Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Excessive Gore” with a minor in “No Kill Like Overkill”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
This week Supercult buys 20 gallons of fake blood, a pig bran, and a book on martial arts for…you know, reasons…after watching, Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky!
It is the distant future, the year 2001. All prisons have been privatized and corrupt men rule all. Ricky, a powerful martial artist, is sent to prison for killing the crime lord responsible for his girlfriend’s death, but it is not the prison he has to worry about…it’s the ruthless prisoners. Corruption, violence, love, and redemption! This is the Story of Ricky!
Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky is a Hong Kong martial-arts thriller based on the Japanese manga Riki-Oh by Madahiko Takajo and Saruwatari Tetsuya. Anyone who is familiar with the Riki-Oh manga just peed themselves a little from sheer excitement. The manga follows Saiga Riki-Oh, a young man blessed with inhuman strength and the power to literally punch holes through people, and his journey to survive a stint at a brutally corrupt prison and find his equally powerful brother. Now, that plot line sounds like a combination of a cheesy samurai B-movie and that one scene from Supercult Classic King-Pow: Enter the Fist, where the chosen one punches a hole through a dude. Now just imaging that in that scene instead of punching a cartoonish CG cylinder of flesh out of the guy, the Chosen One, simply punched the guy so hard, that a cartoonish cylinder of flesh exploded horizontally out of him in a shower of blood and gore. That is how Riki-Oh do.
The Story of Ricky was originally released in Japan in 1991 and Hong Kong in 1992. The film was written and Directed by Lam Nai-choi who’s previous directing credits include Erotic Ghost Story (1990), a Korean porn flick, and The Seventh Curse (1986), a dark fantasy involving giant monsters, alien baby monsters, bleeding statues, kung-fu tarzan monks, death by sacrificial trash compactor, and a curse that makes your legs explode every now and then. You know…just a normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill film career. Riki-Oh stars Fan Siu-won as Ricky, his actual father Fan Mei-Sheng as Assistant Warden Dan. Fan Sui-won was only 18 at the time of filming, which means that he was barely able to see the movie he was acting in. Why you ask? Because Riki-Oh is one of the most epically violent movies of all time. The film is notorious for its comedically bad English dubbing, its use of gore and practical effects, and also for the fact that the main character is practically invincible. Let me paint you a picture of just one of many notable scenes from The Story of Ricky:
In the prison yard the titular Ricky fights the knife-wielding prisoner, Oscar. Things seem bad for Ricky when Oscar digs his knife into Ricky’s right arm, which bleeds profusely. Ricky retaliates however by smacking Oscar in the back of the head so hard that his eye pops out and is immediately eaten by crows. Ricky however is un-phased. He breaks open a water pipe with his bare hands, washes out his eyes, and then sews up his mutilated right arm with his left hand and his teeth. Good as new. Oscar decides that the only thing to do is to commit suicide via seppuku and slices his gut open. When Ricky rushes over to stop him, Oscar reaches into his abdomen, pulls out his intestines, and proceeds to try to strangle Ricky with them. The watching prison warden cheers him on by saying, “You’ve got a lot of guts, Oscar!” Ricky escapes but Oscar charges him again. Ricky catches his arm and throws Oscar into the air. As Oscar descends Ricky punches him in the face and we cut to an X-ray shot of Oscar’s skull being shattered. Oscar falls to the ground dead (without even the hint of a broken nose).
Riki-Oh was the first Honk Kong movie to receive a “Category III” rating (the equivalent of NC-17) for violence rather than sexual content. In one scene an actual pig’s brain is used in place of a human one (don’t worry, you’ll know it when you see it). There was so much fake blood used in the climactic meat grinder scene that Siu-Wong Fan could not wash the red off his skin for thee whole days!
Riki-Oh’s Category III rating and lukewarm critical response stymied its success at the Hong Kong box office, but it received surprisingly positive reviews overseas! Kurt Ramschissel of Film Threat gave the film 5 stars, saying that “the violence comes fast and furious and is just as outrageous and over-the-top as Sam Raimi Peter Jackson ever were.” The Story of Ricky has an amazing 7.1 on IMDB and a Rotten Tomatoes Score of 89%.
This movie answers a lot of questions such as, “What would it look like if someone tried to make a brutal Japanese comic into a live action camp fest?” and “What would it really be like if someone punches a guy’s face off?” but it also raises important questions. Questions like, “If Ricky can punch through people, why didn’t he just punch his way out of prison?” or “What would a gas filled bullet really do to a person?” and “Why are you still reading this, you should be out there watching The Story of Ricky! GO GO GO!”
Seriously, if you aren’t going crazy about this movie at this point you are lost to us!
The Supercult show is proud to present, Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky!