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Weirdness galore: Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky a.k.a. Lik wong (1991)

genre: comic book adaptation. action, comedy

If you are familiar with Hong Kong films then very likely you already encountered some strange beasts. But even then you will raise your eyebrows with this one. It's awesome and stupid at the same time.

But believe it or not I have read that this is one of the most faithful adaptations ever put on screen. Surely there is more plot than in the film since there hardly is a plot. Basically the whole film is about Riki-Oh having to fight all the challengers when he arrives in this high security prison. Main character Riki-Oh is more than just an excellent martial artist. He is someone who despite his strength has compassion. Although make no mistake when he fights he has no problem ripping out your organs which you get to witness in all it's glory. Now I could describe the scenes for you but I believe these are the kind you need to see for yourself. It's a large factor of why The Story of Ricky is such a cult classic. (Did some checking on youtube and saw some footage from the OVA series and seems like the live action film is pretty spot on when it comes to the fights and the plot. I don't even know where to begin how to address this. Normally I am against change of source material but this film was really begging for it.)

Now I don't mind gore and nastiness if next to that there are some other elements to the film. Like for example real combat. Or some real funny gags! Unfortunately there is nothing else that makes this film worth it. I mean I can appreciate it for some entertainment value but it's hardly a film I would watch again and again. Even the first viewing took a little bit of doing. Once you look past the gore there is nothing there to hold your interest. I can't really blame the cast. They do a good job of playing it seriously. Louis Fan as Ricky takes the cake. You would believe he actually believes what he is saying. Almost naive and innocent. Then he pulls out someone's intestines and you will think twice of calling him innocent. But in a way he is. He does have some fun with the assistant warden named Cyclops Dan who is played by Fan Mei-sheng (the father of Louis Fan). He is a veteran mostly famous for starring in multiple Shaw Brothers productions and some well known Jackie Chan films. How do I know this? Because of the commentary track which gives some background info on the actors and production. Yukari Oshima for some reason plays a guy. No idea why, but she pulls it off somehow.

Overall, this is only one I can recommend for people who love weird films like these. 

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