You have not seen The Story of Ricky. Okay, maybe you have. Then you are only reading this for a graphic description of someone’s head exploding. Or getting strangled with entrails. Boy, they really don’t make movies like this often, do they?
For the uninitiated, that intro might scream of torture porn, the sub-genre that has been populating mainstream horror for a while now. But Ricky-Oh is not an acolyte of such shockers. It instead operates in that strange realm occupied by the likes of Ichi The Killer and Lone Wolf & Cub (Shogun Assassin). It’s a pretty faithful adaptation of an incredibly violent manga series – a comic book movie done right.
Ricky’s story starts with a series of events that land him in jail. This is where we find him, being inducted in a harsh futuristic privately-run prison. Corrupt from top to bottom, any unfortunate inmate has to toe the line of the gangster bosses and cruel officials in charge. But Ricky is not unfortunate. He is a student of some obscure martial arts style that makes one super tough. No, really – in one scene our hero ties his nerves back together. Or were those tendons? It doesn’t matter, unless you are picking a fight with this guy. You’ll come up short – and very brutally so.
Riki-Oh was shot on a small budget and its special effects are laughable – and yet also incredible. If anything, this low-tech approach removes the film from those torture-porn sagas. You are less likely to cringe. Instead you’ll be shouting “Oh my GOD!!!” and cheer on our hero as he pounds a bad guy into an oversized blender. This kind of stuff can’t be made up.
Cinophile is a weekly feature showcasing films that are strange, brilliant, bizarre and explains why we love the movies.
Last Updated: May 20, 2013