Ichi the Killer

AKA Koroshiya 1

Tag Line : Explore your fear.

Ichi the KillerAn over the top oriental gore-fest by cult director Takashi Miike. Set in Japan, the film follows a self styled vigilante named Ichi as he goes around carving up Yakuza bosses in a very literal sense.

Wearing a padded leather “super hero” outfit and cycling between jobs because he can’t drive, it soon becomes apparent that Ichi (Nao Omori) isn’t your typical good-guy (if you could call him that). Although an expert in martial arts, he happens to be mentally ill, and is being exploited by a small group of ex-Yakuza who want revenge on their old bosses.

Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano), a psychotic mob boss with a penchant for torturing people with long needles, takes it upon himself to track down the mysterious Ichi. Not because he wants him dead or anything, but because he’s also a complete masochist and thinks Ichi is the only person capable of inflicting enough pain on him to get proper enjoyment out of.

Ichi continues to carve a trail of blood and intestines as he goes around taking out more and more Yakuza operations, despite the fact he hates killing and bursts out crying after each job. Meanwhile, his opponent Kakihara spends his time torturing his way through anybody he thinks may know who the mysterious Ichi really is.

Darkly humoured, with over-the-top blood and guts action. If you love films like “Bad Taste” or “Braindead” you’ll certainly get a kick out of this one. Just one point though, all the video/DVD covers to this film I've seen (including the one above) all feature the blond haired guy on the front. This person is actually the psychotic Yakuza boss Kakihara, NOT Ichi. As the film is called "Ichi the Killer", why isn't Ichi on the front?

Film score : 7/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines, "Love really hurts", "Everyone has a bit of sadist and masochist in them. Not Ichi, he's 100% sadistic".

  • The UK release was cut by 3m15s. This heavily toned down 2 separate scenes showing Yakuza boss's beating up prostitutes, as well as heavily truncating the scene where a girl is beaten and tortured by Kakihara's henchmen as well as removing the part where Kakihara pours boiling oil over a rival Yakuza boss during a torture scene.

  • The Hong Kong theatrical and DVD release was very heavily cut, even more so than the UK version. Which toned down, or removed, every violent scene in the film.

  • It took 12 hours to put actor Susumu Terajimi into his make-up for the torture sequence, where he is suspended on hooks, and another 12 hours to film it..

  • The name "Ichi" means "One", which is why Ichi has a number 1 on the front of his costume.

  • The US release is available in both a very heavily cut R rated version, and a fully uncut unrated release.

  • Kakihara's mobile phone ringtone is that of the films theme tune.

  • According to the director, the puddle of semen seen at the start of the film, in which the intro titles rise out of, was the real stuff. Though he didn't say who's.

  • Apparently Takashi Miike wanted the original comic book author to write the script, but was unable to do so due to writers block.

  • There is a follow-up to the film, entitled "1-Ichi" which was filmed by the assistant director Masato Tanno. Although made after Ichi the Killer, it is in fact a prequel showing how Ichi, played once more by Nao Omori, became Ichi the Killer.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

Cover Gallery.




Buy Online.

Buy the UK DVD (cut).

Buy it at Amazon.Com

Buy the US DVD (uncut).

Buy the US BD (uncut).

Notes on affiliate sites.


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