Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ichi the Killer (Koroshiya 1)

Is your iron stomach getting rusty from non-usage? Is your barf bag more like an ordinary non-barf bag these days? If so, it's time to take those out of retirement and give this 2001 Japanese extreme mob movie a view. And, when I mean "extreme," I don't mean "Ooh, it's kinda violent" or "It's almost as violent as Hostel." Cuz, when I say extreme, I am talking about the level of insane torture porn violence a lot of people think they mean when they talk about movies like Saw or Hostel.

Ichi the Killer is a balls to the wall gross-out gore flick with absolutely no redeeming qualities. Story? I'm not even sure I know what that is anymore after watching this movie. I mean, holy shit, do I feel like I need therapy.

Well, okay, this movie does have a decent story. In fact, the idea of a brainwashed mercenary with an incredible guilt-complex and the mental maturity of a ten year old facing off against a sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer with a fetish for needles is pretty damn good. The direction is a little bit too surreal at times, but the way everything is presented from a strictly objective level makes this a pretty decent movie. I'd certainly like to read the manga on which this movie was based. A lot of the characters could have used a bit more background, but I don't think Miike Takashi was all that concerned with digging into the supporting characters too deeply. Which is a shame. 

The violence and the gross-out scenes, though...


I don't really get grossed out. My iron stomach is in its prime right now. I've read Laymon, Ketchum, Lee, Keene, and just about every other author associated with the more extreme side of horror. I'm always on the lookout for other authors, too. I've seen a shit-ton of movies that were gross and overly violent. I can count on one hand just how many movies legitimately make me feel ill. 

Ichi the Killer, congratulations. You grossed me the fuck out. You are in an elite category as far as that is concerned. That's not to say this movie is scary, though. In a way, this movie is kind of funny because everything is so over-the-top that all of the bloodletting becomes like that Willy Wonka slogan, "What will he think of next?" 

If you need a movie that's great for a challenge this is it. You know, one of those "Hey, man, I'll bet you ten bucks you can't sit through this movie without squirming" kind of challenges than this movie is a must-see. Another great challenge would be "Let's take a shot of Early Times for each evisceration we see." 

I think it's kinda funny how the guy who played Kakihara went on to portray Hogun in the Thor movies, too. I don't even remember seeing him in the Thor movies, but I think that I won't help but recognize him now after seeing this movie. Of course, Asano Tadanobu was very blonde-haired and very much psychotic in this movie and it's not my fault I didn't recognize him. I'll recognize him from on, though. Boy, will I. 

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