Gory Story

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Riki-Oh: The Story of Riki (1991), remains hands down, a Hall of Fame horror/sci-fi Japanese classic so over the top in its straight-faced comedic depiction of mega-violence and flesh re-purposing gore, it has yet to be rivaled. (Though you could probably make a street cred argument for 1993’s splattery Dead Alive.)

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Riki is a frown-y pensive guy with gym-sculpted muscles sent to prison for man-slaughtering a crime guy who, in a flashback, caused Riki’s college girlfriend to be killed to death. The prison, while clean, is a living hell for the inmates, who are tortured and mutilated (de-skinned) and forced to grow opium for the warden. (P.S. Don’t do drugs.)

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

It’s here Riki endures a non-stop litany of torture and punishments for standing up for the bullied inmates: knife and crochet needle through the hand. Buried in wet cement. Almost strangled by an enemies’ entrails (one of the movie’s most famous scenes). Punched to the point of permanent bruises. Imprisoned in a cage of sharp rebar. Cell roof with spikes being lowered on him. Razorblades stuffed in his mouth. Buried for seven days in prison dirt with only a bamboo stick to breathe from. And that’s just the first half!

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Not only does Riki have to defend himself from the warden and assistant warden with a candy-mint filled artificial eyeball (not making this up), he has the prison’s gangs (including a giant fat bully named Silly Lung) with supernatural fighters who beat our hero like a dirty rug with dirty tricks. Riki responds by punching criminals through their neck and up through their face, where his fist pops out.

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

But it’s the grand finale with Riki doing a spectacularly gore splattered battle with the warden, who mutates into a giant creature with super-strength, that’s the movie’s money shot. (Riki has super strength, too, a gift from birth and super punch fighting skills courtesy of his uncle.)

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

The prison’s industrial strength meat grinder plays an important role in taking Riki-Oh’s story to unmatched levels of bloodletting. And if by now you think enough is enough, Riki does one more thing with his fist. I’ll leave you to find out for yourself. But man, is it funny.

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Interesting note: The phrase “Why so serious?”, uttered in The Dark Night (2008) by the Joker, was first coined in this movie as a question by the assistant warden to the sullen and non-talking Riki. You’d be sullen and non-talking too if someone tried strangling you with icky lower intestines.

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