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Ichi the Killer

Year: 2001
Director: Takashi Miike
I'd heard the films of Takashi Miike were excessively violent, but I was expecting the kind of John Woo, 1980s Hong Kong action films violence, not that bordering on the gory horror film kind (and tipping well over into exploitation). This kind of violence is ugly and offensive, not cool or exciting or pretty like so many movies colour it.

And that's fine, I just didn't find it my cup of tea, feeling like I needed a shower when it was over.

The story centred on rival Yakuza clans butting heads over a missing gangland boss. Led by a calculating psychotic, one gang causes enough havoc in Tokyo's underworld but there's another problem entirely; a mild mannered guy haunted by his past that happens to have killer reflexes, a superhero suit and a sharp blade that emerges from and retracts into his boot.

I don't know what the hell any of it was about, but I felt like I'd watched a snuff film. It was quite apparent Miike's intent was to offend and make the audience squirm. It worked.

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