Monday, April 12, 2010

My Year in Disturbing Film: Week 15 Part 1 Miike week (part 1)

My year in disturbing film is my weekly column where I devote a few paragraphs to the most fucked up films ever made. Each week I plan on subjecting myself to the most horrific and mentally damaging imagery my mind can handle. I can't promise you this won't be the week I wind up in the hospital...

HERE is a reminder about my rating system for these films

Hmmm so what torment is in store for me this week...
Ichi the Killer [Blu-ray] Ichi the Killer

What is the film about?

Ichi the killer tells two coinciding stories of perversion and depravity. One the one side you have Ichi himself, a socially inept man-child who likes to watch girls get beat and frequents a prostitute who is always black and blue from her violent johns. When Ichi isn’t doing that he’s murdering people as a means of revenge for bullying he received (or did he?) as a kid. Conversely, there’s the story of Kakihara. A crime lord, blond coifed sadomasochistic pervert. Kakihara is trying to figure out what happened to his boss/mentor when he disappears (we the audience already know that Ichi has killed him). All of this really makes the answer to the next question all that easier...

Hmm...I wonder

Is the movie disturbing?

Miike is a master of the fucked up. If the beginning is a good idea of how the rest of the film is going to be, then you know you’re in for a treat (or not if you’re squeamish). The film opens with a man arguing that he should be guarding his boss’ door, but another man tells him no, not when he’s with a woman. The scene cuts to the man in the room with his woman. He’s beating her badly and starts to have rough sex with her. Ichi is watching from the window, masturbating. He knocks over a potted plant and the man goes to check, he slides open the door and no one is there and the camera cuts to the plant covered in cum. If you have a problem seeing guy glue then you’ll probably have a hard time watching this. Though that’s just one of MANY reasons you might have a hard time watching Ichi.

Say hello to the title screen (yes that's what you think it is)

Miike revels in the disturbing and the disgusting, he has guys hung from hooks and tortured with hot cooking oil. They show it up close and personal, you even get to watch the skin bubble up and fry (it’s an amazingly hard thing to watch). He shows people getting beaten to a pulp and mangled beyond recognition and people being cut to pieces, literally (sometimes, by themselves). There are amazing levels of delusion as well and one of the plot points involves learning that one of the central characters has been turned into what he is through hypnosis.

When I say literally, I MEAN literally

It’s essentially a story of perversion though. Ichi likes watching people get raped and can only get it up thinking about a girl he used to know being raped. He also gets off on murdering people. Needless to say if they were using modern forensic techniques they’d have a really easy time finding out who was killing off these people, tons of DNA evidence all over the place if you know what I mean. Kakihara’s techniques as well as his search for someone new to beat him take him to a whole new level in S&M.

Ichi - Portrait of a fucked up dude

Ichi the killer will be a tough sit for most people, but for those versed in Miike’s work. Should be easily enough to get through. Not for the squeamish!

Kakihara loves him some torture (what he does to this guy is arguably one of the hardest scenes in the film to watch)

4 out of 5

Disturbitude: 8 out of 10, it’s a pretty messed up flick.

Next up: Audition – More Miike (This is the first of two scheduled Miike double feature weeks, audition will be posted later in the week)

Much like Jijii, looks can be deceiving

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