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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inventively Nasty
A slick and sick piece of live action Manga from Takashi Miike, the sort of guy you wouldn't employ to video a baptism.
I first saw Ichi at the London Film Festival a few years ago, having been a fan of Audition and Dead or Alive, and couldn't believe my senses. Leaving the cinema I made a beline for the bar. On DVD, the film looks tamer, and having been cut by three...
Published on 6 Oct. 2003

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The BBFC shoots itself in the foot … again
In its uncut form 'Ichi the Killer' is one of Takashi Miike's most intelligent and provocative films. Miike has a knack for challenging cinema in the literal sense; movies that make the viewer question his own motives. And the complete 'Ichi' sure does that. For most of its length it hurtles along a twisted yakuza fantasy tale, admittedly graphic...
Published on 1 Feb. 2006 by C. Quinn

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ultra Violent Madness, For Better or Worse, 16 July 2007
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars there are no good guys in this,oh yeah, 28 Sept. 2006
sean paul mccann "mccanns23" (ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ichi The Killer [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Ichi the killer is as violent and macabre a movie as you may ever see,such is the use of violence and the sadistic theme based throughout and although you may well cheer for ichi,he is not a good guy as such as he loves giving and recieving pain in equal measures.

The films plot revolves around ichis yakuza boss who goes missing with a pile of money but is assumed dead but ichi isnt having any of that and wants to know exactly whats going on,hence moments of mass bloodbaths,over the top comic style killings and torture scenes that your mother wouldnt approve of,we also learn that ichi isnt without his own demons.

All in all this is somthing special if blood and over the top theatrics make you dance,get some.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why oh why can't we have it uncut..., 5 Oct. 2006
This review is from: Ichi The Killer [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Ichi the Killer is a stunning film. One of the more extreme and shoking films ever.. A must.


Ichi the killer is an excellent movie that has to be viewed in its full uncut version. anyone who likes Takashi Miike knows very well how far he goes with dark voilent, erotic and gory humour. He pushed the boundries of cinema in a different league. Ok for sure you need a strong stomach to watch a few scenes, and some viewers might find it even offensive. Not me...

Problem is: this is just what the BBFC have left of that movie.. They cut a lot of scenes (in full about 15 minuites are cut!!!) but its because its been cut so badly that if you watch this version I'd be surprised if you actually understand the plot!

Unfortunately also the 3 disc set that you might find here in amaz contains only the cut version of the film, so I am forced to suggest you avoid it...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film...but not uncut!, 14 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Ichi The Killer [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this movie, however this version is NOT uncut. Infact several minutes have been cut completely, such as the notorious 'nipple-torture' scene. The film itself is funny, well made, well scripted and Takashi Miike has made sure the viewer is constantly kept on the edge of their seat.
The only minor niggle with the film is much of the violence is so over the top that it is almost cartoonish, and therfore has been created using CGI graphics, which in certain scenes looks incredibly fake. E.g. in one scene Ichi completly saws a man in half with the blade on his ankle. All of this scene is computerised. It's almost a live action manga.
The prospect of sadomasochism make put people off from watching this film, however a true film fan will look past the gore, violence and nudity. It's not sickly to watch, however much of the gore is cartoonish and therfore takes away the harshness and brutality of it.
All acting is superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers brilliance!, 29 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Ichi The Killer [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
The characters are almost without exception totally deranged, the plot is crazily hard to follow, yet for all that Ichi is an utterly brilliant film. Don't try to make sense of it, you won't be able to, just sit back and enjoy a couple of hours of some of the most blackly comic violent scenes you'll ever see. I shudder to think what it must be like to be inside Takashi Miike's head. Talk about tortured genuis! The guy goes places other directors don't dare tread, and he does it with the hungry excitement of a kid in a candy store. A gleefully twisted, outrageoulsy OTT treat. Buy it and watch it, but hold on to your stomach.
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3.0 out of 5 stars More Gore Please *May Contain Spoilers*, 11 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Ichi The Killer [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was treated to scenes of pure sadism and rooms of gore... traditional Takashi goodness, and I eagerly awaited the release of the DVD. What a let down :( The censors had got out their big scissors and gone postal on its arse, removing some of the most disturbing scenes... and some not so (5 minutes of scenes actually). In fact, the scenes that they cut out, they did so with a lot of false pretense. I even emailed them about their cuts, when the answer came back, some of what they said was just ridiculous.

