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Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 16:31 GMT
Censors slash 'extreme' Japanese film
Ichi the Killer
Ichi the Killer is a live action version of a manga comic
A Japanese film that depicts extreme sexual violence has prompted UK censors to order the biggest cuts for almost a decade.

Some 11 cuts, adding up to three minutes 15 seconds, will have to be removed from Ichi the Killer if it is to be awarded an 18 certificate, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has ruled.

When the film was shown at the Toronto Film Festival in 2001, organisers felt the need to provide sick bags to the audience.


These scenes appear to the board to have no function other than the pleasure of the onlooker

British Board of Film Classification
The movie, which its distributors describe as an "ultra-controversial piece of manga mayhem", includes scenes of naked women being sexually mutilated, beaten or killed.

The cut scenes portray "extreme sexualised violence" of the kind that has never been passed for any classification in the BBFC's history.

"These scenes appear to the board to have no function other than the pleasure of the onlooker," the body said.

Other "cartoon-like" scenes of violence were unlikely to be copied by audience members at home, the BBFC said.

Plans

The film's distributor, Medusa Pictures, has not decided whether it will be given a cinema release or go straight to DVD.

"Sorry to dampen anyone's enthusiasm but Medusa has no comment to make at this stage and will announce its plans for the film in the near future," a statement said.

Ichi the Killer is a live action version of Hideo Yamamoto's manga comic Koroshiya 1a, which has been described as one of the most violent comics ever.

The main character, a hitman called Kakihara, goes on a killing and torturing spree to try to find out who has kidnapped his boss.

But he comes up against another murderer, Ichi, who has razor blades for toes.

It was directed by cult film-maker Takashi Miike, who found international acclaim in 2000 with his thriller Audition.

See also:

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