Story of Ricky (1993)
(AKA Riki-Oh)
88 mins
Director: Nam Nai-choi
Cast: Fan Siu-wong, Yukari Oshima, Frankie Chan.

Our man Ricky kills while he protects his girl from some ruffians.  She dies and he is sent down for murder.  Unjustly of course.  While inside, he discovers that the whole justice system is rife with corruption.  He tries to put a stop to it but ends up being repeatedly tortured and maimed for his troubles.  In the end he takes on the sadistic head warden and leads the rest of the inmates on a last gasp escape attempt.

If you are a gorehound, splatter fan or an aficionado’ of over the top cinema then you most definitely need to have this movie on your shelf.

For people looking for well written dialogue that offers moralistic platitudes and gets the brain working overtime then please go elsewhere coz you ain’t gonna find it here.  This film is a no brainer from start to finish. It’s whole reason for being is to show blood, entrails and a constant dose of mega violence delivered in a cartoon manner that makes it less offensive than it could be and just puts a cheesy grin on your face.  Which is a perfect way to deliver this movie as it is based on a Japanese manga comic.

Questions are raised throughout though, like, why is Yukari Oshima dubbed with a male voice?  How the hell does the prison governor have the ability to turn into a big hulking man beast at the end therefore chucking any sense the film did have, straight out of the window?  And finally why does Ricky wait till all manner of shit has happened to him before he makes his, so very easy, escape?  He could have saved himself a shitload of time and trouble then again there wouldn’t have been a film.

Obviously made on a real low budget, the set is minimalist to say the least and wins the award for worst looking prison since Prisoner Cellblock H.

For a long while it would have been safe to assume that no official release would ever occur for this movie, or if it did it would, like the characters in the film, be chopped to pieces.  But then out of the fucking blue (or should that be red?)  Hong Kong Legends released it totally uncut.  Whoah!!  Never would have believed it, but there it is with a warning on the cover that (to me anyway) seems bloody stupid.  It says, “contains scenes of explicit gore”.  Isn’t any scene of gore explicit by its very nature?  Obviously the audience for this type of movie haven’t got the ability to work things out for themselves.  Anyway this is a quality release.  It’s a pretty good transfer and the extras, though not extensive, are decent enough for a film like this.  The commentary is light-hearted and informative and the interview does what it says it does.  Trailers round up the extras.  Like I said, not exhaustive but they do the job.

It’s kinda hard to review a film like this, in that it has no under lying message or moral fibre.  Which is no bad thing, it’s just that after you have commented on the gore and the violence you have nothing else to work with.  So all I can do is reiterate the following: Get this film in your collection if you like your movies bloody and bloody stupid.

Review By Martainn Russell.
© Owned Martainn Russell   11/12/2004 16:16




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