7.1/10
47,894
286 user 108 critic

Koroshiya 1 (2001)

Trailer
1:26 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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)
Reviews
Popularity
4,680 ( 56)
6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Audition (1999)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki
Gozu (2003)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Yûta Sone, Kimika Yoshino, Shôhei Hino
Bijitâ Q (2001)
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A troubled and perverted family find their lives intruded by a mysterious stranger who seems to help find a balance in their disturbing natures.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Ken'ichi Endô, Shungiku Uchida, Kazushi Watanabe
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A detective is trying to find the cause of a string of suicides.

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Masatoshi Nagase, Mai Hosho
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family moves to the country to run a rustic mountain inn when, to their horror, the customers begin befalling sudden and unlikely fates.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Kenji Sawada, Keiko Matsuzaka, Shinji Takeda
Action | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

In the ruthless underground world of the yakuza, no one is more legendary than boss Kamiura. Rumored to be invincible, the truth is he is a vampire-a bloodsucking yakuza vampire boss! Among... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Yayan Ruhian, Lily Franky, Yuki Sakurai
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A popular high school teacher concocts an extreme plan to deal with the rise of bullying and bad behavior among the student body.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Mayu Matsuoka, Fumi Nikaidô, Takayuki Yamada
Dead or Alive (1999)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A yakuza of Chinese descent and a Japanese cop each wage their own war against the Japanese mafia. But they are destined to meet. Their encounter will change the world.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Shô Aikawa, Riki Takeuchi, Renji Ishibashi
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.

Director: Shin'ya Tsukamoto
Stars: Tomorô Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Manji, a highly skilled samurai, becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. Haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, Manji knows that only fighting evil will regain his soul. He promises to help a young girl named Rin avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu. The mission will change Manji in ways he could never imagine - ... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sôta Fukushi
Ichimei (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Munetaka Aoki, Naoto Takenaka
Edit

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:

Ai wa, kanari itai. (Love really hurts.) 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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The mutilation on the sides of Kakihara's mouth is known as a Glasgow smile or a Chelsea smile, because organised crime in those British cities often put this wound on their enemies. The color movie cover is a mirror image of this face (cross is over his right eye), but on the black and white cover it is seen over his left as in the film. 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: Damn... Nobody left to kill me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The version shown in Ireland is the same UK cut version i.e misses 3 mins 15 secs of sexual violence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A mixed bag for me
23 April 2005 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

Ichi the Killer is the story of a Yakuza gang run by Anjo, whom his underlings find missing (possibly killed) with 100 million yen gone as well. The functional head of Anjo's gang while he's absent is an off-the-wall sadomasochist named Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano). There is a former affiliate gang, now somewhat rivals, run by Fujiwara (Toru Tezuka), and there are a number of gang outcasts who hang out at a bar/brothel, with Jijii (Shinya Tsukamoto) as their head. Jijii is manipulating/grooming a bizarre killer named Ichi (Nao Omori), who is gradually taking out Anjo and Fujiwara gang members for him.

If you haven't seen infamous Japanese cult film director Takashi Miike's Ichi the Killer yet and you're considering it, there is one "test" that might make the decision easy for you--do you like fairly regular over-the-top violence, torture and gore? If that's enough to turn you on to a film, do not pass Ichi the Killer up--you're sure to love it. This is one of the most brutal and gory films I've seen, and yes, I've seen Andreas Schnaas films. However, if those things are enough to turn your stomach instead, you shouldn't come near this film with a two-foot needle.

For me, I don't mind over-the-top violence, torture and gore, but that in itself isn't sufficient for me to like a film. Despite some admirable stylistic flourishes, including some very unique cinematography and editing as well as an unusual but extremely effective soundtrack, there were a number of things in Ichi the Killer that didn't quite work for me. I ended up liking the film, but just moderately. A 7 is a "C" in my rating system.

One problem I had with the film, which might be clear from the description in my first paragraph, is that the plot isn't exactly easy to follow. Writer Sakichi Satô, adapting the script from a manga (Japanese comic) by Hideo Yamamoto, introduces a large number of characters in each scene, and we do not always get their names or very clear dialogue explaining who they are. There were quite a few characters for whom I was never very sure about their identity. In conjunction with this, the film didn't always flow as well as it should have. It tends to feel like long scenes of establishing exposition alternated with violence/torture showcases.

But by the final "act", there are some very interesting revelations about characters and their relationships to one another. So it's not that the kernel of a good story isn't there. It's just told a bit awkwardly. This might not have been helped by the fact that Miike has stated that he was shooting for a kind of open-ended vagueness that is characteristic of Asian genre films. The impact of the revelations is somewhat dissolved by the time we get to the dénouement due to the intentional ambiguity.

The beginning of Ichi the Killer employs a lot of extended cinematographic techniques in rapid succession ala Oliver Stone--different film speeds, stocks, tinting and processing methods, and so on. While these are interesting, Miike forgets about them quickly as he works his way into the story. They pop up occasionally later in the film, as do a couple shots in the vein of Dario Argento, such as a tracking shot through someone's ear. Even when more conventional, the cinematography and production design remain admirable throughout--I particularly liked the shot of Kakihara sitting in front of a red background, with his purple coat and green scarf, but there is a lot of outstanding visual composition in the film.

Whether intended or not, Ichi the Killer frequently reads as more of a black (morbid) comedy. This is because the violence is so over-the-top that it is frequently cartoonish and ridiculous. Those are positive qualities in my book, but anyone looking for realism should beware. On the other hand, the emotional reactions from "victims" are fairly realistic throughout the film, including the fact that people do not die immediately after they are injured.

But Miike's concern, as with his other films, is more surrealist. The behavior of the principal characters is particularly wacky, especially Ichi, who often seems borderline mentally deficient--he cries and cowers before he brutally attacks his victims, and has a very odd sexual dysfunction associated with his violence. Ichi is also portrayed as something akin to a superhero, and Miike constantly bounces back and forth between showing him as an admirable vigilante and an anti-hero. Kakihara, who is giving something of a venerable "bad boy" rock star/punk persona, is also almost a hero through much of the film, and he also has some bizarre sexual dysfunctions, as do a number of other characters. This is one of the main subtexts of the film; it isn't entirely dissimilar to the later A Snake of June (2002). There is also another character who undergoes something of a superhero transformation, as he sheds his public appearance and becomes a muscle-bound avenger near the climax.


130 of 154 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 286 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed