Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (aka: Lik Wong) is a movie adaptation of a Japanese manga (comic book to us westerners), but don’t let that put you off. This isn’t Hollywood going lame on comic book adaptations, oh no, this is full on, in yer face, blood, gore, and action. And on the cheap!
The movie begins with a police van entering a prison. The prisoners are presented to a group, seated behind a desk, where they must step forward and give their name. It’s here that we meet Riki Oh.
It’s here we’re told the rules of the prisons four wings, North, East, South and West each with their own ‘head’ and fighter. The prisoners must deal with them first before they can even think about meeting the Assistant Warden, never mind THE Warden himself!
One rather meek old gentleman is up for parole, gets bullied, a wood plane to the face then denied parole. Riki brandishes some swift justice with a trip which ends with the leaders face, and hand, being skewered on a carefully placed plank of wood with rather large nails protruding from it.
The leader plans his revenge (via the prison wardens) by releasing his rather plump friend to dispense justice upon Riki. By now the meek gentleman his hung himself and Riki is obviously hell bent on revenge. Needless to say the fat man is unsuccessful and Riki is now something of a prison superstar, fighting for justice and revenge.
With the fat man gone, Riki is in isolation, meditating if you will, and it’s here we are told of his background. He has learned special kung-fu from his uncle (taught to him in a graveyard, of course) and it’s this, combined with his special power, that gives him the ability to punch through people and such-like.
But, unfortunately, Riki’s ass is out the window since the Assistant Warden wants to see him. I’m sure he’d like an explanation for the disemboweled plump man.
The Assistant Warden is quite the character. Hook handed and with a false eye (which holds mints it seems) he’s not impressed with Riki’s justice, and Riki isn’t impressed with the Assistant Wardens threats to his girlfriend. The Assistant Warden gets one of the prison wing fighters to take out Riki.
Seeing a man punch through a fat man’s belly is weird. No doubt about it. But this next scene is now legendary. As Riki fights the prisoner, the fighter proceeds to fall on his knife, disembowel himself then choke Riki with his intestines! No, seriously, he does!
Next comes the creepiest character in the entire film, Rogan. Leader of one of the prison wings I have no idea if it’s a he, or a she:
Answers on a postcard to the usual address.
The madness doesn’t end there, it goes on and on. There’s now three prison leaders on Riki’s ass all wanting to kill him for the glory. Meanwhile the prisoners see Riki as something of a freedom fighter, or vigilante, if you will.
Having been locked in a cage with one of the larger leaders Riki takes him out by punching up, under his jaw, and out his mouth. Absolutely bizarre. And, of course, done with $10 effects.
Two leaders left and Riki is still alive, but not for long. The Warden gets Riki buried alive in sand. As his body is exhumed Riki is, surprise surprise, still alive. He’s then tortured by the he/she-thing and forced to eat razor blades. Riki eventually escapes (surprise!) only to find that another of his prison colleagues has been murdered. Now he’s really REALLY pissed! A prison riot breaks out and it’s here that Riki manages to punch through a riot shield and the cop behind it! What a guy! It’s at this point the Warden goes ape-shit and shoots the Assistant Warden with some sort of inflatable/exploding bullet…
Riki is next, but all is not as it seems (a bit like the whole film so far) as the Warden turns into some large monster. Again, made using $10 effects:
Needless to say, Riki whoops his monster ass, by mincing him, and presents the head of the head to the wardens and prisoners.
The movie ends with Riki punching through the wall of the prison and telling the prisoners that they are all free men. Why he couldn’t just do that at the start of the film I’ve no idea.
Although it may seem as though I’ve said many bad things about Riki-Oh I really like the film. The actors are playing it straight in a completely ridiculous storyline. The effects are completely over the top and so bad they’re good, and the dubbing is God awful. There’s really not much to seriously hate about the film!
The Story of Riki-Oh is legendary, and deservedly so. I can but only give it top marks.