Saturday, December 8, 2012

"1-Ichi" DVD (director: Masato Tanno)

This 2003 Japanese prequel to the classic "Ichi The Killer" is less horror, more bloody, street-fighting action film. And it works just fine. Subtitled in English, "Ichi" is based on a popular manga comic series, and is a tale of Shiroichi -- a soft spoken, backward wuss who "gets off" on watching violent street fights. Yes, you read that correctly. He gets hard-ons (and more) while watching people get beat-downs. Well, Shiroichi (aka Ichi) gets bullied and beaten himself for his passive ways , and before long, his rage builds. When he finally releases his internalized anger, he annihilates an entire street gang, murdering everyone in a bloody rage.

Along the ride, we see rival fighters attempting to one-up their "schoolmates" in bloody, violent fist-fights, oftentimes vying for the attention of the squealing schoolgirls. Ichi is always on the periphery, never wanting to take part in the fights, but when he does, it's quite a blood-bath.

"1-Ichi" isn't a brilliant film, by any means, but it is a fun and ultra-violent romp (with elements of humor) that could only come from Japan. I liked this one.

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