Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Story Of Ricky : Cat III Part 2

In the months that followed the release of The Story of Ricky, the film gained an almost mythical status in the UK. Anyone lucky enough to have seen it, raved about how it was the most violent, gory and insane movie they had ever seen, and how it could never be released in the UK.

During 1993, around ten years after the beginning of the video nasty scare, moral panic and censorship was back on the agenda, after the murder of a young child by two children, thought to be inspired by the movie Childs play 3. A new panic was started, and as a result a number of movies including Reservoir dogs and Bad lieutenant amongst others were refused a video certificate, meaning they were effectively banned. It would have been unthinkable at this time, given the violent and gory content, to even try to get the Story of Ricky passed by the BBFC for release in the UK.

Fast forward to 2002 and everything had changed, the movie was passed uncut with an 18 certificate by the BBFC and released by Hong Kong legends, and finally The Story of Ricky could be seen legally in the UK. After trying many years ago to watch a terrible nth generation VHS and giving up, the HKL release looks very impressive, much better than I anticipated, when taking into account the age and budget of the movie its a superb transfer.

Once the movie was officially released my interest in it had pretty much passed, until now that is. Directed by Nam Nai Choi and adapted from the manga Riki-Oh by Tetsuya Saruwatari. The Story of Ricky is the most batshit insane prison movie ever made. It uses most of the prison movie cliches, but twists them into an almost unrecognisable, gory mess. The movie stars Fan Siu Wong as Ricky, who ends up in prison for killing the sleaze responsible for the death of his girlfriend, Fan Mei Sheng, Ho Ka Kui and Yukari Oshima also star, and in what must be one of his first roles Lam Suet!

The Story of Ricky lives up to its reputation, its incredibly violent and gory, but the make up effects are so cheesy that it is incredible to think that anyone could be offended by it, this is the perfect film to highlight just how ridiculous the BBFC were during the 80's and early 90's.

The dialogue, through the english subtitles is hilariously deadpan, and this combined with the ludicrous excess on display make the movie an absolute blast, with so many highlights, two in particular having me in tears of laughter, the attempted intestine strangulation and the demise of Ricky's girlfriend.

The Story of Ricky is not a great or even good film, not if you judge it by any conventional standards anyway, but what it is a whole barrel load of bloody fun and pretty much like nothing else before or since. A must see!


YTSL said...

Glad you enjoyed "The Story of Ricky". When people talk about "gonzo" films, this is what I think absolutely fits the bill. :D

A. said...

I managed to see Story of Ricky at a revival theater last year. I was kind of blown away by it's OTT nature and found it kind of exhausting towards the end.

I agree that it's not a good film by any means but with it's not exactly a film that's easy to forget either.

Kingwho? said...

Right on, AHND! Glad you enjoyed the film. As film is subjective, and CAT III films like TSOR scratch me where I itch, I would most definitely say that it IS a good movie. But that is just my opinion.

It IS dang entertaining, though, and not a film you entirely forget. As YTSL said, GONZO indeed!

DR. Lamb podcast comes out on the 16th! =)

What CAT III film is up next, AHND?

I posted this review to my Facebook. =)

A hero never dies said...

YTSL, Its hard to think of anything more fitting for the word.

A, Completely agree, by the time the meat grinder comes around a degree of fatigue had set in, didn't though!

Kingwho, its awesomely entertaining, no question. As for whats next, Is Taxi hunter def cat II? as that has arrived, could it count as cat II.5? I also have Dr. Lamb ready to go, does the podcast have major spoilers? Really looking forward to it!

Kingwho? said...

Hmmm? I think it might spoil a few scenes but nothing too major, IIRC? Maybe you should watch the movie first?

Taxi Hunter is a II, maybe between IIA-IIB? It's nothing really dirty or salacious but it's a dark comedy that plays on revenge and murder so it hits CAT IIB notes. It's great, great fun, though. You should enjoy it?

Have you seen Sex and Zen?

A hero never dies said...

I'm planning to watch it soon, before the podcast. I don't know where I got it into my head that Taxi Hunter was cat III but I'm sure I'll enjoy it anyway.

Not seen Sex and Zen, I don't have it in any format, should I?

Kingwho? said...

Haven't seen Sex and Zen???!!! I really find it fascinating that you haven't delved into CAT III films even a little bit!? After 25 years, too! It's really cool, actually. It makes me feel that I am doing some good and helping out other HK cinema fans by pointing them into a certain direction. =)

The CAT III movies that you are watching and are going to watch are the more mainstream CAT III films so you should definitely enjoy them. Sex and Zen might be the MOST mainstream of them all and is just absolutely wonderful and masterfully made. It's a real joy to watch, especially given it's place in time....the great era of the early 90's =)

You MUST see it!

BTW, I have transfered a few of your posts to my Facebook page and they have gotten a nice response. I hope you are getting more traffic? =)

A hero never dies said...

Thanks for the facebook thing Kingwho? What can I say, I've always been more of a crime and action film kinda guy, and there have always been enough films to keep me going, unfortunately not so many now, so I'm expanding my horizons to keep my habit going! You've got my interest going as well, so as long as I'm enjoying I'll carry on. Will try to track down Sex and Zen, you seem to really love it.

Kingwho? said...

No problem at all, AHND. Aside from being in love with cheesy CAT III films, i also love cops and robbers stuff. So, I can relate.

We just recorded the III'rd episode of This Week in Sleaze earlier today and it's ALL about Sex and Zen! I even mention in the podcast that this is a classic film and a must see not only relegated to CAT III filmgoers but HK cinema lovers in general. It's THAT good and it's a ton of ridiculous fun.

Episode II, about Dr. Lamb, will be out this coming Tuesday and we hope to release episode three in April to coincide with the release of Sex and Zen 3D =P

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