#31DaysOfHorror: Oct 15

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The works of Takashi Miike are frequently peppered with sadistic torture, extreme gore, and graphic violence. For this reason alone, I feel that this Japanese gangster flick qualifies as a horror film. Miike’s unique ability to shock audiences shines through in this, his most ambitious and wildly beloved cult classic. Ichi premiered to a packed house at a midnight screening during the Toronto International Film Fest, and in a stroke of marketing genius, attendees were handed promotional barf-bags.

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Inspired by the eponymous Ichi The Killer manga, the story follows Kakihara’s search for Boss Anjo, who is believed to be either dead or to have run off with a girl and 3 million yen worth of the Gangs money. Kakihara believes a rival gang is responsible for the disappearance, and carves a bloody swath through the criminal underworld to find Boss Anjo. Then we meet our Hero(?), Ichi. Bullied from a young age, Ichi remains reserved until his inner rage bubbles over, transforming him into a sobbing juggernaut of violent rage. Erupting in a frenzy of flying kicks and bladed heels and leaving a sea of blood and entrails. How these two story paths interweave and collide is for you to see. This Masterwork of violence has to be seen to be believed.

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Everything from the costume design to the swirling camera work paints a stunning picture for the viewer, a strangely beautiful and artistic picture drenched in buckets of gore. Miike’s grue-infused sensibility casts a very big shadow over any future Japanese film makers, and any of his works are well worth the time to check. While a dubbed version exists. I cannot recommend strongly enough to watch the subtitled version. You’ll never look at Tempura the same way again….

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