Blood Blood and MORE Blood!!!
Ichi The Killer (2001)
Directed By: Takashi Miike (Visitor Q, Gozu, Audition)
You know? If you really want to see some messed up stuff now days you need not look any future than to imported movies. Particularly Asian films. You see in that country they don’t mess around. They don’t bother toning stuff down for the kiddies or the teens. When they release a film they want to do it right, and they don’t worry about the shock factor of it. Nine times out of ten they toss it out there in it’s full form and you may not understand what the hell your seeing but you’ll notice that what you are seeing is some hardcore shit.
Now when you break down the really awesome and the really shocking films to come from Japan and other such places, you will hear names like “Old Boy”, “Battle Royale”, “Gozu”, “The Host” ect. And when you are finished reading the list there will probably be two directors you find named more than once. One will be Park Chanwook, the man behind the popular “Vengeance Trilogy” and the other on the more “shock” end of the spectrum will be none other than Takashi Miike
Takashi Miike is an odd Character to say the least. I’ve seen many films by the man and many left me wondering just what the hell I just watched. However through the many weird, and often blood soaked violent images the man puts on the screen, you’ll often at times see some very humorous images as well. What we get with “Ichi The Killer” is a perfect mixture of both.
“Ichi The Killer” is pretty much a crime film in the vein of “Pulp Fiction”, but without the out of liner format. The dialogue isn’t nowhere near as great, but odds are if your watching this twisted story of the Yakuza and the evenly twisted men trying to bring it down, what they are saying isn’t what is important to you.
What most people watch a Takashi Miike film, it is for the blood and oh my brothers let me tell you that you will get all that you want and more with this film. Sure there is a few moments where what we see looks pretty damn fake (due to some bad CGI in spots) but what you see as a whole will more than make up for it.
Just off the top of my head I can recall seeing people hung up on meat hooks and scalded, nipples being cut off, tongues being cut off, arms and legs being severed, people being chopped into mushy piles of flesh and blood, and LOTS more. Why the gore in this thing is soo high that people in Tokyo got barf bags when going to see the film. Something played off as a gimmick I’m sure but I would bet anything a few of those were actually used.
While you probably won’t give a damn while seeing it, the acting here isn’t bad at all. The most memorable character in the film is a man named “Kakihara”. Kakihara is played by the very popular Tadanobu Asano. Who is kinda like the Japan version of Johnny Depp. He plays the roll perfectly and walks away as the star of the movie to spite being the movie’s lead villain, but then again I suppose a movie where a real hero isn’t anywhere to be found, that is a great thing to accomplish. I can safely say after you see this film you will be a huge fan of both the character Kakihara and the actor Tadanobu Asano. Just don’t watch the movie with the English dub or he’ll sound just like Clive Owen, and that is rather distracting.
While the plot could be a bit weird and complicated at times, it isn’t that hard to follow. Most the questions get answered before the film’s climax which is a good thing. The key thing here is to not feel bad after you find yourself laughing at someone’s horrible demise. That was probably Miike’s intention when making this movie the way he did.
There is a strange comfort to be found while watching a movie where ungodly things are happening all around but yet the characters just seem to shrug them off and take them lightly. You may even find yourself taking what your seeing lightly as well and just enjoying it as much if not more than the horrible people you are watching commit these terrible acts. Sure, you may turn away at certain moments of the movie, but you’ll turn your head right back to catch the next violent act.
Probably the best Asian movie I’ve seen next to “Old Boy”. If you like stuff like like this, that like to push the violence limit to the point of almost no return, then you’ll really like this movie a lot.
That being said, if you would like to see things toned down a tiny bit Tokyo Shock has released two versions of this on DVD. One being the unrated and uncut version I have and another being the slightly less graphic R rated version. However both are out of print, but if you happen to run across either you’ll probably find them for a nice under twenty dollar price.
If you have already seen this or want to go all out for your first time viewing it, there is a very nice looking “Blood Pack” version of this on DVD. All signs point to it being the very same version as the unrated version only with a blood gimmick added on to it’s package. I myself have yet to get this version because I don’t like double dipping on my DVDs, but if I come across some extra cash I may this time because it does look pretty damn good.
No matter if you buy it or rent it, I do HIGHLY suggest you go out of your way to at least see it. Oh and before I wrap this up (and without giving anything away) keep in mind when you watch this movie that the semen was actually REAL!
The Rating: (8/10)