Import Corner: Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky: Limited Edition (88 Films) Blu-ray Review

RIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY finally gets the blu-ray release it has deserved for more than a decade now. This set is put together with so much care towards the film and its legacy.

Studio: 88 FIlms
Release Date: April 9th, 1992 (theatrical)
                           September 20th, 2021 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes 17 seconds
Region Code: B (locked)
Picture: 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (theatrical mix)
               Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (home video mix)
               English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
               English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English (theatrical mix), English (home video mix) and English (English dub)
Slipcover: No (hard chipboard box)
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Siu-Wong FanMei Sheng FanKa-Kui HoYukari ÔshimaKan-Wing TsangKwok-Pong ChanKôichi Sugisaki, and Frankie Chi-Leung Chan
Written by Ngai Choi Lam
Directed by Ngai Choi Lam
Rating: BBFC: 18 (strong graphic violence and gore)



What's It About?

Set in the year 2001, where all correctional facilities have been privatised, martial artist Ricky finds himself victim to the corrupt system when he is found guilty of the manslaughter of an infamous crime boss. Once in jail he must fight for his own survival when he is thrown into a world of enemies vying for his blood.

Film Review

I discovered RIKI-OH in the late 90's or early 2000's. I was on a site that sold Hong Kong DVDs that wasn't I was looking to pick up a bunch of titles. My friend said that we should get RIKI-OH. He said that it was ultra gory and I added it to the order. When the order showed up at my house a few weeks later, I called my friend to come over and watch it. We sit down and watch the film. We laughed and laughed and laughed. We were also a bit shocked by some of the gore in the film. This is a REALLY gory film. Almost nothing is left to the imagination and it is all bloody and red and great. In fact, when I was watching the film this time around, I noticed that the end crashing scene was the very same quick clip that Craig Kilborne used on his late-night talk show all the time. 

Whatever happened to Craig Kilbourne. He was Hollywood's next "It thing" for a while in the early 2000's. That guy showed up in everything, always playing the rich, snarky pretty boy. Then, all of a sudden, he disappeared. The same thing seems to have had happened to Greg Kinnear. He started doing a shit ton of films in the late 90s. He was in everything too. I don't think that these two co-existed at the same time. Maybe they are the same person. Maybe when Greg Kinnear handed the hosting duties of "Talk Soup" to Craig Kilbourne, he was really just handing it off to himself with makeup on. I have no proof other then they both disappeared after doing the exact same thing a few years apart. 

RIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY is the very definition of "cult classic". The film is the kind of film you discover by pure accident and thank the heavens that you did. The film works and is endlessly entertaining. Everyone should be required to watch RIKI-OH if they ever want any type of "film geek" cred. 


Presented in the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, this is not a new transfer, but it is a good one. Detail is rather impressive at times. The gory bits look even cheaper in HD. Colors are great with the red of the blood looking particularly good. The film was never a looker. It's a cheap film shot on cheap film stock so we never expected the film to look amazing, but this transfer definitely gets it closer to how it's supposed to look. 

Cantonese Mono (theatrical mix) DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Cantonese Mono (home video mix) DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
English Mono DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
English  5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1


We get not one or two or three but FOUR commentary tracks that all do the same thing. They give us a different perspective from each track. First, we have Frank Djeng who is one of my favorite commentary guys working today. He is always full of information. Here he takes the viewers on a journey through the film from a Chinese perspective. Next up, Mike Leeder and Arne Venema take us through the film from the perspective of two guys who work and live in Hong Kong and have worked in the industry for decades. The third track is from the perspective of two guys who saw the film, fell in love with it, and needed to know everything about it.

From there we have an interview with star Fan Siu-wong, who talks about how he got into martial arts, acting, and The Story of Ricky. Two trailers, one from Hong Kong, the other an English trailer finish out this set. 

  • Audio Commentary with Frank Djeng
  • Audio Commentary with Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • Audio Commentary with Kim Newman and Seth Hogan
  • Audio Commentary with Audi Sorlie and Chris Lang
  • Interview with Fan Siu-wong (36m 4s, HD, 1.78:1) in Cantonese with English subtitles.
  • Hong Kong Trailer (4m 20s, HD, 1.85:1)
  • English Trailer (2m 7s, HD, 1.78:1)

comes to us from 88 Films in their Limited Edition packaging that they started using with their release of THE YOUNG MASTER on blu-ray. The packaging is very much the same as Arrow Video has been using for their Limited Edition for years now. It's a nice hard box with very attractive artwork from R.P. "Kung Fu Bob" O'Brien. There is no J-card as the information about the release and list of special features are printed directly on the back of the outer box. Inside, you will find a 14mm blu-ray case with the very same artwork from the outer box with the reverse being the film's original Hong Kong theatrical poster. Inside the blu-ray case is a small poster with the exact same artwork from the blu-ray case and the film's theatrical poster on opposite sides of the poster stock. There are also four postcards featuring scenes from the film. The disc is the last thing and that features artwork of Ricky with blood on his hands. Finally, a 40-page booklet featuring an essay called "Riki-oh, Prison on Fire, and Island on Fire: A Short History on Hong Kong Prison Films (1987-1997) by Matthew Edwards and An interview with legendary voice-over artist Simon Board.



RIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY is a film that must be seen to be believed. There is no other way to describe the film. I mean, you could give exact detail to someone and they will still sit in disbelief while watching the film. The film is ultra gory, in a very Troma way, and it is fun to boot. This 88 Films blu-ray is the way to watch the film now. Four commentary tracks and an excellent interview with voice-over artist Simon Board that goes into detail how films were dubbed back then. (kind of ironic that the interview with the voice-over artist is text only). This set is a must-own and one of the best releases of 2021.



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