Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

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The logical end-point of the 1980s Hong Kong action boom – and still one of the bloodiest films ever made – 1991’s ‘Riki-Oh’ is part futuristic prison movie, part chopsocky gore-fu explosion and part absurdist slapstick romp. Gleamingly muscular martial-arts legend Sui-Wong Fan plays superhuman kung-fu king Ricky, imprisoned for a revenge killing after his cutesy-pie girlfriend throws herself off a roof while being chased by cackling heroin dealers. Confined to a brutal concrete jail run by heartless corporate thugs, Ricky takes on The Man and rips all his limbs off.  The level of invention in makeup and practical effects is quite remarkable: heads pop, skin rips, jaws smash and one guy pulls out his own lower intestine and tries to strangle our hero with it. It’s all fairly disgusting, but carried off with a huge sense of fun: the Black Knight scene in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ was clearly a key touchstone. So while the performances are rocky, the script dire and the sets wobbly, ‘Riki-Oh’ is simply a perfect Friday-night audience movie: see it and shriek.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Duration: 91 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ngai Choi Lam
Cast: Siu-Wong Fan
Mei Sheng Fan
Ka-Kui Ho
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