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Ichi the Killer

4.1 out of 5 stars 207 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Region: All Regions
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MY8DIA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,834 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
After watching Takashi Miike's powerful "Audition," I thought following up with "Ichi the Killer" an excellent idea. I don't see much of a comparison between the two films unless you wish to look at the disturbing scenes of gory violence and the fact that "Audition" has more of a social message than this gore extravaganza. I have come away with the impression that Miike is a brilliant filmmaker capable of forcing extreme reactions from his viewers. Hollywood should take note of this guy and bring him over here for a project or two. But doing so probably wouldn't work out; Miike's warped visions would send American censors scrambling for a sedative, and most mainstream viewers would recoil from the graphic nature of this director's films. A word of warning for those thinking of indulging in "Ichi the Killer": the movie is loaded with sadism, gore, black comedy, and all around unpleasantness. It's as though this movie turns upside down everything we associate with cleanness and decency. It's a tough watch, even for a gore fan like me, so prepare thoroughly--how, I cannot really tell you because I do not know--before diving in. Good luck.
"Ichi the Killer" is based on a "manga," a Japanese comic strip of a type often embodying grotesque images and disturbing themes. The film follows several Yakuza gangs as they do what they do best: murder, torture, plot, and generally cause lots of unpleasantness. I am unfamiliar with the structure of the Yakuza, but I gathered from the film that there are numerous gangs (or families, as the mafia would say) each headed up by a boss.
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Format: DVD
"Ichi the Killer" ("Koroshiya 1") is a stylistic, well-made film representing a Japanese idea that seems strange to most non-Japanese, the idea that violence, even extreme violence, can be beautiful. As seen in films such as Kenka Ereji's "Elegy to Fighting," violence is an art form and a genre of Japanese movies.

This film is about killing for the sake of killing, by those who love doing it with a sexual passion. Kakihara, the masochistic Yakuza killer featured on the box cover, complains while receiving a beating that "There's no love in your violence." To commit violence without love is like having sex without emotion, and empty physical act. Director Miike Takashi has put love in his violence, and style and art.

Kakihara is the star of the film, being both brash and beautiful, but it is Ichi the Killer who is the true protagonist. Mentally unstable and boyish to the extreme, Ichi is a deranged assassin who wears a superhero costume with a bold Number 1 ("Ichi" means "Number 1" in Japanese) emblazoned on the back. Ichi is an almost-controllable tool of Jijii, who plays the gangs against each other for a mysterious motive. Jijii aims Ichi like a gun, then pulls the trigger. Kakihara deepest fantasy is to be slain by Ichi, the ultimate killer, but not before the time is right.

As you can see from this description, "Ichi the Killer" is a trip into a dark underworld of sado-masochism, lustful violence and other avenues of human nature that most people would not willfully venture into. It is without a doubt the finest film in the genre.
2 Comments 84 of 98 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Live Action Anime...yes it is an oxymoron, but it's one way to describe what Director Takashi Miike has done with Ichi the Killer. It's like a live action version of Akira or Ninja Scroll.

The film's plot is secondary so I won't dwell on it here, but if you have never seen Miike's films, get ready for a ride through the imagination of a complete mad man. The best part about the film is that Miike and his team are actually outstanding technically, and his sense of humor is both original and in my opinion hilarious.

Ichi the Killer is as glossed over and stylized as it is sadistic and violent, and believe me when I say that this film is violent. It's sexually violent content is out of whack as well and alone might earn Ichi an NC-17 stamp but it's violence is so fantastic it almost seems cartoon-like. If you didn't find humor in films like Dead Alive, Robocop, Evil Dead 2 or Kill Bill pass on Ichi, but if you like those films like I do, give Miike a chance, you won't regret it.
1 Comment 23 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The actual film gets 4 out of 4 from me (amazon and most sites only let you rate 5 out of 5), but after close to a year of waiting after this disc got pushed back and back, the end result is a completely unacceptable Bluray disc. The image quality, I'm sorry to say, is no different than the DVD and looks to be derived from the DVD with marginally increased sharpness. The sound quality is what made me return the disc. The Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 track sounds AWFUL! Worse than the DVD, which had a great 5.1 mix. Also, it looks as if the only Dolby True-HD tracks on the disc are both English and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0! Why would you include an HD 2.0 mix on an HD disc that most definitely has 5.1 audio. I've seen 'Ichi the Killer' theatrically and know all too well that it looks and sounds better than this. Sorry I had to burst the bubbles of many eager 'Ichi' fans (myself included), but I sent this back almost immediately after buying it. A shame.
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