto International Film Festival.
- Ichi the Killer (Wikipedia)
- Ichi the Killer (Movie Martyr)
“Every time Miike pushes us farther than we thought we could go, it ratchets it up a level by either growing even more violent, or by disarming our shock with a bit of morbid humor.”
- Ichi the Killer (2002) Movie Review (Beyond Hollywood)
“For many, this is the quintessential Miike film, a hyper stylised visceral barrage of over the top gore, torture and rape, which hangs loosely on a threadbare skeleton of inconsequential plotting and that boasts a madman’s sense of logic.”
- Ichi the Killer (Snowblood Apple)
“Frankly, Quentin Tarantino would have given his right arm to have made this film”
- Ichi the Killer (KFC Cinema)
“Already infamous for it’s extreme display of violence and gore, Ichi proceeds to shock and disturb audiences and bring them to a whole new level of queasiness.”