One of the best Japanese shock films is about to get an upgrade. Ichi the Killer is getting the 4K treatment courtesy of Well Go USA and Emperor Motion Picture. I couldn't be more excited about this news! Ichi and Audition are by far my favorites films from Takashi Miike and it's great to see one of them get some remastered affection. Here's to hoping that Audition is next!
Check out the full release details below and who knows, maybe Ichi the Killer will play in a theater near you!
From the Press Release:
ABOUT THE RESTORATION
ICHI THE KILLER was originally shot on 16mm and telecined in HD video for post-production, before being filmed out on 35mm inter-negative for the making of release prints.
A full digital restoration of the director’s cut of ICHI THE KILLER was undertaken by Emperor Motion Pictures in 2017. A new transfer was created in 4k resolution from a 35mm inter-negative at L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy. It was then digitally restored and colour graded in 4K resolution. With a running time of 128 minutes, this restored version of ICHI THE KILLER, as personally approved by Takashi Miike, is presented it its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
ABOUT THE CUT
ICHI THE KILLER has been released in several versions over the years. While Takeshi Miike’s original cut was 128 minutes long, the original US release was heavily cut to receive an R rating from the MPAA, and was only 117 minutes long. The UK version was cut to 120 minutes, and the German version received over 18 minutes of cuts at 110 minutes. Since its release, the film has also been periodically banned in several countries, including Norway, Germany, and Malaysia. This restoration features Takashi Miike’s full-length, original 128 minutes cut of the film.
Takashi Miike’s ICHI THE KILLER has endured as one of the most influential pieces of genre filmmaking of the last two decades, and now it returns in a stunning all-new 4k restoration approved by Miike himself. This visceral, bloody, and often hilarious film follows Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano), a notoriously sadistic yakuza enforcer whose search for his boss’ killer brings him into the orbit of a demented costumed assassin known as Ichi (Nao Ōmori).
The film will soon play in specialty theaters across North America over the next several months in full 4K glory.