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Ichi the Killer(殺し屋1)

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Japan, Hong Kong · 2001
Rated R · 2h 9m
Director Takashi Miike
Starring Tadanobu Asano, Nao Omori, Shinya Tsukamoto, SABU
Genre Action, Crime, Horror

As Kakihara, a sadomasochistic yakuza henchman, searches for his missing boss, he comes across Ichi, a psychotic, sexually-repressed killer who can inflict the type of ultra-violence that Kakihara craves.

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Village Voice by

Underneath the spillage and flow of this gonzo activity, Miike layers a blood-stained commentary on a toxic world in which men offer protection to men but really end up dooming them to exist within a spasmodic, shambolic, and hypermasculine sphere of violence.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

Unhinged even for Takashi Miike, Ichi the Killer suggests a bloody and ejaculate-stained Rorschach inkblot, reveling in ultraviolence that can be interpreted to flatter any adventurous audience's sensibilities.


The New York Times by Dave Kehr

The direction occasionally rises to the level of marginal competence, but for most of the film it is hard to tell who is chasing who or why.


Variety by Dennis Harvey

Completely over-the-top yakuza actioner -- featuring nonstop mayhem, gore, torture and S&M -- duly reflects its comic book origins in both style and barely coherent narrative frenzy.


Film Threat by Eric Campos

Takashi knows how to make a great, sleazy Yakuza film, but what I’m missing here is that sense of something brand new.


Chicago Reader by J.R. Jones

The torture is strictly for kicks, which spoiled this for me, but less skittish viewers may enjoy this as a stylish and tightly wound genre piece.


Chicago Tribune by John Petrakis

Any serious message has been sacrificed on the altar of excess, making us realize why the stylish story probably worked better as a graphic comic book than as a film.


TV Guide Magazine by Ken Fox

Takashi Miike's frenetic comic yakuza thriller embodies the best and worst this notorious Japanese genre auteur has to offer: It's endlessly inventive, consistently intelligent and sickeningly savage.


New York Post by V.A. Musetto

One of Miike's most violent and sadistic movies, filled with squirting blood, throat-slashing, limb-hacking and other forms of mutilation too gruesome to describe here.

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