One scene the edited was on for less than a few seconds, where two of the bad-guy characters attach wires to a female characters nipples and then slices them off with a scalple. They edited it out, because they classed it as sexual torture, an act illegal in this country, however.... this scene is most definitely not, sexual torture! Sexual torture is about releasing endorphins to increase sexual pleasure through the act of cutting and such, torture on the other hand is about causing enough pain, whilst keeping the person alive enough and done through targeting the most sensitive areas. This is what the scene was about, but not to idiots who know nothing about what they are doing!

All said and done, Premiere Asia has done what they can with what they were allowed to screen, so hats off to them for their efforts.

Often, scenes have visual effects that are not what we would call, picture perfect, and in fact come off more cartoony and comical than real looking, however this was a deliberate decision by the director. Other than those few moments of cartooness, what we see is truly disturbing and will shock even some of the most hardened people... 'cept me of course ;)

Undoubtedly my favourite of Takashi Miike's movies... pity about the cuts!
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REVIEWED VERSION: 2010 Tokyo Shock US Blu-ray

Director: Takashi Miike

Cast: Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ômori, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Alien Sun, Susumu Terajima


A yakuza mob boss disappears with a lot of cash. His second in command, the sadomasochistic Kakihara along with the rest of his mob tear up the Tokyo underground to search for him. They eventually come across Ichi, a psychotic man with incredible martial arts skills and an even more incredible talent for killing...


One of my favorite movies of all time, ICHI THE KILLER was an instant scandal film thanks to the numerous censorship nazis out there, and once one starts watching it, it is quite clear why:
Sperm, ultra-gory scenes of violence, sadism, mutilation, self-mutilation, flying guts, misogyny, rape, torture - it's all crammed together in approx. 124 minutes of a tour de force that requires a VERY strong stomach and will definitely make the average viewer feel nauseous. Almost all American productions are rather tame compared to ICHI THE KILLER, which is easily Takashi Miike's most graphical movie to date.
Actor Tadanobu Asano (Kakihara) is the villain of the film, and in my opinion the best part of it. He is sadomasochistic and cold, constantly mutilating himself with great pleasure. Certainly one of the darkest and best movie characters ever created.
The title character Ichi (brilliantly played by Nao Ômori) is a truly ingenious version of an anti-hero, fully deserving that term. He is not just a brooding and dark "hero", no, he is a whiny, mentally challenged and clumsy oaf, who when provoked, throws a tantrum and turns into a murderous killing machine.
The story itself is simple and unlike other Miike movies, easy to follow and straight forward.
There are two versions available in the US, the fully uncut unrated version, running 129 mins. and a heavily cut R rated version running 117 mins. which is to be avoided.
The UK version is cut by almost 4 minutes and is also to be avoided.


Feature running time: 124 mins. (uncut)
Rating: Unrated (MPAA) / 18 CUT (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 / 16:9
Audio: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Japanese 2.0, English 2.0
Subtitles: English
Chapters: 20
Extras: Audio Commentary, Theatrical Trailer (1:45), Image Gallery, The Cult of Ichi (10:21), Memories of Ichi (48:58), Eli Roth interview (7:11), Interviews with Dai Miyazaki (18:35), Tadanobu Asano (6:12), Nao Omori (6:11), Sabu (5:21), Shinya Tsukamoto (5:18), Sabu & shinya(22:00)
Region: A (LOCKED)

Picture quality: D
Audio quality: C
Extras: A
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quick Reviews!, 5 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Ichi The Killer [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Takashi Miike, currently the world's best, most innovative and prominent director is not one for shying away from taboos or controversy. With the amount of films he makes you may expect them to be little more than B-movie trash. But he continues to defy conventions, pushing the benchmark higher. Audition, Happiness of Katakuris, Visitor Q all prove his endless abilities, and Ichi is no different.

