LSJTD: Listener's Pick: Ichi the Killer (2001)
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
I love asking our supporters to choose a film for Jess, so since I was preparing for a move, I reached out to them and our long time listener, Jenai, recommended Ichi the Killer (2001)! Great selection! I haven't seen this movie in a number of years, but I am a fan of Miike's work myself like Audition (1999), Gozu (2003), and Visitor Q (2001), so thought this would be a fantastically weird and super violent challenge for Jess. I hope it provides some great distraction, and entertainment, for November. ENJOY!
This movie is like -- what the fuck just happened? How did that happen? Why can't I look away?
As I have said before, I was first scarred by Ichi The Killer when I was 18 years old and my boyfriend at the time was watching it. I just happened to walk in during the scene (that I now know is the torture of Suzuki, one of the yakuza bosses) as he is being suspended by hooks through his skin. I was like "Nope" and turned back around - telling him to let me know when the movie was over. I said I would never watch the movie as was too extreme for me. Now, I am 36 and I can say that I watched it and loved it! I honestly thought I would tap out after the first torture scene, but I had that odd curiosity of "how could they top that when there is another hour and a half left of the film?" And boy, it sure did!
I also think my watching experience was coloured by all the anime I have been watching recently. This movie felt like a very violent and gory live action anime with is intricate plot, extreme and campy characters, heart warming scenes, comedic elements and very fantastical ultra-violence. I would totally watch something like this is animated or even read the manga version. At times, my heart was warmed by the scenes of past victims of bullies bonding and being kind to each other to then transition to a scene of a woman getting her nipples sliced off - to bring me back to the kind of extreme film it is.
This is my second Takashi Miike film and I think I am becoming a fan.