Ichi The Killer [Blu-Ray] Takashi Miike

Ichi The Killer [Blu-Ray] Takashi Miike
There's a time and a place for appreciating Ichi The Killer. And if you're not a smug, smart-alecky high school kid who wants to flatter his ability to suffer subtitles and scene after scene of extreme gore, it's not for you. Severe to the point of limp parody, Ichi The Killer is a torture set piece lamely trying to pass itself of as a Yakuza crime flick. Ichi stars Tadanobu Asano as a Glasgow-grinning Japanese mob enforcer trying to track down a couple hundred million yen that has been lifted from his disembowelled boss, eventually crossing paths with the titular Ichi (Nao Omori), a trained assassin who has been programmed to confuse sexual excitement with homicidal rage. But the needlessly convoluted plot is just a pretence for the scenes of torture (a suspect is suspended on meat hooks and splashed with broiling tempura oil), misogyny (a woman has her nipples sliced off) and other stupidity (the film's title emerges out of a pool of semen). I may live to witness the exception to the rule, but it stands to reason that any movie that begins with the title bubbling out of dripping male ejaculate is bound to be either an actual porno or a hopelessly dim-witted piece of exploitation trash aimed at a) adolescent males or b) developmentally arrested males who still think South Park is "edgy" and listen to too much G.G. Allin. As an artefact ― we have Ichi to "thank" for all manner of torture porn, from Tokyo Gore Police to Saw VI ― there may be something worth seeing in Ichi. But if you don't care about that (and why would you?), there's no need to waste your time with this. But for those who do, the disc includes plenty of features, including commentary by Hostel director Eli Roth, an interview with Miike and a featurette on the "Cult of Ichi," which goes so far as to suggest that the film's fans aren't idiots, but just gore-hounds with "subversive mindsets." Yawn. (E1)