Shock-O-Rama: Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky -

Shock-O-Rama: Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

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Shock-O-Rama: Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Feature the hilarious exploding head scene from The Daily Show

By Chuck Francisco     May 19, 2012

Let's reminisce, you and I; ride shotgun in my way back machine. The time is 1998 and we're teenagers cruising the wire racks of a mall bound Suncoast video store. Like hanging with Abe Lincoln, we've the foresight to know we're shopping in a dead store walking. Not that it matters today though, we're on a mission. We're searching for the absurd, for the cheesy, for the hysterical, for the...hello gorgeous- what have we here? Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky:? A fascinating title with ridiculous implications abound. Still, I wasn't feeling an imported ball of Kung-Fu mania and was just about to move on to explore the possibility of Forever Evil when something on Ricky's cardboard VHS sleeve caught my eye. 
"Feature the hilarious exploding head scene from The Daily Show" 
That, friends and neighbors, is a daring proclamation and one that may leave younger readers scratching their heads. Would it be stretching the realm of credibility to invoke Craig Kilborn era Daily Show for the purposes of shameless  gore promotion? Possibly. Did it entice me into procuring said VHS tape? Absolutely! Now by twist of fate, by whim of the gods, my Saturday afternoon quest for corny deposited an absurd gem with an outrageous claim right into undeserving mitts. Before I continue on into describing the zany madness that is Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, allow me to whet your appetite with a quick clip of the scene referred to in an explosive sound bubble on the cover. (POW!)


This is the tale of a happy young lad with nary a care in the world; content to spend his frivolous existence flying radio controlled air planes with his girlfriend among the rolling green hills of a picturesque China. Of course this idyllic life is shattered when gang toughs attack the couple and chase Ricky's girlfriend off the roof of a building. Our hero shrugs off six bullets to the chest before commencing the bare hand brutalization of his enemies in a fashion that would be right at home in an early Peter Jackson film. Since we're visiting the dystopian future China of 2001, where self defense laws apparently doesn't exist, Ricky is fed to the privatized prison system where the warden wields ultimate power, which is lethally enforced by the martial arts master gang leaders; The Gang of Four.

Luckily our hero is also a  master of a mystical martial art form, one which provides ridiculous resistances to all pain, advanced rapid healing, and the strength to punch through advisories. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky takes all of these parts and crafts an absurd fruit salad of insane fisticuffs, completely implausible scenarios, and brutal gore rivaling that on display in Dead Alive. The whipped cream to top this main course is preposterously bad dubbing, with equal helpings of The Three Stooges and The Rolling Stones. The puns fly fast and furious, whether intended or invented.


The sum total is a film which you'll want to acquire without delay. This is group cinematic viewing perfected with all the right elements coalescing into a grotesque kung-fu comedy. Grab your gore drenched, cult craving pals and party with this manga turned tale of lost love, flying fists and shocking shenanigans. 


Saturday Shock-O-Rama Streaming Suggestions

Want to watch something schlocky right now? Try on a few of these suggestions, available right now from the listed service.

Netflix - The Car - Horror (1977)

Crackle - El Mariachi - Action/Foreign  (1992)

YouTube - The Guy with the Secret Kung-Fu - Kung-Fu (1981)

And if you simply can't get enough horror happenings here on Mania, might I humbly suggest checking out Tuesday Terrors? It's got all the shocking news to keep you current (and possibly help you survive until the credits roll).

Chuck Francisco is a columnist for Mania writing Saturday Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a horror co-host of two monthly film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA (home of 1958's 'The Blob'): First Friday Fright Nights and Colonial Cult Cinema.You can delve further into his love of all things weird and campy on his blog, The Midnight Cheese or hear him occasionally guesting on eminent podcast You've Got Geek.



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RobertTrate 5/19/2012 11:15:15 AM

 Sweet article Chuck. 

redhairs99 5/19/2012 12:36:56 PM

  I remember when this first appeared on the old Daily Show back in the day. Craig had the authors of a book called Baked Potatoes: The Pot Smokers Guide to Movies on the show. 

redhairs99 5/19/2012 12:37:27 PM

 Riki-Oh was one of the titles discussed in the book and that's when Craig played the now infamous clip of the exploding head and then it became a staple on every episode of the old Daily Show. I knew I had to see this movie.

redhairs99 5/19/2012 12:38:34 PM

 It wasn't until a few years later that I finally got to see this masterpiece of comedic gore. My old college roommate and I finally found it on VHS at either Suncoast or a very young Amazon back in 1999 or 2000. It was awesome.

redhairs99 5/19/2012 12:39:24 PM

 Okay, so apparently you can't submit a comment that has a Dot Com in the text.  

CyanideRush 5/20/2012 5:48:15 AM

 @BobTrate: thanks buddy!

@redhairs99: it really is such an awesome movie. Sounds like you experience was pretty similar to mine. Rock on!



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