It’s back! Takashi Miike’s notorious breakthrough film has landed at Beyond Fest with a glorious, eye-popping 4K restoration approved by the master himself!
For those who have never encountered the crazy world of ICHI THE KILLER, here’s a chance to see where our love affair with Miike began: on a crazy journey through the world of the Yakuza, with outrageous characters and grim violence, all used to comment on society’s obsession with violent imagery.
Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano) is the sadomasochistic enforcer of Anjo; when his boss disappears with 300 million yen, Kakihara is responsible for locating him. Creating the most violent path possible through Tokyo, Kakihara brutalizes and maims everyone in his path until he discovers the truth whilst searching for the perfect archenemy who can fulfill him in pain and violence. He just might get his wish in the form of Ichi (Nao Ohmori), a seemingly shy young man who turns into a full-blooded, psychotic killer when sexually aroused. It’s only a matter of time before the two young men encounter each other in a bloodbath that is the Tokyo gang scene and when they do, worlds collide in an explosion of blood and bodily fluids.
Based on the notorious manga by Hideo Yamamoto, Miike’s adaptation is both loyal and uniquely his own. The extravagant visual style he developed with his Yakuza trilogy translates here into a warped vision of Tokyo, where men are all monsters and sadism is a way of life. Drawing incredible performances from his two leads, Miike creates a world that is simultaneously sickening and enticing.
A full-blown accusation of the audience’s implication in the unfolding violence, a visual masterpiece and a technicolor nightmare of ever-smarter sadism: It’s no exaggeration to say there has never been nor will there ever be another film like ICHI THE KILLER. Join us in celebrating this brilliant film in all its 4K glory for the first time on the big screen. (Evrim Ersoy – Fantastic Fest)
West Coast Premiere
Director: Takashi Miike
Runtime: 129 minutes