It was back in May ahead of the Cannes Film Festival that news broke of a forthcoming remastering and re-release of film auteur Miike Takashi’s manga adaptation hit, Ichi the Killer. The controversial ultra-violent crime horror scored a cult following after its 2001 and having only been shot on Betacam and only coverted 35mm film at the time, new technology now deems it possible for a more crisp and pristine finish.
Restoration of the film was handled by L’Immagine Rittrovata Asia, the Hong Kong offices of Davide Pozzi’s Bologna, Italy-based film restoration lab which opened to a lucrative streak of restoring Asian film in the wake of bolstering online video demand. Since then, the long-awaited announcement of its acquisition news was made over the weekend with word that Well Go USA have officially acquired distribution rights to the new 4K restoration now dubbed Ichi The Killer: The Digitally Restored Director’s.
Asano leads the film as a sadistic Yakuza enforcer whose search for his boss’s killer brings him full circle with a psychologically scarred martial artist armed with a kill switch and a blade tethered to his left foot. Asano is joined by title actor Omori Nao along with Tsukamoto Shinya, Sun Paulyn, Terajima Susumu and Sugata Shun.
“At Well Go USA, we’re big Takashi Miike fans,” said Doris Pfardrescher, President and CEO of Well Go USA Entertainment, “and we couldn’t be more excited that we get to finally unleash Ichi the Killer the way it was meant to be seen – and freak out a whole new audience!”
Pfardrecher herself negotiated the deal on behalf of Well Go USA with Emperor Motion Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers. Limited theatrical engagements begin exclusively on November 10 at the Metrograph in New York City with more dates and locations to follow over the next several months.
The film will be the second of two adaptations directed by Miike rolling out at the top of the month with Blade Of The Immortal making the first rounds on November 3 from Magnet Releasing.