10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™




Rica 
Written by: on August 1st, 2007


Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1972
Director: Kô Nakahira
Cast: Rika Aoki, kazuko Nagamoto, Masami Souda, Michi Nono, Fuminori Sato, Masane Tsukayama, Yasudo Arakawa, Satoshi Moritsuka, Yoshihiro Nakadai

DVD released: August 14th, 2007
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Exploitation Digital
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95


Synopsis: Rica (Rika Aoki) is sent to a reform school after she kills a yakuza thug who fathered a child with one of her friends who killed themselves when he abandoned her. While in reform school most of her gang is abducted and sold by a rival gang. Rica breaks out of the reform school and raises hell when anyone tries to get in her way as she tries to free her friends or exact revenge on those who have done her wrong.

Having already sampled several of Toei’s Pinky Violence films and Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno’s I would have to say that the Rica films resemble Pinky Violence more then Roman Porno. Plot wise Rica features many Pinky Violence clichés like revenge, rape and betrayal. The lead character Rica is not your typical Pinky Violence heroine as she is a half breed that was born due to her mother being raped by an American soldier.

The actress who plays the lead character is named Rika Aoki and her exotic features and light skin tone visually hell sell her characters ethnic background. Performance wise Rica Aoki gives one of the more memorable Pinky Violence anti-heroes. She also proves early on that she can handle her own action wise as she shows a wide variety of moves in her various battles. Actress Rika Aoki will break your neck just as quickly as she will rip your heart with her tough as nails performance as one of Japan’s first female action heroes.

There is some nudity in the film most of which is integral to the story and not done gratuitously. The fights are all well done, bloody and brutal. Rica is more perverse and violent then all the Pinky Violence films currently available in North America. The films urban influenced score sounds like a cross between music from Shaft and The Street Fighter. Direction wise Kô Nakahira fills every moment with interesting and unforgettable compositions. Ultimately Rica is a nearly flawless film that quickly pulls you in with its sex, violence and mayhem.

The DVD:

Rica is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has not been flagged for progressive playback. Media Blasters presentation of Rica looks really good with vivid colors. Details look crisp and sharp throughout. There source material used for this transfer is free of print damage and outside of some instances of heavy grain the transfer looks pretty darn good.

This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Japanese. The audio sounds clear and it is free of any audio defects. Subtitles are free of errors and easy to read.

Extras for this release are limited to trailers and a photo gallery. Overall Media Blasters release for Rica features a solid transfer which makes up for its lack of in-depth extras, recommended.

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