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Ichi The Killer (2001)
| Directed by:
and emotionally pathetic Ichi (Omori), is being manipulated to slaughter
Yakusa mob members. Armed with his superhero outfit and his razor laced
boot, he’s cleaning shop like nobody’s business. When Mafioso and S&M
freak Kakihara’s (Asano) boss disappears, Ichi is the prime suspect.
Kakihara, his fly leather coat and his henchmen go on the hunt for the
aloof fruitcake…blood flies, guts tumble and we vomit with joy!
FESTIVAL 2003 ENTRY
Director Takashi Miike, the man
behind the excellent sucker puncher “Audition” takes us through yet
another gore-filled ringer with "Ichi The Killer" (which is itself based
on a popular
Manga by Hideo Yamamoto). WARNING: Barf bags, cold beers and more cold
beers are highly recommended from yours truly to survive this watch.
bad boy worked the screen in so many ways; it definitely played by its own
rules within its own incredibly sicko world and consequently bashed my
skull into dust. Here, pleasure and pain are bound together tight. So strongly, in fact, that it would make Pinhead blush like a rejected
schoolgirl. Everybody in this flick is one twisted squirrel with some
serious Band-Aid/Ejaculation issues. Kakihara, for example, gets off on torture more than The Marquis De
Sade ever did and Ichi (Omori) pops boners when thoughts of rape and
feelings of shame kick in. A word on Ichi, if I may: his imminent
rationalization of his actions to a poor prostitute was one for the
“Crazy Mofo Guinness Book of Records”-- I jolted down notes when he spat
that jive out...I gotta use that shite! Man, and I thought I had some
quirks...this dude is seriously messed up!!
On a narrative level,
the flick surprised me with a couple of neato plot turns that I didn’t
see coming and managed to weave three plots lines skillfully to eventually
tie them together perfectly in its last block. Although potent in layers
and meaning via its themes of repressed anger, self-loathing,
physical/mental abuse, sadomasochistic ways of emoting…what not, I will
admit that my interest in the film’s depth was swiftly undermined by the
stronger juice in the glass; the INSANE and UNAPOLOGETIC gore set pieces.
Let's light some candles and spank some hookers for the red slosh in this
baby...man-o-man! I squinted my eyes, I yelped out loud in cheers and
uttered, “Fuck me man, that’s gross!’ at least 69 times. On the
upside, the butcher jamboree gave this gore hound a genre hard-on that
defied Viagra in terms of lasting, on the downside, the red grub was so
excessive that it pretty much drowned out the substance of the movie for
me. Only after looking back at my Ichi experience, did I manage to
appreciate it as more than just an excessive gorefest.
Now the film did go limp in parts; it lagged on
occasions and would’ve benefited from some circumcision here and there.
There are just so many times I can hear “Where’s the Boss?” or
“Where’s Ichi?” before my fast-forward trigger finger starts itching.
We get it! LET'S MOVE ON! I also had qualms with the character of Ichi--
although well acted by Nao Omori and, without a doubt, an interesting entity, he tended to get
on my nerves at times with his weakling whining. But that’s my own shit
going on...I easily get grated by pathetic characters onscreen. That’s
just me. Lastly, I never really got to care about anybody in this party
deeply enough to be affected
by their fate. That slightly lessened the stakes when it came to the
players and therefore somewhat weakened the impact of the storyline.
But when all was lopped off,
chopped off, sliced off and buried, "Ichi The Killer" wound up being quite a
unique and visceral watch. Not only was it a gore festival, it was also a
visual treat via the polished directing style and hilarious show due to
the black and sadistic humor. It also disturbed the shit out of me when it
came to its violence against women. DAMN! I haven’t seen chicks get
beatings like that since the first season of Jerry Springer. Yes, I was
disgusted, and you know what? It felt AWESOME! Any movie that stirs me up
is a friend of mine! (sings)
When there’s S&M criminals in your neighborhood...who you gonna call?
ICHI THE KILLER!
Asano (Kakihara) commanded the screen with his strong presence. The man
didn’t have much to tackle in terms of “emotional” range, but his
kool as an ice pick demeanor, photogenic nature and slick threads (loved
the leather jacket) made him a character to be reckoned with. Even though
I wanted to bitch-slap him at times, Nao Omori (Ichi) was utterly
convincing as the multi-layered psycho nutball.
on your raincoat, tigers because it gets messy in this gore-zoo (I’m
talking the UNCUT version here). We get blood and gut soaked rooms, a man
hanging from hooks pierced in his back, long metal needles inserted in
folks’ faces (ouch), boiling water on one’s back, a cut off tongue, a
man split in half (the highlight for me), split necks that gush blood, a
face ripped off, a cut off face sliding on a wall, cut off nipples (yowzer!),
cut off foot, a ripped off arm, a severed head and you know what...THERE’S EVEN MORE! Happy
birthday, guys and dolls!
get some tit shots, but trust me, the context in which they are showcased won’t have you reaching for the baby oil and the Kleenexes unless
you’re one sick puppy. The ladies get some shirtless dudes and a guy’s
Miike gives us quite an eyeful using various visual tricks, image
manipulation, slow motion, zany cam shot and crazy angles to keep us
riveted to the screen. He knows when to pad it up or to play it down to
serve the happenings at hand. NOTE: The
snap neck POV shot was one for the books! Style junkies take note!
The score by Karera Musication was
beyond varied, changing in tone constantly and upping the film’s almost
otherworldly feel perfectly. Good shite!
"Ichi The Killer" is a sexually deviant, anarchic, psychotic, unsettling,
politically incorrect, side-splitting and blood-drenched hammer to the
head. Sure, it dragged at times and Ichi needed a good kick in the face,
but if you dig your Asian cinema and have a set of balls the size of
mammoth rocks (yes, this applies to the ladies too), try to nab this crazy
bastard...he’ll take ya for one crazy ass joyride and you’ll thank him
for it. One last thing: say no to drugs and no sex before marriage-- just
trying to be a positive influence (yeah right!).
When Kakihara's cell phone rings in the
film, the ring tone is actually the movie's theme song.
I saw this one via “Fantasia Film
Festival 2003”. Thanks guys!
THE OFFICAL FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL SITE
this movie on The Arrow's HORROR BOARD
back to the Arrow in the Head Homestead...
© 2003 John
Fallon All Rights Reserved JoBlo.com