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The Mixed Tape film series presents Riki-Oh at Carousel

Published: Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 09:01

The eighth movie from the Mixed Tape film series, Riki Oh: The Story of Ricky, kicked off Wednesday night at the Carousel Theater with a big ‘ol April Fool’s day prank.

Showing just how low Hong Kong cinema can go, Riki Oh: The Story of Ricky, also clues one into just how many things a man can punch thru. Bearing a Hong Kong rating equivalent to NC-17, Riki Oh, told the bloody prison story of a young man in the “future” of 2001.

The April Fool’s day trick involved a big fat lie on screen, informing the audience that shipping problems would force that night’s move to be replaced with My Tutor, an eighties romp through one guy’s summer encounters with his aerobisizing French tutor. After about five minutes of rainbow spandex stretching scenes, the joke was delivered and Riki-Oh finally began with loads of laughs and loud popcorn munches.

Mixed-Tape concessions included dollar beers and cheap pizza. Theater employees dig the idea of old-school screenings; their big bummer is not being able to watch the flicks. However, a few employees joined Mixed-Tape cohorts Mike Compton and Joe Scott in watching from the wings as the movie began.

Into the screening, Compton moved to a seat on the side aisles. Laughing aloud while sipping a cool frosty beverage, Compton chimed in with the heckling crowd for some appropriate wisecracking.

The overdubbing was just absurd; Riki-oh is the kind of movie that leads one into thinking there’ll be seppuku, but leaves the audience with a much gorier attempt at guttural strangulation. Wounds gushed blood one minute, turning into bits of red goop on obviously wax limbs the next; classic lowbrow Hong Kong cinema.

The audience wasn’t worthy of meeting the warden or the assistant warden until Riki punched through at least four people, 20 minutes into the film.

The assistant warden, a dim-witted, sadistic, porn-lover with a claw for a hand (a la Dr. Vader in Rock-n-roll High School Forever,) ate mints from a glass eye, and threw his rather abundant weight around by summoning the terrifying “gang of four” to kill Riki.

The gang of four: Oskar, a man who must kill when he shows his tattoos; Rogan, the gender-neutral fighter who sported a spiffy jacket; the head-crushing Tarzan; and Brandon, who incorporated his hobby of cross stitch; were instant audience favorites. As leaders of their respective cell blocks, each member had their own plans to take Riki out.

Audience reaction was incredibly high. The head crushing seen made famous by the Craig Kilborn era Daily Show met with enormous applause. There was even a “that’s what she said” joke when Riki was teaching a poor tongue-less boy to play the flute.

However, enormous outcry erupted when the assistant warden smashed a koi bowl into a wall, but no one squelched when west-wing leader, Rogan, kicked a dog in half before feeding its heart to a then buried Riki-Oh through a bamboo tube.

People just loved Riki-Oh’s fist thru fist action. Applause flared as Riki-Oh broke through the prison wall and the credits rolled.

The mixed tape film series pamphlets were well designed and very informative. Each one features some fantastic original artwork for the movie, as well as the series’ own groovy little logo. Included with the Riki-Oh pamphlet was a funny film summary by Craig Lewis of the Raleigh News and Observer which gave a nice lowdown to clue the audience as to what was in store.

The next movie for the Mixed Tape film series is David Lynch’s highly acclaimed (and somewhat disturbing) Blue Velvet. Filmed in Wilmington and starring Dennis Hopper, Blue Velvet will run at 7:30 p.m. and at 10:00 p.m. on May 6 at the Carousel.

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