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Ichi the Killer (2d)

Director(s): Takashi Miike

Theatrical Release: 2001

Cast: Tadanobu Asano, Nao Omori, Shinya Tsukamoto, Alien Sun

Genre(s): Action, Drama, martial arts, Horror

Countries: Japan


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Running Time: 128m.

Maverick auteur Takashi Miike spins this unsettling, blood-soaked yakuza yarn adapted from Hideo Yamamoto's cult manga Koroshiya 1. When mob don Anjo mysteriously disappears, his protégé Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano) vows to find the people responsible. Sporting a blond head of hair and a yawning, pierced slash for a mouth, Kakihara is no ordinary gangster and his methods are equally unorthodox; he impales one poor suspect's naked body on a series of meat hooks and then dumps hot oil on him. Meanwhile, a shadowy character known as Jijii (played by director Shinya Tsukamoto) deftly manipulates, for his own nefarious ends, Ichi (Nao Omori), an unbalanced but ruthless killing machine clad in a superhero suit. Pining for the sadistic abuse of his boss, Kakihara learns of Ichi from a Hong Kong hostess (Alien Sun) and sets out to find this fabled butcher, hoping he can inflict the pain that Kakihara craves. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival as a part of the Midnight Madness program. — Jonathan Crow (allmovie.com)
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