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!