Ichi is an awesome assassin. However, he has his own problems, haunted by a violent past which continually torments him. He does not want to kill, but it is all he can do. He tries to love, but it always seems to end in brutal, bloody death. When a Yakuza boss disappears with lots of money, his men search, creating havoc, killing many and unsettling other bosses. The sadistic and masochistic Kakihara leads them, looking for someone who can give him what he wants-extreme torture. He cuts off part of his tongue, and frequently chops at himself for amusement and to disgust others. Both characters are brilliant, and extremely well acted. They soon run into each other and Kakihara tries to make Ichi give him the pain he desires, while Ichi struggles to work out what is real and what has been fabricated to make him what he is. Many are killed in a very gory, though comic fashion and eventually the two fight on top of a building.

This is a breathtakingly violent film, sometimes hard to watch- particularly the rape scenes, and it is gritty enough that we twitch in our seats each time someone is hurt. However, it is also very funny, Miike transcending genres as always, and the plot is complex at times, though strangely basic in the end. Good acting, cool sets and costumes, excellent effects all make it good to watch, but if you do not like blood or having to work when watching a film, it may be best to avoid this one. Everyone else partake of its bloody goodness, as it is not entirely shocking, but will definitely stay with us.

This DVD (while not the fully uncut version) has plenty of good extra features which many recent foreign DVDs lack. There is a good commentary by critics (not Miike unfortunately), extra footage, and interviews with Miike and some of the cast. A must for fans of extreme cinema, a good introduction to Miike for anyone who is interested, and for anyone braving to see something a bit different-one to give a go.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Work!!, 2 Sept. 2007
nmollo (London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ichi The Killer [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
"Koroshiya" or "Ichi The Killer" is a remarkable work. It is sure to upset a good few because it's themes and images are strong and provocative. What makes this film stand head and shoulders above most of the dross that is force fed to the public is it's obvious artistry. The film is beautifully shot. The editing can be frenzied at times especially during action scenes yet other more gentle scenes are shot in a style reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa by which I mean in one shot without cuts. This is becoming a rare commodity in modern film and it attests to the extraordinary confidence of the director Takashi Miike.

The director is the true star of this picture. Every scene has his enveloping stamp. He truly is one of the greatest Directors this medium has ever seen.

This film has all the hallmarks that are present in other Takashi Miike specials. Comedy, Ultra Violence, Needles, Blood Fountains, Rape, Bullying and Human Excretions. As always his characters have motivation for their actions. Nothing is done without a reason. A killer may kill yet he has reasons and a philosophy.

In an American action film the characters are generally black and white and this leaves no room to tackle the darker side of humanity. In other words the characters are shallow and kill without consequence. Takashi's films explore the reasons for such behaviour and each character has a logic that explains his or her actions. So his characters as evil as they might be have a depth rarely seen in western action films. In the extraordinary film "Audition" the girl tortures her lover because that is the only way she can express her love for him.

Surprisingly I have heard this film being labelled "romantic". I would not go so far but certainly the characters are all desperately trying to find love in their own sick way.

This DVD has a very irritating Commentary track by a noisy and arrogant Bey Logan. He hardly allows his fellow guests to speak, which they begin to notice rather quickly and so that as a result clam up. Maybe Bey Logan should try listening for a change.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Koroshiya 1a (Ichi the Killer), 27 May 2003
R. Mullaney (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ichi The Killer [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
When Yakuza boss Anjo vanishes from his apartment, his second in command, the psychotic Kakihara follows the trail of entrails in pursuit of the mythical assasin Ichi.
I must admit before I begin, I am a big fan of Takashi Miike and was determined I would enjoy this movie as much as I did 'Audition', however even the OTT violence of 'Dead or Alive' or cringeworthy torture scenes of 'Audition' could prepare me for the excesses of Ichi the Killer. The movie is a full on two hour assault on the senses that will stay in your thoughts for a very long time wether you enjoyed it or not. Ichi is based on the violent manga comic of the same name and the visceral excesses are certainly stylised and comic-like. The censors have removed some of the more graphic violence but you will still need a strong stomach to view Kakihara's grisly interrogation of a rival gangster or Ichi's dismemberment of a room full of Yakuza. The characters, as in all Miikes films are the usual blend of perverts, misfits and maniacs which makes for an entertaining viewing if you can forget the controversy surrounding it and watch it for what it is. Mayhem.
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Ichi The Killer [DVD] [2003]
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