Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Story of Ricky

The Story of Ricky A.K.A. Riki-Oh (1991)
Dir:Ngai Kai Lam

After watching a serious film in my last review I felt like returning to the more extreme side of cinema and what better way to do that then this film here? Story of Ricky is the first martial arts film I have reviewed and it is fucking Rad! Yeah like 1980's totally rad type rad! With that out of the way let's get down to the movie.
The Story of Ricky is set in the futuristic year of 2001! and follows Ricky Oh (Or Ho, How they pronounce it in the film.) who is sentenced to jail time for manslaughter. Apparently in the year 2001 , prisons have become big business and the prisoners are used for certain labor tasks, Which really if you think about it is not a bad idea. Upon arriving in the jail Ricky sets off the metal detectors due to having seven bullets lodged in his chest.After being checked in we learn that the prison is broken up into four cell blocks and each one is run by a gang member of the "Gang of Four". During Ricky's first day he has a run in with Captain , A goon for the Gang of Four as he see's the goon picking on a helpless old man in the showers and the old man is carved up by a wood knife. After the Captain attacks the old man , Ricky trips Captain onto a small board with nails on it causing him to lose one of his eyes in the fall. After this run in The captain plans to sick a madman named Zorro on him. Zorro is a rather large man with a reputation of taking care of business. The Captain adds insult to injury when he pulls some strings and gets the old man from the showers' Probation denied which leads to him committing suicide. This pisses Ricky off and the following day Zorro is out and set out to get Ricky.In Ricky's first demonstration of his Fighting talents as he easily dispenses of Zorro by Punching straight through his stomach , Gutting the big man before doing the same to the Captain. After the altercation the Guards come to take Ricky away , when Oscar the Leader of the South wing promises to teach Ricky a lesson after his punishment for the Murders of his fellow gang members.Ricky is sent to solitary where we flashback to him and his girlfriend and then a flashback of Ricky being taught Chi Gun , A martial arts style which feeds off of power and makes the body invincible and super strength.

The following morning Ricky is sent to visit the assistant Warden. The acting warden is a hook handed asshole who teases and beats Ricky looking for answers by showing him a picture of his girlfriend and finally Ricky fights back but does not strike the Warden, although he does cause damage to him just through the pure force of his near strikes.Ricky returns to his cell with the picture and flashes back to memories of his girlfriend once again. While the warden contacts Oscar to take out Ricky. Later in the prison yard Oscar and Ricky meet and fight it out. Ricky is blinded in the battle with glass powder but once regaining vision, Ricky Knocks one of Oscar's eye out and then Oscar guts himself and tries to strangle Ricky with his intestines. Ricky finishes Oscar off by crushing his skull with one punch.Oscars Godson happens to watch the battle and Ricky sets out to find him and apologize for killing his godfather. It turns out that the young man Alex has had his tongue cut  out and Ricky teaches him how to use the flute. This makes Alex happy and the two quickly become friends. Alex gives Ricky a leaf, Since He had seen Ricky use leaves as flutes, But this leaf turns out to be a poppy leaf and Ricky learns that The prison is harboring a Opium manufacturing plant. The remaining Gang of Four Members see Alex point out the Opium plant and seek him out. Alex is told to kill Ricky and when he refuses he is killed by the gang to send Ricky a message. As part of his revenge plot, Ricky burns down the Poppy plants. Rogan one of the leaders of Gang of Four comes out to fight Ricky along with Shirigami and the three battle when Rogan hit Ricky with a death strike that he is able to shake off after awhile due to his superhuman strength. As the fight continues the third remaining Gang of Four member Tarzan joins in but the fight is stopped due to the Zero Alarm ringing, As the Acting warden learns the real warden is on his way back to the Prison. Tarzan and Ricky are caught in a room together and fight until the room fills with wet cement trapping Ricky inside.

The warden arrives the next morning along with his fat clumsy son who trips on the red carpet outside. The warden then stabs a prisoners eye out for not rolling it out correctly. After the grand entrance,The warden is informed of the developments that have occurred during his absence. Tarzan is sent to beat down Ricky but to keep him alive for questioning. During the fight Ricky gets the upper hand by punching Tarzan's jaw off and then breaking his arm by punching his hand.Ricky appears to have killed Tarzan and then the cell walls start to close in on him. Ricky narrowly escapes and Tarzan wakes up, Ricky tries to save Tarzan but he gets crushed by the walls before he is able to make the save.Ricky is then buried alive when the warden orders all of the inmates to each add a shovel full into the giant hole provided for Ricky. While Ricky is underground we see a flashback of what lead him to jail in the first place. Apparently his girlfriend died when she was kidnapped by some heroin addicts who tried to rape her, While trying to escape she falls from a roof top to her death. Later Ricky finds the dealer and after being shot seven times he manages to bash the dealers skull with one punch. One week passes and Ricky is dug from his grave. He is miraculously still alive , Rogan manages to capture Ricky and the warden and Rogan torture Ricky while questioning him and Rogan stuffs razors into his mouth. While Ricky is in his cell a prisoner sneaks him food and the Assistant warden kills him to get a rise out of Ricky.This leads to Ricky attacking the Asst. Warden and blinding him by knocking out his only eye left. after that the prisoners attack and a riot breaks out. Ricky finally makes his way to the kitchen where the warden and the two remaining Gang of Four are .The warden kills his assistant with a bullet that causes the victim to explode and then Rogan and Ricky face off ,after a long fight , Ricky disposes of Rogan while the warden kills  Shirigami after he tries to flee. This leads to Ricky and the warden facing off, the warden transforms into a giant beast and the two brawl until Ricky is able to throw the monstrous warden into a giant meat grinder. After the final showdown Ricky breaks the prison wall and free's all the inmates as he walks away.

Story of Ricky is truly a film that has to be seen to truly appreciate. For film fans with similar tastes as mine this one truly has a little of nearly everything in it. With the exception of some pointless nudity this is a near perfect film for those who grew up watching horror films and for those who stayed up late on Friday nights to watch Kung Fu Theater. The best way to describe this film would be Fist of the North Star meets Dead Alive. The gore although low budget is really extreme and the characters are so over the top you can't help but love them. Apparently This film was based off of a Manga of the same name and in that case I can't imagine this is too far off from the source material due to the absolute comic book style action and exaggerated villains and hero. If you are a fan of Martial Arts films I would consider this requisite viewing , Much like I would recommend Dead Alive for Gore hounds. Story of Ricky will certainly go in my book as a classic and you can most certainly see that this film paved the way for the Japanese gore fascination in the years too come afterwards. I find it hard to believe that if this film never existed that we would have movies like Tokyo Gore Police and Ichi The Killer among others. Story of Ricky is definitely a trend setter and I gotta admit I loved it. The pacing is so fast that there is really never a dull moment and the payoff of the fight scenes is more than worth the cheese in between. I will admit now that I am done raving about how much I enjoyed it that the version I have is the uncut version but it is English dubbed and apparently some of the characters names were changed in the translation so if I made some typo's in the description of the film I do apologize but either way you say it this movie is , I'll say it again Totally Fucking Rad! Truly a must See.....Because it is in fact just that Rad!

Gore:9 (Although low budget and cheesy it really adds to the greatness of this film in a whole)
Story:6 ( Not this films strong suit but good enough for what it was.)
Characters: 8 ( So cartoonish you cant help but love them all.)
Overall: 8 out of 10   (Absolute Classic!)

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