Asian Extreme

Extreme Violence in East Asian Cinema

old-boy-posterIchi The Killer

Oldboy (2003) and Ichi the Killer (2001)

Oldboy and Ichi the Killer are two East Asian films that are best described as part of the Extreme Violence genre. Both films feature unusual amounts of violence, often easily crossing the boundaries of what audiences are typically comfortable with. To say the least, these films are not for the faint of heart. The themes found in these films, however, are not specific to the Extreme Violence genre. So why do Oldboy, Ichi the Killer, and similarly bloody films feature so much gore? Using the lens of extreme violence, Oldboy and Ichi the Killer make a social commentary on the effects of the loss of agency in adult males.


Ichi the Killer and Oldboy Plot Summaries – WARNING: SPOILER ALERT. This section includes full plot summaries for Oldboy and Ichi the Killer. Not recommended for those who have not seen the movies.

Production and Distribution – General information about the production and distribution of Oldboy and Ichi the Killer. Includes budgets, profits, release dates, and more.

Oldboy Scene Analysis and Ichi the Killer Scene AnalysisWARNING: SPOILER ALERT. These sections provide in-depth analyses of scenes from Olboy and Ichi the Killer. Both analyses tie back to our thesis and the themes we chose to explore in both movies.

Macro-Analysis – This page serves as an analysis of Oldboy and Ichi the Killer in the context of our group’s thesis and the extreme violence genre as a whole.


Created by Leo Altidor, Hadley Smith, Blake Crinklaw, and Maddie Stearn