Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky | Chicago Reader

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

If you can handle the torrent of grisly violence, you'll find yourself royally entertained by this Hong Kong actioner (1991) about a mystic martial artist (Fan Siu Wong) who stokes the fires of rebellion at a corrupt, privately operated penitentiary. Writer-director Simon Nam (aka Ngai Kai Lam) based his script on a popular manga and captured that medium's brightness and energy with his bold compositions, outsize characters, and kinetic camerawork. Much of the comedy is based on violations of the human body: characters are chopped up, ground up, and smashed to bits, and one especially committed assassin uses his own entrails to strangle the hero. Personally I find this sort of thing repugnant, but I have to acknowledge Nam's craft and energy: some artists work in oil, some in acrylic, and some, unfortunately, in human viscera.

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