unremittingly and unrepentantly violent film makes its way onto
the HKL label with the reputation of something of a cult classic.
Having not seen the film before, but having read much, I was looking
forward to experiencing a piece of Hong Kong's Extreme Cinema...something
which I soon wish I hadn't.
I never thought I'd write this, but Story Of Ricky is the first
film whose violence was too much for me to stomach.
Lacking any sort of real story arc, although being firmly based
on the Japanese Manga "Riki-Oh",
the film's main aim is to top each of the previous scene's sickening
Now, I don't want to sound like a hypocrite, as I've watched and
enjoyed many a violent movie before, but this film is different.
It has no redeeming features, no characters worth caring for, or
even a remotely intelligent storyline. It just has violence, gore
and hokey special effects, which whilst faithful to its Manga origins,
left me feeling empty.
Playing the lead role of Ricky, Fan Siu-Wong certainly looks impressive
with his incredible physique, but his acting range is paper thin.
Making a meal of every scene - overacting, overreacting and irritating
in equal proportions, Siu-Wong did nothing to endear himself to
The rest of the cast follow suit admirably, proving they won't be
outdone, by delivery the film's leaden script with over-the-top
Looking back, I can't think of one single element of this production
Looking forward, and I can't see myself returning to it.
the age of the print, HKL do a top job in their presentation.
Spotless, well-coloured and featuring solid blacks, their transfer
is a reminder of what can be achieved when they put their mind to
Image detail is very good generally, although due to the source
material, is occasionally quite soft.
Artifacts are absent, leaving a highly competent transfer.
everything but name, this supposed 5.1 remix is adequate without
being anything more.
The main gripe with this disc is its lack of treble, resulting in
a muffled, bassy sound throughout.
If pushed, I could maybe name three moments where the surround speakers
are called to task, but otherwise this is a truly one-dimensional
whole, very good, but a few disappointing liberties are taken with
However, they matter little for a film whose script was probably
given away free in a packet of corn-flakes.
improvement on HKLs recent and not-so-recent efforts.
Using the comic book origins of the film, and elements from the
film, the striking opening menu, and subsequent screens stay faithful
to the production.
Nice to see HKL putting some real imagination into their menus.
A very interesting
and substantial (36 mins) interview with Fan Siu-Wong.
Covered in some detail are his background, in both films and kung-fu,
along with his views on the movie itself.
Fan talks of his concerns before and during filming of the ultra-violent
gore, and the filming of key scenes.
Like many of the Hong Kong Legends' interviewees, Siu-Wong comes
across as a very nice guy, making this a pleasant experience which
holds your attention throughout.
Original Theatrical Trailer - a superbly evocative trailer which
makes the film look far, far better than it is. Intercutting of
the original Manga artwork is an inspired touch.
UK Promo Trailer - Not as sophisticated as the HK trailer, although
still quite effective.
A very short clip of Fan Siu-Wong running through a few Wu-Shu styled
forms. Empty-handed, and then with a Gim (straight sword), Siu-Wong
looks very good, although quite what this extra provides the viewer
with is beyond me.
Thankfully letting Bey Logan get on with providing commentaries
for far better films, HKL ask Jude Poyer and Miles Wood to give
Whilst containing some decent information, Wood and Poyer deliver
their commentary as if narrating a wildlife programme!
Their slant on the commentary is undoubtedly different to the one
Logan would provided, and whilst this makes for a welcome change,
it isn't nearly as absorbing.
The Killer Naked Killer Mr.Vampire
My Lucky Stars Eastern
Condors Avenging Fist
unpleasant and over-hyped film is given far too much respect by
No doubt it will sell well amongst its
long-standing fans, but for those who have yet to view it, I would
recommend a rental at best.
This is one Story HKL would have been far better never having told...