The Story of Ricky (1991) Movie Review

About halfway through “Story of Ricky”, the titular hero is engaged in a prison yard fight to the death with a rival when the rival, armed with a hunting knife, decides to cut open his own gut and use his own intestines to strangle Ricky! That one line of description tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the Hong Kong movie “Story of Ricky”, a splatterpunk orgy of violence, gore, bad voice dubbing, and nonsensical plot lines. “Ricky” also features a hero that can punch through bodies, but whose English dubbing makes him sound like Michael Jackson on helium.

One reviewer on wrote this: “it’s so bad you’ll die laughing”. That seems to be the common consensus with “Story of Ricky”, and it’s a highly accurate at that. The movie is really just an excuse to showcase groovy ways to punch holes through someone’s midsection, chest cavity, mouth, and literally take out someone’s eye in various ways. In short, “Ricky” is the epitome of brainless, mindless, and just pure lack-of-reason fun. And unlike the splatterfest of Takashi Miike (or, as I like to call him, the man who makes snuff films for insecure sickos too afraid to actually buy snuff films), “Ricky” is so incompetent in everything it does that you can’t help but like it.

Siu-Wong Fan stars as the titular Ricky, a 21-year old tough guy who gets convicted of manslaughter and is then sent to a supposedly high-tech prison run by a private corporation. The screenplay by writer/director Ngai Kam Lam blunders its way from the very first frame, setting the mood for the rest of the movie. For instance, the warden and his staff seems to know Ricky is in prison for manslaughter, but for some reason doesn’t know the details of his conviction. There are other examples of bad writing, but unfortunately there’s only so much time for this review.

In prison, Ricky goes up against the “Gang of 4”, consisting of 4 kung fu masters who run the prison under the sadistic warden (aren’t they always?) and his sadistic guards. Ricky also learns that the prison is actually growing poppies for illegal profits. And so, in an effort to stop the warden and the Gang of 4, Ricky punches through numerous chest cavities, knocks out a couple of eyeballs, and generally gets covered in buckets of blood every couple of minutes.

In one hilarious scene, Ricky suffers a knife cut that severs a tendon, making his arm useless. So what does our hero do? Why, he pulls out the severed tendon and reconnects them by tying them into a knot! It goes without saying that although Ricky gets slashed, cut, gutted, shot, stabbed, and generally punctured in various ways, by the next scene he’s instantly healed again. All the better to get punctured in various ways some more, of course. The funniest thing about the badness of “Ricky” is just how serious Ngai Kai Lam takes the whole thing. These people were actually serious about this movie!

Another funny thing about “Ricky” is the rest of the prisoners. For a supposedly secure maximum security prison, it sure is kinda strange that the prisoners can pretty much go wherever they want, whenever they want. How else to explain their mass presence whenever Ricky gets into a fight? (Why is Ricky always walking around the premises in the first place?) The prisoners have the uncanny ability to converge in one place in a sea of black convict uniforms to point excitedly and mumble incoherently among themselves. These guys are just bad.

“Story of Ricky” is good because it’s just so, so awful. How can you not chuckle when Cheng Chuen Yam, playing the sadistic one-eye assistant warden, pulls out his fake eye (with his artificial claw hand, no less) and taps out a couple of mints? Yes, that’s right. The one-eye assistant warden wears a fake eye that also holds mints! Also, who wouldn’t laugh when one of the Gang of 4 turns out to be a woman playing a man? Or how about the scene where Ricky’s girlfriend runs straight off the roof of a building like someone suffering from mental retardation?

So go ahead and watch “Ricky”, where our hero has been shot 5 times, but refuses to let the doctors take out the bullets because he wants to keep them as a souvenir. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll generally wonder if filmmaking could get any worst than this. It’s so bad, it’s good.

Ngai Kai Lam (director) / Ngai Kai Lam (screenplay)
CAST: Siu-Wong Fan …. Ricky
Yukari Ôshima …. Huang Chaun
Gloria Yip …. Rikki’s girlfriend
Frankie Chin …. Oscar
Philip Kwok …. Lin Hung

Buy The Story of Ricky on DVD