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ICHI THE KILLER aka KOROSHIYA 1
UK: Medusa Pictures
Cast: Tadanobu Asano, Nao Omori, Shinya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun, Susumu Terajima, Shun Sugata, Toru Tezuka, Yoshiki Arizono, Kee, Satoshi Niizuma, Suzuki Matsuo, Jun Kunimura, Sabu, Moro Morooka, Houka Kinoshita
Director: Takashi Miike
Country: Japan / Hong Kong / South Korea
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
UK: 125 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains strong scenes of violence and bloodshed. To obtain this category, cuts of 3 mins 15 secs were required. The cuts were Compulsory. Cuts required to scenes of mutilated, raped or savagely beaten women or of sexual pleasure from violence.
UK Release Date: 30 May 2003
It was a day just like any in the gangland of Shinjuku. While Boss Anjo of the powerful yakuza group 'The Anjo Group' entertains himself with a young prostitute in another apartment, his men hang about in their office at the 'Yakusa Mansion', leaving their boss unattended. The next day, the boss vanishes, together with one hundred million yen from the safe and the girl who was with him at the time. The door lock is 'sliced' open as if by a keen-edged knife, and a glob of semen is left on the floor.
Members of the Anjo Group, Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano), Kaneko (Sabu) and Takayama (Shun Sugata) desperately search for their missing boss. Boss Anjo was in fact, assassinated by a killer known by the name of Ichi (Nao Omori), with the blood bath masterminded by Jijii (Shinya Tsukamoto), an old gangster reject who plots his revenge with his team of misfit gangsters, Long and Inoue.
Kakihara, a masochistic torture expert, orders his crew to persistently search for their missing boss in yakuza offices, sex houses, bars and clubs, basically turning the town upside down. Their coercive and violent manner is causing serious upset in the otherwise peaceful yakuza food chain. Jijii is able to cause a gang war between the Yakuzas, knowing that Kakihara will go to great lengths to find the killer who took out his boss and long time S&M partner...
With the help of a mysterious club hostess Karen (Alien Sun), Kakihara finally realises the mastermind is none other than Jijii himself. By grilling Jijiii's subordinates Inoue and Long, Kakihara gets closer to finding Jijii's hired killer, the physically powerful but mentally unstable schizophrenic Ichi, who is under Jijii's memory hypnosis and on the verge of total breakdown.