Saturday, 1 September 2007

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)

I have to put this in my list as it represented the best, at least the most over-the-top, in HK Cat III exploitation genre. It's in the It's-so-ridiculous-it's-good category (good if you're gorehound). It's an exercise in excess that the HK censorship body could tolerate.

I found a head. Did somebody lose a head? Anyone?
The tame title really belies what the audience is going to expect. In terms of gore, this could easily be rated a 7. To get a score of 10, I would have to watch a coroner doing autopsy in a morgue. Or watch a HK housewife prepares dinner 30 years ago (where chickens weren't coming out frozen in a supermarket but live and kicking). Sure, some of the gore are tacky, but it's a comedy for peace sake. This adds to the fun factor.

Story of Ricky
Ricky found the the right place to look for a liver.
Japanese cinema is into this this stuff, and has an a cult following in the West. Any fan of Japanese manga/anime would recognise instantly that this is indeed what it is, even if you never came across the manga of Riki-Oh. So it seems logical to include Yukari Ôshima, one of the more well known Japanese female martial artist, who had been working on numerous action films in HK film industry before this movie. And if you watch enough Japanese movies, especially the samurai genre, you would likely to have seen Tetsurô Tanba, who played Ricky's master of his supernatural skill (The Japanese Obi wan Kenobi to Luke. C'mon, the name "Obi wan Kenobi" is obviously derived from Japanese. So is "Yoda". At one point Lucas is said to have considered casting asian actors in principle roles).

Yep, like Star Wars this is a sci-fi where the story takes place in a futuristic dystopia of the year, wait for it, 2001 !!! How can this NOT a comedy. Is it too much to ask HK film industry to make more insane trash like this?

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