Director – Takashi Mike (Audition,13 Assassins)
Starring – Tadanobu Asanto (Thor: Ragnarok, Battleship), Nao Ohmori (Vibrator, The Outside), and Shinya Tsukamoto (Vital, Tokyo Fist)
Release Date – 2001
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
I’ve been a hardcore horror fan years. I’ve been obsessed with horror for most of my life and my love had landed me on several horror movie forums and social media groups. In the groups I would always hear certain movies pop up from post to post.
One of these “amazing” movies that I always heard about was Ichi the Killer. So many people praised this film and several had images from the movie in their signature. A few years ago I bought the movie on DVD at FYE for a little under $5. I wasn’t able to check it out due my work and review schedule so it collected dust on my shelf for sometime.
Sometime ago the film was released by Well Go USA on blu. I reached out to them and they were cool enough to hit me up with a review copy. It was about time I finally checked this one out!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a crime boss that is kidnapped after pulverizing a prostitute. The gang he reigns over sends in a sadistic man who thrives on pain to hunt him down. He follows up on any lead he has but soon the gang finds themselves at odds with his method resulting in him being exiled creating a rift in the gang. Now some follow him while he hunts for their former leader. Also on the loose is an unhinged serial killer who has hyper reflexes resulting in the death of their leader and several prostitutes. Soon the two meet and bloodshed follows.**Spoiler Alert**
I had always heard great things about this one. I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype and in many ways it didn’t but it was still a fun one. I’m glad I finally got to check it out and in glorious blu.
The acting in this one is fun. The entire cast contributes something to the film. Some of the characters are grounded giving the film a gritty base but several of the main characters are bigger than life which is what makes the film so much fun. The characters are highly detailed and violent which makes for a great movie.
The story for this one is rather predictable but it doesn’t stop it from entertaining. The film flows at a normal pacing and you can see where we are going before arriving at our final destination. However, what makes the film so fun is the spontaneous violence. The random murders and torture scenes come when you least expect them making the film feel different and unpredictable. The characters are very colorful and move the story along as well.
Finally, the film is full of practical and visual effects. The practical are fucking fantastic. They look great and get the desired affect. Sadly, the visuals are complete trash. For the time they may have worked but they are very dated and look horrible. Overall, Ichi the Killer scratched the itch that I didn’t know I had. It was a brutal horror film that will stay with you forever. Check it out!