Ichi The Killer: A Gory Japanese Shock-Fest

When it's banned in three countries, you know you're in for a treat

Ichi the Killer (2001)
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Hideo Yamamoto (comic), Sakichi Sato (screenplay)
Starring: Tadanobu AsanoNao OmoriShin’ya Tsukamoto


Is there really anyone who dislikes j-horror? The Japanese are honestly the true masters of the genre, if you ask me. Ichi is no exception. Adapted from a manga, this gory affair chronicles rival gangs clashing as the demented Kakihara hunts for the killer known only as Ichi.

The story is great. The characters are all very complex and unique. I personally enjoy the anti-hero Kakihara. He reminds me a lot of the Heath Ledger’s Joker. From his attire, to his Chelsea grin, to his chaotic outlook on life, this writer cannot help but wonder if this was one of the films the deceased actor watched for inspiration while he locked himself in that hotel room to perfect his method. It’s a complex story, full of not just a few twists. And it’s over two hours long, a Japanese staple. When a movie is good, I want it to be long.

I can’t really comment on the acting. Its original language is Japanese, so your choices are dubbed or subbed. The actor motions and expressions are all very nice though. Some real emotion on the faces.

This movie is gory as hell. When Ichi goes into a room, you see, he leaves it painted red. Literally. Like, blood is dripping from the ceiling. And then there’s all the messed up shtuff Kakihara does to people in trying to find Ichi. Hooks, hot water, breaking fingers, and his signature tines to name a few. Folks, there is a reason this is banned is several countries: there is gore and it is handled pretty well. The SFX swing between the impressively real to the wonderfully over-the-top!

The film deals heavily in the themes of masochism and sadism, the enjoyment of causing pain and the enjoyment of feeling it. Kakihara and Ichi are two monsters of different breeds on a head on collision with each other. It even touches on psychology in some ways that I found interesting. Overall, I found there to be considerable depth beneath all the blood.

If you like Japanese horror, this is a must watch. If you like yakuza films, this is a must watch. If you like gore, this is a must watch. Basically, if you are on this site reading this, this is most likely your kind of movie. Check it out!

Where can you watch Ichi? Well, we at theblood-shed have partnered with up-and-coming streaming service The Movie & Music Network. You can go HERE and watch Ichi for free on our review channel! And if you go to movieandmusicnetwork.com and used promo code BLOODSHED, you will get 20% off your first three months, allowing you to watch all 6000+ movies on the site!

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