Saturday, June 28, 2008
Ngai Kai Lam's "Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky" (1991)
Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky is an amazing film. The absurdity of this film is incredible. Ricky is the tough new guy in one of the most odd and corrupt prison systems in the world. He takes matters into his own hands (and they're fucking deadly hands) and knocks off each thug one by one until he can get final revenge on the warden. Each time you think you've seen about as bad ass a villain as you're going to get, they keep throwing even crazier and tougher guys at you. A b-movie like this NEEDS these types of memorable characters to stay watchable over multiple viewings. The Story of Ricky excels in this area. I'll refer back to a series like Troma's "Class of Nuke 'Em High". The first film in that series is and OUTSTANDING b-movie for that reason. The other two are far more absurd but they lacked the funny and memorable characters the first one contained. It's an essential part of the lure of b-movies.
The best thing about the fights in this film is how Ricky practically gets the shit beat out of him every time but ends up destroying his opponents with a punch or two that ends up absolutely destroying some part of his foes' body. Whether it means punching a hole in their stomach or making their head completely disintegrate, it's fun to watch. Ricky has every trick in the book to take on the countless bad guys he does. The level of gore and violence in this film is up there. A lot of the gore looks really ridiculous but once you see it you'll realize that it won't matter at all. This film is just too great, too funny, too insane, too absurd, and too entertaining to care about any like that.
Whether you watch this film in the always hilarious English dubbing or in the original Cantonese language version, you'll have a great time. Ricky is a supreme bad ass that completely wrecks everyone's shit while earning the respect of his fellow prisoners. He's a character with compassion, heart, dedication, and fists made of steel. Fuck. Ricky, you're the man.
5 OUT OF 5 STARS