2001, Well Go Pictures, 126 min, Japan, Dir: Takashi Miike

Adapted from an ultra-popular manga comic banned in several Japanese prefectures, ICHI is one of the funniest, most horrific, blood-drenched yakuza thrillers ever made (and director Miike’s most successful film in Japan to date). Nao Omori is Ichi, an immature crybaby who dons a black rubber superhero suit and hatchet blade boots to do the bidding of Shinya Tsukamoto (director of TETSUO: IRON MAN), an unassuming mastermind bent on rending the fabric of Shinjuku’s yakuza and destroying bleach-blond S&M freak/mobster Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano). Be forewarned, Ichi is an equal-opportunity assassin, and both men and women sacrifice body parts when they cross his path!

2013, Drafthouse Films, 100 min, Japan, Dir: Hitoshi Matsumoto

Director Hitoshi Matsumoto’s outrageous return to the big screen comes on the heels of his cult sensations BIG MAN JAPAN and SYMBOL in the form of this fantastic quasi-sex-comedy. Nao Ohmori (from Takashi Miike’s ICHI THE KILLER) is a typical Japanese salary man and father who likes to escape the daily grind with a little BDSM. When he joins a mysterious club in which the “Queens” (read dominatrices) perform their sado-masochistic acts without warning and in public, Nao’s life is turned upside down, and his attempts to leave the club only escalate the abuse. In Japanese with English subtitles.

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