Thursday, October 23, 2008

HORROR EPICS: The Story of Ricky

I don’t know that The Story of Ricky necessarily fits the horror movie genre, but decided that it warranted an entry here in Horror Epics after all. The fact of the matter is that The Story of Ricky is one of many movies from Hong Kong that doesn’t just blur genre lines; it tramples the very notion of such distinctions. Ricky’s hyper-violent story takes place within the walls of an ultra maximum-security prison, in a future (2001, to be exact) where housing criminals is just one government job run by the private business sector. He’s been incarcerated after running wild on a gang of drug dealers who played a role in his girlfriend’s death, and absorbs multiple gunshots to the chest to gain a measure of revenge. Seems he’s perfected the breath-control style of martial arts taught to him by his uncle. Ricky runs afoul of the Gang of Four, the thugs who control the prison population at the warden’s behest, in which kung fu ultra violence and bloodshed is the result. One by one, Ricky disembowels his foes in ways that would make Herschell Gordon Lewis smile. Fists punch through stomachs, eyes pop out of skulls like ping-pong balls, intestines are used for strangulation; and Ricky even ties his own severed tendons back together, which somehow continue to work as normal. But really, the plot exists only to provide some continuity to the carnage. And the carnage is spectacular. Obviously not for those with weak stomachs; but once seen, this movie is never forgotten, regardless of the viewer’s opinion. The Story of Ricky might not exactly qualify as purely horror, but it is definitely epic in its own way. You HAVE to see it at least once. Also known as Riki-Oh, or some variation of both titles.

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