Tag Archives: kung fu films

RIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY (1991): CULT MOVIE CLASSIC

riki-ohRIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY (1991) – Back when I started Balladeer’s Blog in 2010 this Hong Kong martial arts/ splatter film was among the first movies I planned to review. Feeling intimidated by the need to describe the sheer scale of the joyously tasteless violence in this movie I kept postponing it. Eventually, it seemed so notorious that I figured too many people knew about it for me to bother.

This week I was floored to meet a fellow fan of bad movies and learn that they had never even heard of Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky. That galvanized me to finally post a review of the movie.

WARNING: For people who shy away from ultra-violence and the like, I will point out that this film usually grosses out and disgusts viewers just as much as some other flicks I’ve reviewed, like Father’s Day, Mandy, Lewd Lizard, Headless, etc. If you hated those reviews, you’ll likely hate this one, too.

riki oh in prison yardRiki-Oh (pronounced Ricky-HO) is also known as Violence King and with good reason. This Category 3 Hong Kong movie does the seemingly impossible – it more than lives up to the Japanese Manga it was based on. Siu-Wong Fan stars as the title character. Ngai Choi Lam directed and wrote the screenplay adaptation.

Get ready for a kung fu film which combines the violent sensibilities of the Three Stooges crossed with the gore of Psycho Gothic Lolita, Dead Alive plus the aforementioned Mandy and Father’s Day.  Not to mention more shots of men standing at urinals than you’d see at a major league ball park.  Continue reading

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FAQ: SHANG-CHI

james ryan resembles shang chiWith the movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings trickling out, assorted readers have been asking me if I’ll do a blog post about the character. I did one back in June, but the release of the movie wound up getting delayed. Below is the link to that blog post in which I examined the first twelve Shang-Chi stories in the 1970s.

For that post click HERE. For my blog post featuring Shang-Chi stories in which he fights alongside Iron Fist click HERE.

 

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Filed under Pulp Heroes, Superheroes

KUNG FAUX (2003) – FORGOTTEN TELEVISION

kung fauxKUNG FAUX (2003) – Created and crafted by Mic Neumann, this half-hour comedy series was basically a hip hop version of old movies and television shows that overdubbed non-comedies with comedic dialogue, music and sound effects. In Kung Faux‘s case it featured re-edited and highly stylized martial arts films from the 1970s overdubbed with contemporary music and a hip hop comedic sensibility.  

kung faux 2Though Kung Faux brands this treatment as “dubtitling” as a nod to dubbed and subtitled dialogue, the approach debuted on vintage television shows like Fractured Flickers (1963), in which celebrities would dub improvised comedic dialogue over old silent movies.

The theatrical release What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966), Woody Allen’s overdubbing of a Japanese spy movie to make it a battle over an egg salad recipe, is still the best known of these ventures. Not even serials were exempt from such treatment, with my favorite example being Firesign Theater’s production Hot Shorts (1984) featuring items like Sperm Bank Bandits in which the comedy team inserted comical dialogue over old serials like Canadian Mounties vs Atomic Invaders. Continue reading

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THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN (1977): BRUCE LEE EXPLOITATION

Dragon Lives Again

The Dragon Lives Again

THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN (1977) – CategoryBrucesploitation with an enjoyably absurd twist   

Even for the bizarre sub-genre of Brucesploitation films this movie is out there! The film starts with the recently – deceased Bruce Lee arriving in the afterlife, where the concubines of the King of the Dead gather around to gawk at the bulge in the pants of the late martial arts superstar. (Just in case you thought NO opening could be more tasteless than the one in The Clones Of Bruce Lee ) In a bit of alleged comic relief the bulge turns out to be caused by a weapon, not Lee’s organ. (Corpse schlong jokes! Who doesn’t love them?)

As head-shaking as that bit is at least it’s coherent, unlike virtually everything else that happens from this point on in the movie. And the time-honored tradition of Brucesploitation films having  leading men who don’t even look like Bruce Lee is well-represented in this flick, but at least here they try to explain it away by talking about how a person’s face and body change after death.  Which, of course, makes no sense since this is supposed to be Lee’s soul, not his body. 

Anyway, Bruce somehow persuades the King Of The Dead to grant him a chance to return to the world of the living, and is told he can return if he outfights all the other inhabitants of this odd netherworld. 

You see, this isn’t just any bland version of the afterlife our hero finds himself in. It’s kind of a Valhalla of cult movie characters and Bruce spends the rest of the movie fighting all of them in various combinations. Continue reading

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THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN (1977)

The Dragon Lives Again

THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN (1977) – CategoryBrucesploitation with an enjoyably absurd twist   

Even for the bizarre sub-genre of Brucesploitation films this movie is out there! The film starts with the recently – deceased Bruce Lee arriving in the afterlife, where the concubines of the King of the Dead gather around to gawk at the bulge in the pants of the late martials arts superstar. (Just in case you thought NO opening could be more tasteless than the one in The Clones Of Bruce Lee ) In a bit of alleged comic relief the bulge turns out to be caused by a weapon, not Lee’s organ. (Corpse schlong jokes! Who doesn’t love them?)

As head-shaking as that bit is at least it’s coherent, unlike virtually everything else that happens from this point on in the movie. And the time-honored tradition of Brucesploitation films having Continue reading

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BAD MOVIE: THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN (1977)

The Dragon Lives Again

The Dragon Lives Again

THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN (1977) – CategoryBrucesploitation with an enjoyably absurd twist   

Even for the bizarre sub-genre of Brucesploitation films this movie is out there! The film starts with the recently – deceased Bruce Lee arriving in the afterlife, where the concubines of the King of the Dead gather around to gawk at the bulge in the pants of the late martial arts superstar. (Just in case you thought NO opening could be more tasteless than the one in The Clones Of Bruce Lee ) In a bit of alleged comic relief the bulge turns out to be caused by a weapon, not Lee’s organ. (Corpse schlong jokes! Who doesn’t love them?)

As head-shaking as that bit is at least it’s coherent, unlike virtually everything else that happens from this point on in the movie. And the time-honored tradition of Brucesploitation films having Continue reading

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