Connect with us
'Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky' review: Violent, gory, nonsensical fun

Movie Reviews

‘Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky’ review: Violent, gory, nonsensical fun

If you try to review Riki-Oh by traditional standards you’re watching it all wrong.

Reviewing movies is pretty straightforward. After watching the movie, the reviewer critiques the acting, story, production, and overall watchability before assigning a score or grade. Sometimes there are nuances that improve the movie or questions that hurt it, but usually the most difficult part is whether it is a 7 or a 7.5.

Then there are movies like 1991’s Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky. These are the movies that refuse to be defined by quality of acting, an interesting plot, or masterful production because, quite simply, they are so bad. Somehow, these movies overcome the issues that would bury other movies and prosper. The most well-known example would be Tommy Wiseau’s cult classic The Room.

'Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky' review: Violent, gory, nonsensical fun

The movie is about Ricky, a seemingly super powerful man who is sentenced to prison after literally punching a hole through a crime lord’s head. While in prison, Ricky must deal with a corrupt warden and the four gang leaders of the prison’s different cell blocks.

The plot is as bare bones as it gets. There are flashbacks to fill in Ricky’s backstory, but they are usually silly or just do not make sense. For example, the audience learns the main character’s real name is Rick but once his uncle saw how unusually strong he was he decided to call him Ricky. The Gang of Four (the leaders of the prison’s gangs) deal drugs and the warden has a spoiled son but none are fleshed out enough to be anything but generic villains.

'Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky' review: Violent, gory, nonsensical fun

The production is also very poor. There are strings seen throughout the entirety of Riki-Oh, most notably during the film’s climactic scene. There are numerous grotesque dismemberments complete with quite possibly the most fake looking body parts ever filmed. After a particularly violent fight which includes an X-Ray picture of someone’s skull getting crushed by a punch, the victim falls to their knees looking no worse for wear. Better special effects can be found on YouTube.

Despite all of the issues, Riki-Oh succeeds. The characters are shallow but also manage to engage the audience. Ricky is superhuman yet can charm a hardened criminal by playing the flute, one characther has a fake eye kept in a glass of water he drinks from, and an antagonist has to take medication to prevent himself from turning into a monster. None of it makes sense, yet it works.

Image result for riki oh the story of ricky gif

Riki-Oh is most famous for its gory fight scenes. Someone getting tossed into a meat grinder is one of the movie’s tamer scenes. (It also one of the bloodiest as reportedly the movie’s star, Fan Siu-Wong took days to wash off the blood.) During the more violent moments, it is hard not to marvel at the creativity. During one fight, Ricky literally strangles his opponent with his own intestines. One infamous scene from the movie even became a regular part of Craig Kilborn’s The Daily Show.

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky is filled with horrible acting, a plot that is barely there, and ridiculously bad special effects. It should be a movie you avoid at all costs but instead is the opposite. Riki-Oh takes pleasure in being over the top and delivers a fun movie that may not be good in the traditional sense, but definitely should be seen.

'Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky' review: Violent, gory, nonsensical fun
Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky
Is it good?
It certainly is not "good," but Riki-Oh is one of the most entertaining and fun movies you will ever see.
The ridiculously over the top fight scenes have to be seen to be believed
More often than not it is unintentional, but the movie is hilarious
There is never any tension since Ricky is invincible
Buy Now

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!


In Case You Missed It

EXCLUSIVE Heavy Metal Preview: Dark Wing #5 EXCLUSIVE Heavy Metal Preview: Dark Wing #5

EXCLUSIVE Heavy Metal Preview: Dark Wing #5

Comic Books

Wonder Woman 773 Wonder Woman 773

‘Wonder Woman’ #773 barely avoids a Greek tragedy

Comic Books

'X-Men' #21 introduces the new superheroes of Krakoa 'X-Men' #21 introduces the new superheroes of Krakoa

‘X-Men’ #21 introduces the new superheroes of Krakoa

Comic Books

DC Preview: DC Pride (2021-) #1 DC Preview: DC Pride (2021-) #1

‘DC Pride’ #1 is a heartwarming and enjoyable first step for DC

Comic Books

Newsletter Signup