Based on the manga of the same name, Ricky Ho *looks at title again* is sent to a maximum security facility in the future year of 2001 for ten years for manslaughter. He doesn’t make friends with the warden or anyone else and gets into the most epically violent fight scenes I’ve ever seen.
Judging a Book by its Cover
-Apparently the easiest way to do logos is with Microsoft Word…
-…and editing photos was done by a monkey learning Photoshop.
-The blurb that Riki is pointing at is all you need to know about the movie: Here’s the movie where you saw that thing that happened on that popular show!
“The best martial arts film combined with splatter cinema you’ll ever see!”
Directed by Lam Nai-Choi
Starring Fan Siu-wong, Fan Mei Sheng and Ho Ka-kui
Riki-Oh tells the story of Ricky Ho, a martial artist, who is sent to a penitentiary after killing a drug lord he deems ultimately responsible for the death of his girlfriend who was attacked after witnessing a heroin deal. Almost immediately upon arrival, Ho is faced with corruption at every turn as the facility is run by a foursome of crime bosses who are allowed to prosper thanks to the evil warden. Figuring he has ten years to waste away, Ricky decides to continue what he started before he became a jailbird. He valiantly fights off the different gangs and by ruins their various operations and oh yeah, going on a murder spree through these same cronies and the mob bosses alike until it’s just him and the warden to duke it out.
You’d think after reading that paragraph, if you were going to see this film, that you would take it fairly seriously, maybe thinking of it as sort of a martial arts take on Shawshank Redemption. Well, you’ve got it completely wrong! Despite the dark tone the story takes from time to time, the combination of embellished delivery of hilarious dialogue (along with your typical bad English dubbing, of course) and gratuitously violent fight scenes make for an otherwise fun time because those are the bits of the film you wanted to see in the first place.
Much like The Punisher‘s Frank Castle, if it weren’t for the fact that he had a tragic loss to blame his bloody rampages on, Ricky Ho is a psychopathic nutcase yet the de facto good guy because everybody else in the film is simply the worst person ever. Now that I have the morality part out of the way, Riki-Oh is such a gloriously violent martial arts film that is so over the top with it’s violence that I almost want to say it’s the “Evil Dead of martial arts films” but you’ll never see that on a box cover so I won’t. But it’s close. The walls are almost literally painted with blood and guts as Ricky destroys the bad guys with (mostly) his fists which can apparently punch through anything. Anything!
I’m by no means a martial arts genre guy; there are many that I like but they are more modern versions of the classic imports of the 70s. I may not be the guy to recommend such films but I know what I like and I like Ricky! Oh!
Story: 7 – Sent to a prison for avenging the death of his girlfriend, Ricky keeps his kill streak alive as he murderfists his way through prisoners and crime bosses.
Blood: 9 – While not every effect is pulled off great, the film delivers the laughs and the blood so you’ll enjoy either when it happens. The gore factor is incredibly high as bad guys are impaled, blown up, torn apart and otherwise eviscerated.
Nudity: 1 – Some butts in a prison shower scene. Could’ve been a lot worse.
Overall: 7 – I may not know martial arts but I know what I like and Riki-Oh is a bloody treat.
-The warden’s book shelf is actually full of pornographic films.
-It was the first film in Hong Kong to receive a rare “Category 3” rating (think NC-17) because of the violence.