Ichi the Killer is not a documentary. The film’s use of violence and sadism earned itself on list of banned movies in Norway, Germany, and Malaysia.
Ichi the Killer is an ultra-violent, gory, and morally disturbing movie based off Hideo Yamamoto’s manga series, Ichi the Killer. The film was originally released in 2001. The film was shot in Beta, and has since been restored to 35mm, and 4k restoration was released this year by Well Go USA. To give a good idea of the nature of the film, when the film was presented at the Toronto International Film Festival viewers were given complimentary promotional vomit bags.
Not to give too many any spoilers away, for those seeking depravity, Ichi the Killer has that and more in spades. The movie’s highlights include rape, gang-rape, sadism, masochism, brain-washing, and even touches on daddy issues. If those topics were listed on a website you could be sure to get a computer virus from clicking, and someone will click, I clicked. In fact I was taking notes originally because I thought it was a documentary. I never intended on seeing Ichi the Killer, it looked like some kind of documentary of a serial killer. I arrived late for the movie I was going to see and thought well I have time to watch this documentary, Ichi the Killer. I quit taking notes at one point, and almost walked out at another. Luckily someone in the audience started laughing at a particularly grotesque scene. That is when it occurred to me that this was just one of those films about pushing the envelope of sensitivities and reality. Some of those images have been stuck inmy head and keep popping up, just like a computer virus. The most haunting of the entire film though for me was over-all depravity, as I am still wrapping my mind around it. This movie is an elephant of depravity one has to consume in entirety; and how does one eat an entire elephant? One bite at a time.
This is an important movie on the topic of censorship. This movie is banned in three countries, and many who view this may even use it as an argument for censorship. This is America though, and not one ofthose countries who banned the film. One of America’s greatest attributes is individual freedoms, pertinent to this film being freedom of speech, to include freedom of expression. As horribly graphic and immoral this film is, no one was hurt in the making of this film. A consensual adult should be able to view this film, as it is art. Ichi the Killer is a fictional story born from the mind of Hideo Yamamoto, interpreted to film by Takashi Miike, for our viewing pleasure. Thank you HIFF for bringing this controversial movie to the theaters of Hawaii.