Ichi the Killer
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"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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favorite movie ever. The blood is dried up since it's been awhile since the blood packs were released, but the thought is still there, and I love having a physical copy.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
If you don't love this movie, you're either too used to American films or utterly lacking a sense of humor. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Veronica
always liked ichi the killer and was curious about the prequel....it's not as good....but it was an okay lead in to the ichi moviePublished 3 months ago by mark vaughan
These movies are not for the faint of heart or squeamish. But if you have a predilection for the unusual (very for some) and violent.... this will keep you going. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Gina N. Gore