Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky is a 1991 Hong Kong Martial arts movie based on the Japanese Manga Riki-Oh. Following closely the plot of the comic and Anime adaption, and is a pretty unique Hong Kong film!
Set in the future, (sometime back in 2001) when prisons all over the world become privately owned, it tells the story of Ricky (Siu-Wong Fan – the thug from Ip Man), a young and practically invincible man who is well versed in a mysterious Qi Gong Kung Fu style. He has been sent to prison for manslaughter. Driven by helping out the innocent, Ricky very quickly does some serious damage to some of the heavies within the prison, and earns a name for himself.
He has a meeting with Cyclops, who is currently in charge of the prison while the Warden is away, and Ricky is given the ‘don’t give us any trouble‘ speech before he spits it back in their face.
As Ricky faces fighter after slightly more accomplished fighter, whipping them all into a disability or death, he discovers that the guards are growing Opium illegally. As he is driven by righteousness he burns down their operation and becomes a target of both Cyclops and the Warden.
From there Ricky must survive the many different torturous punsisments and fight off any attacking him, all the while working toward a single goal: freedom for him and his fellow inmates.
Ricky isn’t your ordinary guy…
As mentioned above he is almost invincible. Ricky uses his tremenous strength to cripple his opponents if not kill them completely with little or no effort!
When you see Ricky attack his fists and body are almost like Iron, he blocks attacks from all sort of weapons using only his forearms, and punches people with absolutely crazy results, for example –
- Punching the tops of peoples heads off
- Smacking the back of someone’s head and popping their eye out
- Driving a single punch through a persons stomach and out through his back, etc
- You get the idea….
He’s pretty damn brutal!
But he is also amazingly honest and driven by morality. Even after crippling an opponent he offers his hand in help, and always seems to do whats right. He’s that combination of the honest hero and the violently strong monster. It’s pretty damn interesting and makes for some pretty crazy action.
The absolutely crazy action!
Each punch comes with a fake looking dummy being ripped open with mountains of blood pouring out absolutely everywhere. This time, however, the blood isn’t bright red but that dark maroon color that is a bit more believable.
The blood just comes, and comes and comes.
People get skinned, legs are broken and face and heads are ripped to bits in a myriad of ways to keep the audience enthused (sick, isn’t it? 🙂 ), the style of violence in this movie is unbelievably over the top. it was the first ‘Hong Kong movie to get a Category III’ rating for violence – usually a rating for erotic movies!
While most of the movie the characters seem very much normal and human, the craziest scene involves the warden doing his Incredible Hulk impersination as he grows to unbelievable heights with insane amounts of muscle mass. The obviously got a massive guy to play this part, and then covered him in a rubbery fake suit to top it off.
It’s fake, it’s corny and that’s why it’s friggin’ brilliant!
This may very well be a ‘love it or hate it’ kind of movie, but I recommend it to anyone simply for it’s level or ridiculous action. If you don’t like the Japanese gore, you’ll hate it so don’t bother in that case. Everyone else – soak it up!
On Blu Ray –
Region A (US & Canada)
Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky [Blu-ray]
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Riki-Oh – The Story of Ricky
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Story of Ricky [DVD]
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Story of Ricky on DVD