Hello Meat Sacks, and welcome to Wasted Wednesday.
Now gather round, and listen to ol’ Uncle Frank tell you a story. It’s about a young man named Ricky (full name Ricky Ho Lik Wong. Hehe. Ho Lik.). Built like a brick shithouse, if the bricks used to make the shithouse were composed of man-sweat and ox testosterone, young Ricky has a beef with The Man. In this case, The Man is anyone in a position of authority in the futuristic jail he is wrongly imprisoned in. The thing is, Ricky has been trained since he was a floppy, effeminate tween in the art of Qigong (bless you), a martial art which apparently makes you a cross between Buddha and Superman. So, as you can imagine, this is bad news for The Man. And by bad news, I mean Ricky punches the everloving fuck out of everyone and anyone who gets in his way or pisses him off. And when Ricky punches things, they don’t just die, they FUCKING EXPLODE. So begins our story.
-Should I watch this?
Fuck. Yes. This movie will eye-fuck you with the most ridiculous, over-the-top gore and brutal kills that you are likely to see. And after it does, with the blood and tears and pus running down your cheeks, you will thank it for doing so. Make sure you watch the English dubbed version, because as much as I’m all for the purity of original language in foreign movies, the dub on this movie is goddamn brilliant. Brilliant in that it’s fucking TERRIBLE in the hilarious way that only really cheap quickie asian dubs can be. You will be quoting this movie for decades after you see it. At one point a guy named Oscar rips out his own intestines and tries to strangle our hero with them. The bad guy, looking on, quips “Oscar, you’ve got a lot of guts!” And don’t get me started on the guy who tries to cover the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction”. Genius.
-Should I get wasted to watch this?
Well I don’t think I’ve ever watched it sober, so….yes? Look, it’s pure camp. It’s got a goony dub. It has more “holy shit” moments than a montage of Michael Bay money shots. If you aren’t howling with laughter and disbelief, you need to drink more. It’s a good party movie. It’s a good movie to watch by yourself with a bottle of cheap rum, though you’ll spend the runtime looking around wondering aloud “did anybody else see that?!” and realizing it’s just you and your cat Mittens, who’s silently judging you in the corner, because that’s what cats do. It’s also a good movie to show your significant other, if only to test their gag reflex. All the above should be done with copious substances of your choice, because you owe it to this movie to be as uninhibited as possible.
-Are there titties?
No. And you won’t miss them. You won’t have time to think about what wonders women are hiding under their blouses when Ricky starts punching holes in people’s stomachs and faces. There’s like, one chick in this movie anyway. Two, if you count the flashbacks to Ricky’s mannequin-like girlfriend. And frankly neither of them made me sit up and go “gosh, I hope she gets topless!” Just sit back, ya oversexed weirdo, and enjoy the gore-porn.
It’s the distant future of….2001. Jails are privatized, just like car parks. That means the people who run these hellholes have total autonomy over the inmates. As you can imagine, this leads to abuse of power, gross inequality, favoritism, and injustice within the prisons. It’s the sort of situation where the prisoners need a hero. Someone to stand up for the little guy, the downtrodden, the poor schmuck who’s being taken advantage of by a corrupt system that beats him down and takes away everything he has. Someone like Ricky Ho (played by Fan Siu-Wong, who you may recall as the badass outlaw guy from “Ip Man”).
I’ll leave the rest of the flimsy plot exposition to the film. Suffice it to say, Ricky opens seven different kinds of righteous whoop-ass on the corrupt leaders of the prison. Because, you see, Ricky knows Qigong (gesundheit) and that makes him pretty much unstoppable. He’s got six bullets in his chest he kept as “souvenirs” of the deed that landed him in jail (eat it, 50 Cent), a near-constant state of oiled-up hardbody readiness, and hair that would make Vidal Sassoon cream his skinny jeans. Dude’s a walking death machine, which is perfect when you’re making a splatter film that managed to get the Asian version of NC-17 on its release without having a single erotic moment.
