Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ichi the Killer (2001)

I love Takashi Miike.  Loved Audition and Imprint, the episode he did for Masters of Horror.  The guy in all the pictures for this movie actually is not Ichi.  That was really confusing to me when I started watching this movie and I was having a hard time keeping all of the Japanese names straight in my head.

The man in all the pictures is actually Kakihara.  His boss, Anjo, has gone missing and he is in charge of finding him.  In a way, he relishes this, because it allows him to inflict pain and suffering on many individuals in attempts to find Anjo's whereabouts.  But in turn, Kakihara himself enjoys pain to an extreme extent.  In fact, he so enjoyed the pain inflicted on him by Anjo that it motivates him further to find him.

Meanwhile, people are getting killed all over the place by a mystery man named Ichi.  The murder scenes he leaves behind are ridiculously bloody and violent, yet the identity of Ichi remains hidden.  We learn that Ichi is actually a timid and reclusive individual who has been trained to kill using the power of suggestion.

As Kakihara goes through the rival gangs searching for the perpetrator, he finds himself seeking out Ichi.  Obviously, a showdown is bound to ensue, but what will be the outcome?

I wouldn't exactly call Ichi the Killer a horror movie, per se, but it is extreme and ultra violent.  I enjoyed the storyline, although it was a bit slow moving at times.  The torture and death scenes were truly awesome, and there were some methods of murder I have never seen in a horror movie before.  I didn't find this as good as Oldboy but definitely worth checking out.