The recently completed 4K restoration of Miike Takashi's seminal splatter film, Ichi the Killer, has found a North American home with Plano, TX based Well Go USA. The restoration just had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin and as one of those privileged to be in attendance for the event, I can confirm that this is the best the film has looked in a very long time. The film's restoration was announced in advanced of the Cannes Film Festival back in May, sponsored by Hong Kong's Emperor Multimedia Group who restored the film and own the worldwide rights.
Well Go USA haven't announced formal plans for the film yet, but I would expect more festival screenings to be on the horizon to be followed with a home video release sometime next year. Ichi the Killer previously received a Blu-ray release from Tokyo Shock in the relative early days of the format, but it was a notoriously bad presentation of a film that was hamstrung by an interesting post-production process in the first place.
Here's more from Well Go USA:
Well Go USA lands 4K restoration of Takashi Miike’s cult classic
ICHI THE KILLER
Dallas, TX (September 22, 2017) – Well Go USA Entertainment announced it has acquired North American rights for the all-new 4K restoration of the director’s cut of Takashi Miike’s groundbreaking 2001 classic ICHI THE KILLER.
Known as an auteur of the extreme, Miike took the ultra-violent gangster film to new heights with the visceral, bloody, and often hilarious ICHI THE KILLER, which has since endured as one of the most influential pieces of genre filmmaking of the last two decades. Based on the manga ICHI THE KILLER by Hideo Yamamoto, the 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 Ohmori).
ICHI THE KILLER: THE DIGITALLY RESTORED DIRECTOR’S CUT will receive a theatrical release beginning on November 10th with an exclusive New York City engagement at Metrograph, and will roll out to specialty theaters across North America over the next several months in full 4K glory.
“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!”
The deal was negotiated by Doris Pfardrecher on behalf of Well Go USA and Emperor Motion Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.