Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 15th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1999
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Sakichi Satô
Cast: Shinya Tsukamoto, Nao Omori, Alien Sun, Sabu, Tadanobu Asano
|Approximate running time:||128m31s||130m07s|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen||1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital 5,1 & Stereo Japanese & English with English subtitles||Dolby Digital 5.1 & Stereo Japanese & English with English subtitles|
|DVD Release:||Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters||Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters|
|Region Coding:||Region 1 NTSC||Region 1 NTSC|
Unrated Edition DVD
A Yakuza boss disappears with 300 million yen and is presumed dead. His right hand man Kakihara a sadistic madman is put in charge of finding out what happened to his boss and dealing with those involved. At first things run smoothly until Kakihara crosses paths with another psychopath named Ichi who is being lead around by a retired cop who uses Ichi to carry out vigilante justice against those who slip through the cracks of the system.
Both releases present Ichi the Killer in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. This time around Blood Pack Edition comes with a transfer that has been flagged for progressive scan unlike the Unrated Edition which is interlaced. Overall these two transfers are very close quality wise with the slight edge going to the Blood Pack Edition because it is flagged for progressive scan.
Both releases come with four audio options a Dolby Digital 5.1 and a stereo mix in Japanese and a Dolby Digital 5.1 and a stereo mix in English. Audio wise I couldn’t detect any differences between the audio mixes on the Unrated Edition when compared to the Blood Pack Edition. Both releases also come with removable English subtitles.
Extras for the Unrated Edition consist of trailers for Samurai Fiction, Versus, Pistol Opera and Visitor Q. The main extra on this release is an audio commentary with director Takashi Miike and writer Hideo Yamamoto. Extras for the Blood Pack Edition are spread over two discs. The extras on the first disc include a trailer for the film and trailers for these Tokyo Shock releases Ultimate Versus, Zeiram, The Neighbor No. 13 and Zebraman. Other extras include a photo gallery and a seven minute interview with director Eli Roth who discusses Ichi the Killer and how it influenced him as a filmmaker. The main extra on disc one is the previously released audio commentary with director Takashi Miike and writer Hideo Yamamoto. This audio commentary is in Japanese and comes with English subtitles. If you are a fan of Ichi The Killer then you will want to check out this exceptional audio commentary with Miike and Yamamoto. Extras on disc two include a trailer reel which includes trailers for eleven of Miike’s films which have all been released by Tokyo Shock on DVD. Other extras include a ten minute feature titled “The Cult of Ichi” which includes comments from horror writer Jack Ketchum, Fangoria’s Tony Timpone, actress Barbra Nedeljakova, illustrator Stephen R. Bissette, actress Debbie Rochon, director Lucky Mckee, producer Scott Spiegel, author Chris D. and director Mike Mendez. This feature is nothing more then a collection of thoughts from some of Ichi the Killers better known fans. Also included with this release is forty nine minute documentary titled “Memories of Ichi” which includes comments from cast, crew and Takashi Miike as well as an abundance of behind the scenes footage. Rounding out the extras for this release are six interviews which can either be played separately or all in row. The interviews are producer Dai Mayazaki (nineteen minutes), actor Tadanabu Asano (six minutes), actor Nao Omori (six minutes), actor Sabu (five minutes), actor Shinya Tsukamoto (five minutes) and actors Sabu & Shinya Tsukamoto discuss Ichi (twenty one minutes). No stone is left unturned as just about everyone from the production has been interviewed and everything you would ever want to known about this film is contained in the wealth of extras for this release.
Blood Pack Edition is not your typical double dips it not only betters the previous editions of this film released on DVD it leaves them all in the dust with its superb audio/video presentation and wealth of extra content.