The movie is based on a Japanese manga of a similar name which is, from what I can tell, just as cartoonishly violent, but didn’t have to deal with budgetary constraints when dreaming up ways to annihilate the human anatomy. If artist Tetsuya Saruwatari wanted Ricky to hit a guy in the face so hard his brain flew across the room, he could do so with a few pencil strokes and large splashes of ink. In the movie, they had to get more creative when a guy gets blowed up by Ricky’s fists of fury. Which means it looks like crap a lot of the time. But the good kind of crap. The kind that those of you who regularly watch low-budget horror movies have come to realize is kind of like that extra bit of greasy sauce-covered cheese stuck to the inside of your hamburger wrapper. It’s know its bad, but for some reason its really good.
This movie does not skimp on that aforementioned congealed cheese-y goodness either. Ricky takes his lumps, but pretty much the entire runtime is devoted to Ricky fucking other people up like a human buzzsaw, and the hilariously awkwardly acted moments in between. The violence is so crazy, you just have to throw your hands up in the air and say “fuck it” and go along for the ride. At one point Ricky gets stabbed in the arm, which incapacitates his hand. He reaches into his arm with his other hand, pulls out a tendon from his arm, ties it back together with his teeth, and then immediately and triumphantly flexes his newly fixed hand into a fist. It’s that kind of movie.
Back in the day, before John Stewart revolutionized infotainment, The Daily Show was hosted by a dude named Craig Kilborn. If you remember that, you might be too old. Kilborn used to have a segment with his guests called “5 Questions” where he’d…well I think you can guess what he did. Anyway, the intro clip to this segment was a clip from good old “Riki-Oh”. It was a clip of a large angry guy with a huge fur shirt crushing another man’s head in his hands. And not crushing like slowly squeezing. Crushing like the Hulk clapping his hands together on an egg. Shit EXPLODED. As I said, it’s that kind of movie.
I wish I lived in a world where this shit actually happened. Where a guy mouths off to you, and you punch him at the same time he punches you, and your fists connect, and your fist shreds his forearm to the elbow. And then you kick him in the leg so hard his kneecap goes into orbit. And you finish him with an uppercut that makes Street Fighter look like My Little Pony, which utterly evaporates his lower jaw and most of his mouth. All in the name of justice and freedom, of course. And then you walk away, inexplicably whistling with a poppy leaf. Because you’re all free now.
One day, this movie will be as well known as “Re-Animator”, or preferably it’ll have a renaissance like “Planet 9 From Outer Space” or “Toxic Avenger”. I hope so, if only so people know what the hell I’m quoting all the time. In the meantime, check it out (the dubbed version), spread the word, and raise a glass to this work of brilliant depravity. I’ll be off somewhere, punching raindrops, learning how to feed on strength and get stronger and stronger.
Batshit insane and fun as hell. Throw it on next time you want to make people go “what the actual fuck are we watching?” Rarely slow for more than a couple minutes at a time, and even those parts are chock full of campy goodness that deserves repeat viewings to appreciate. A must see.
ATTENTION DEFICIT DRUNK CORNER:
Drinking game time! This is the default movie that my horror buds and I go to when we want to get snookered and laugh our asses off doing it. The game is simple: every time someone in the movie gets Owned™ (define that how you will, but in this movie its pretty fucking straightforward: they get destroyed) take a drink. In addition, inanimate objects count. This rule is called the Tombstone Rule, for reasons that will become clear about 20 minutes in. This leads to quite a few moments when people will call out “that counts as a Tombstone!”. If you all agree that it does, drink. Now, you may say, “But Frank, how many people can possibly be Owned in this movie? I’m not even going to catch a buzz!” Bring lots of booze and an extra liver, young blood. It’s gonna get messy.
UNCLE FRANK’S SPLATTER SCORE :
-Five out of five Assistant Wardens
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Categories: Wasted Wednesday