ICHI THE KILLER
Directed By: Takashi Miike
Release Date: May 30, 2003
Running Time: 123 minutes
Horror Type: Serial Killers
Sex? - Plenty. And there's this funny scene where Ichi masturbates outside this couple's apartment, and he spills some sperm on their potted plants.
Gore? - Hell. Yeah.
Momel's Rating: 4/5
It's a strong story about Yakuza politics. Or something like that. But its got Yakuza and politics on it, so I'm thinking it ought to be something like that. Plus it has this guy named Ichi, and he's the messiest mass murderer ever, and he's wearing this kick ass shoe with an implement that looks very much like a cock fighter's gaff. And there's this other guy Kakihara who's so totally boss with his mouth that's clipped in two different places because it's so wide; he puffs smoke from his cheeks, and he cuts his own tongue and gets it sewn in the same hour. I wasn't paying that much attention to the story on account of all this excessive violence got in the way and caused me to be very, very distracted. I loved it. Not every minute of it, it tends to drag at some parts, but the whole of it just the same.
There are two things that endear this film to any fanatic. It has some of the most remarkable characters around, and the torture scenes are to gag for. Ichi's this unassuming killer with the craziest moves and a pitiful upbringing, whereas Kakihara's this wide mouthed total sadist on the look out for the ultimate pain. It can be argued that most Japanese people look alike, but these two characters, however totally singular, are brought to life by their near madness caused by an intolerable blood lust. Kakihara's methods are a little more painful than Ichi's frenzied killing sprees, but they both inspire and force that animated and involuntary EW! most affected viewers are known for.
Again, their killing methods are contrasting: Kakihara tortures, whereas Ichi kills in a frenzy. Kakihara is known to suspend this Yakuza guy with hooks placed along his back, and then throws boiling tempura oil on the poor dude's backside and face. He finishes it off with some playful teasing using some steel implements and testicles. There's also this nipple cutting scene with Kakihara on it, but he lets his men play out the perversion. Ichi, however, kills in a frenzied emotional state, and he does so with razor gaffs attached to his shoes. He splits this guy halfway from the scalp, severs this woman's feet after a refused blowjob, and is more popular with his messier kills. He's basically an emotional wreck, and this probably explains why his kills are more bloodstained.
Ichi the Killer could have been perfect, but the story tends to drag at times. It makes up for it though with shocking in-your-face violence which trademarks this popular Japanese title as one of the dirtier titles there is.