As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of.
A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.
When a Yakuza boss named Anjo disappears with 300 million yen, his chief henchman, a sadomasochistic man named Kakihara, and the rest of his mob goons go looking for him. After capturing and torturing a rival Yakuza member looking for answers, they soon realize they have the wrong man and begin looking for the man named Jijii who tipped them off in the first place. Soon enough Kakihara and his men encounter Ichi, a psychotic, sexually-repressed young man with amazing martial arts abilities and blades that come out of his shoes. One by one Ichi takes out members of the Yakuza and all the while Kakihara intensifies his pursuit of Ichi and Ichi's controller Jijii. What will happen as the final showdown happens between the tortured and ultra-violent Ichi and the pain-craving Kakihara?Written by
Director Takashi Miike reveals on the US TokyoShock DVD release that Ichi's semen used in the close-up during the intro sequence, when the film's title raises out of a puddle of semen is actually real. See more »
When Kakihara is attacked in the streets, protective padding is visible under his clothing. Look for it when he bends over backwards without falling over, before he removes his piercings. See more »
You know those revenge stories that are so often used in various Asian cinema, the ones that involve, like, Jackie Chan killing the killers of his brother or whatever? This film is NOTHING like that. However, that's as close of a basic foundational structure I can give you to help explain this amazing psychological look into a world defined by violence and masochism.
The storyline is much too deep to give a proper synopsis without either making it sound clichéd or giving away too much information, but basically it's a story about an ex-cop who brainwashes a tender, sensitive young man to kill all the "bullies" of the world in order to ignite gang violence. It involves a lot of gore and a crazy sadomasochist with a torn-up face who delights in feeling hunted by Ichi. Various characters all struggle to define their loyalties to violence which leads up to this absolutely stunning ending which frankly could never have originated in American cinema.
It's also quite visually appealing, both artistically and with gore. It's an amazing film that anyone with a strong stomach should take the time to hunt down and see.
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