This week I decided I would revisit an old classic of foreign cinema. Actually, classic may not be the best word for it. It is however, a brilliant piece of Hong Kong camp cinema coming out of the early 90s. Based on a Japanese manga, Riki-Oh (The Story of Ricky) is guaranteed to satisfy any B-movie fan who likes his bad films to be both ridiculous and gory.
I am a big fan of dystopian future movies. I try to watch pretty much every one that I can find. Some are good and some fall flat on their faces and some, like Metropia, sit lukewarm in the middle and offer little in the way of either satisfaction or disappointment. This Swedish film (done in English) uses an interesting technique for its animation that takes real photos and alters them to be stylized and thus creates a feel to the film that matches its theme. In Metropia, this almost works, but you’re left wondering why everyone has such a ridiculously large head.
This one I watched a while back, but was drawn by its strange style into a repeat viewing. It is a Viking/Christian Crusader flick that is nothing like what you might think it to be. The first time I watched this film, I was completely thrown off track, expecting something a little more straightforward, with swordplay and violent acts of Viking-ness. As it turns out, Valhalla Rising is really more of a thinking man’s film, reminding me at times of the unique style portrayed by famous Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky.
Let the Bullets Fly is a piece of Chinese cinema that will leave you laughing, thoroughly confused or, more likely, both. It stars Chow Yun-Fat as a rich opium-lord gangster, Jiang Wen (who also wrote the script) as the leader of a notorious bandit gang and Ge You as a would-be governor who gets caught up with Wen in his quest for riches. The story begins as the bandit leader hijacks a train and from just the first scene, viewers will get a pretty good idea of the craziness that is to come.