Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)

If you hate blood and guts (literally) stop reading now because this movie is in no way for you.

On the popcorn scale of fun-with-brain-removed films this is on the top rung for laugh out loud enjoyment.

The plot has Ricky, a kid with super strength, being thrown into prison for killing the man responsible for raping and killing the girl he loved. This is a corrupt, privatized prison of the future where the prisoners are nothing more than cheap labor. Ricky instantly gets under the skin of the wardens, the guards, and the leaders of the prison population. Cartoon violence (what do you expect from a Chinese film based on a Japanese comic book?) with bloody, gory consequences ensue. Body parts go flying as Ricky fights to stay alive and help his fellow prisoners.

This is one of the bloodiest movies I've ever seen. Think Monty Python's Salad Days sketch...but for 90 minutes. There is blood and limbs everywhere. The effects run from very good to god awful, with most just okay. None of it is really "real". There's no way you could do this film realisticly (assuming the plot allowed for it), without having the audience throwing up all over the place. I'm assuming they are done the way they are for effect; we see the effect of the violence and laugh at the silliness of it all while keeping our lunches.

As the film spins more and more out of control, with plot holes that are more like stellar voids, you find yourself staring and laughing at it all, disbelieving that grown people put this together. It's a 12 year-old's action figure dream come true, but somehow it all works on an adult level since the filmmakers seem to be winking and nodding at those watching it.

High camp? Low brow? There is nothing in this film that seems to be serious except for the way that pretty much everyone plays it dead nuts straight to wonderful tongue-THROUGH-cheek effect.

Not a movie you want to see on a first date (or any date), this is a movie to watch with some loud friends...with strong stomachs and a great sense of the absurd. It's not a great film as such, and I doubt it was ever intended to be, however on the "throw your mind out of the car on the way to the video store" scale, this film rates at the top.

And I can't stress enough that this film lives up to its rep for blood and guts. If you don't like to see them flying in every direction stay away stay away stay away.

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