I constantly find that I like the Japanese Pink films more and more every time I see another one; and while the first part of the 'Rica' trilogy is clearly not the best of the bunch; it's still a fantastically entertained gore-soaked thrill ride and it's sure to delight fans of the genre! The film is only ninety minutes long but you could be forgiven for thinking it's longer - not because it's boring or the runtime drags, but simply because so much is packed into the film! Aside from the usual sleaze - sex, rape, murder, gore etc; the film also somehow finds time for revenge plots and even a women's prison. Our central character is Rica; she's a Japanese-American half breed and the result of her mother being raped by an American soldier. She grows up and is later raped by one of her mother's boyfriends. This apparently doesn't sit very well with the young Rica, who decides to leave her mother's home and ends up getting herself involved in gang wars, revenge and trying to stop a local merchant from shipping women overseas...
The main problem with this film is that there's so much going on that the film actually does not have enough time to spend with each of the plots, and as a result; it does seem a little too packed. This does benefit it in terms of pace - the film moves very quickly and literally does not give the audience time to get bored, and that does somewhat make up for the frenzied plotting. The lead role is taken by Rika Aoki, who only made one film outside of the Rica trilogy; and I'm not really surprised about that since she's really not a great actress. It's not too important for this; the focus is never on the acting anyway, but she doesn't have much on some of the best performers in other Pink films. One of the best things about this film is undoubtedly the gore, and the director does not hold back when it comes to showing it. There are plenty of good gore scenes in the film and it helps to distract from the problems. It's clear that the film is not going to boil down to any sort of meaningful ending; and indeed it doesn't, but that isn't a problem and on the whole Rica is a flawed but very entertaining Pink film!
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