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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.

Director:

Takashi Miike

Writers:

Sakichi Satô (screenplay), Hideo Yamamoto (manga)
6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tadanobu Asano ... Kakihara
Nao Ohmori ... Ichi (as Nao Ômori)
Shin'ya Tsukamoto ... Jijii
Paulyn Sun ... Karen (as Alien Sun)
Susumu Terajima Susumu Terajima ... Suzuki (as Sabu)
Shun Sugata Shun Sugata ... Takayama
Tôru Tezuka Tôru Tezuka ... Fujiwara
Yoshiki Arizono Yoshiki Arizono ... Nakazawa
Kiyohiko Shibukawa Kiyohiko Shibukawa ... Ryu Long (as Kee)
Satoshi Niizuma Satoshi Niizuma ... Inoue
Suzuki Matsuo Suzuki Matsuo ... Jirô / Saburô
Jun Kunimura ... Funaki
SABU SABU ... Kaneko (as Hiroyuki Tanaka)
Moro Morooka ... Coffee Shop Manager
Hôka Kinoshita Hôka Kinoshita ... Sailor's Lover
Edit

Storyline

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 Joseph

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

hisashiburini zetsubou shitéyo. majide. (It's been a while since I wanted to despair. Really.) See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong perverse violence/gore and sexuality, language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan | Hong Kong

Language:

Japanese | Cantonese | English

Release Date:

25 July 2002 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Ichi the Killer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$20,285, 1 April 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) | (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Kakihara's cell phone rings, the ringtone is the movie's theme song. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Kakihara: There's no love in your violence.
See more »

Crazy Credits

End credits scroll up, down, left, right, forwards and backwards. See more »

Alternate Versions

List of cuts to Hong Kong theater & DVD release:
  • 2 Graphic shots of needles jammed through "hooks" victim, one through the cheek and the the other up through the chin. Close up of grease scalding victim and horrific 2nd grease pouring (over the head!) An additional 3rd needle is then jammed into his chest!
  • Bloody close up's of the "tongue cutting".
  • All of the drug lady's fingers are broken off, not only one!
  • 2nd rape features additional punch to the face as well as shots of pimp thrusting into her. As pimp's body splits in half, there is additional shot (and classic sound effect) of his entrails pouring out. When Ichi slices the girl after killing the pimp, she turns her head to the side and a huge gash open's spraying blood as she thrusts around the room.
  • Extreme close up of "tv set" victim's eye socket.
  • Additional shots of "cheek pull" including excited looks between Kakihara & the girl.
  • The bloody face slides all the way down the wall after flying out of the room.
  • Scene of Kakihara picking up a string of guts and admiring it.
  • Long scene in which the thug saves Ichi from a beating and remember's his own beating. They then eat a meal together.
  • Horrific close up of kidnapped girl's nipples being pulled out with clamps and then sliced off with a knife! The later kicking of this girl goes on much longer.
  • During blowjob in apartment, earlier throat slicing is again cut from Ichi's flashback. Foot cutting is the same as H.K. but final slash to the throat in the hallway is much longer with more blood.
  • Close up shots of victim of "needle throwing". Same victim has his arm graphically ripped off.
  • Throat cutting on the rooftop is much longer with geisers of blood.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zombie Girl: The Movie (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A symphony of violence
2 January 2007 | by K_TodorovSee all my reviews

In 2001 Japanesse cult director Takashi Miike created one of the most unique and controversial movies ever to grace the screen. An adaptation of a manga with the same name, "Ichi The Killer" is a wild and crazy ride into the depths of human madness. As the movie creates its own parallel to our world where sexual violence and torture are common ways to express a character's emotional condition or thoughts.

Plotwise "Ichi The Killer" deals with an yakuza Kakihara (played by the diverse Tadanobu Asano) who along with his underlings starts a search for his missing boss. At the same time he finds himself chased by a mysterious assassin known only as Ichi. Kakihara's methods of extracting information become a similar sight throughout the film, with him torturing anyone that could know something about his boss.

The movie is presented as a dark comedy that feels more like a parody of humanity's most dark and hidden desires. With every character representing a sick and twisted version of a certain established type of behavior found in modern society. From the abused, passive and sexually inactive male being transformed into a crying psychopatic murderer whose's only excitement comes from seeing (or causing) massive displays of violence and rape (Ichi). To the violent gangster stereotype further villainized with the character of Kakihara whose never ending need to inflict pain to others or to himself has left him void to any other forms of arouse or emotion. Miike goes so far that he criticizes women in Japan for their often seen submissive behavior by introducing a more independent persona with the character of Karen, a notably western influenced person, her need to cause pain nearly borders Kakihara's.

The violence itself is presented in such an obscenely over-exaggerated way that one can not help but laugh at some of the situations created by it. Make no mistake this movie is definitely no kiddie ride, and people who can't stand horror or alternative films have no place in watching this. Miike has gone so far in this that even the title introduction in the begging is going to shock you. He also succeeds in creating a very dreamlike feel to the movie. More nightmarish than dreamlike actually. The finale itself is shockingly absurd with the two main characters "battling" it out from a third person's perspective.

A special note should be made concerning the movie's soundtrack. Whose unique use of completely different and diverse from each other sounds and styles fits with the film's own meddling in cinematic genres.

There is really no second like "Ichi The Killer" Takashi Miike created an original work that could disgust many but could also amaze any of those people who are searching for something more untraditional.


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