Oscar nominations came out last week, and while I am so freaking miffed that “Revenge of the Sith” didn’t pick up a nomination for Best Visual Effects, I am also just as incredibly ticked off at the Academy Awards in general.
Rarely do they recognize films that are just so incredible that they change the lives of the people who watch them forever.
I am going to review one of those movies, and sadly, it was never nominated for an Academy Award – or any award for that matter. It’s “Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky,” and it is, without a doubt, the most violent gore-fest of a movie ever made.
How do people even know about this film? It was back in 1999, when Craig Kilborn hosted “The Daily Show.” Before he asked his Five Questions of every guest, he showed a clip of a guy crushing another guy’s head with his bare hands.
That’s Taizan from “Story of Ricky,” and believe it or not, that scene is somewhat tame compared to the rest of the film.
There is a plot, but it doesn’t really matter.
All you need to know is that Ricky is in prison for a crime he didn’t commit (like The A-Team!) and he fights his way through bad guy after bad guy, eventually winning and freeing all the good prisoners. (Good prisoners? Isn’t that an oxymoron?)
How does he fight? Well, let’s see. He punches right through a large prisoner, appropriately nicknamed Elephant.
He smacks one guy’s eye out of his socket, after which the guy rips out his own intestines and uses them to strangle Ricky.
A prisoner who befriends Ricky has half his tongue cut off, only to later have half his face ripped off.
Remember that guy who crushes the other guy’s head? Ricky punches through the guy’s jaw and shoves his fist through the guy’s mouth.
And it’s not like the bad guys aren’t tough, either. The Assistant Warden, who keeps mints in his artificial eye, carries an elephant gun that causes people to explode.
Unfortunately, the real Warden gets mad and uses it to kill Assistant Warden. The Gang of Four, of which Taizan, aka Head-Crusher Guy, is a member, is especially nasty, performing all sorts of unnatural acts of torture on the rest of the prisoners.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Sure, this movie is absurdly violent, but it seems like someone needs to transform into a monster or something.”
Well, you can relax, because the final fight is between Ricky and Warden. Now, when Warden first appears, he’s a skinny bald guy.
But somehow, he possesses magical powers that allow him to transform into the cheapest looking movie monster ever. And Ricky makes short work of him by putting him in a meat grinder. And he saves Warden’s monster head as a trophy.
“Capote” might have Phillip Seymour Hoffman in his career-defining role. “Good Night, and Good Luck” might be an incredible look at the early days of broadcast journalism. “Crash” might be a powerful film about racial tensions in America.
But none of them have a guy pulling out his own intestines and using them to unsuccessfully strangle the movie’s hero. “Story of Ricky” fills that intestine-strangling void that is missing from today’s movies.
My God, I just wasted a whole column talking about “Story of Ricky.”