Konketsuji Rika (1972) Poster

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7/10
Frenzied but entertaining slice of Pinky Violence
The_Void13 July 2008
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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8/10
Wacky, fast paced and a lot of fun
zetes14 February 2010
Honestly, a pretty bad movie, but it's an extremely enjoyable bad movie, reaching a B-movie glory that you don't get to see too often. Rika Aoki, playing a character of the same name (Americanized on the DVD to "Rica"), stars as the leader of a delinquent girl gang so popular in these pinky movies of the late '60s and '70s. After accidentally killing a yakuza, she gets sent to juvie. Her gang gets kidnapped and sold into sex slavery for American soldiers in Vietnam. Rica also has to deal with a yakuza chick rival in the clink. The plot of this thing flies in every direction. It's insane just how much stuff happens. It never stops to take a breath, just rushing madly toward its insane climax. Aoki isn't especially attractive (if she was, I wouldn't hesitate to call this one of my favorite pinky flicks), but you get used to her after a while and she's kind of cute. She's pretty awesome even if she's not a supermodel. For what it is, Rica is a pretty great experience. Ko Nakahira formerly directed the youth picture Crazed Fruit. Auteurists seeking similar should be warned against this one.
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8/10
Fast paced exciting pinky violence saga
ejenkinsumc21 October 2007
I consider this comparable to Truck Turner in the blaxploitation genre. Not the best example of pinky violence, but one of the most entertaining. There's enough 'plot' here to fill 5 movies though it's rather episodic in nature. Lots of exploitative scenes (nudity, violence, catfights, etc.), also some anti-USA sentiment.

I just saw Rica 2 Lonely Wanderer yesterday. Not quite the exploitation showcase as the first, and with more conventional and less frantic pacing. No reform schools here, and no nudity from the star (Rika), though it does have some anti-USA bias. It's still a quite good followup and perhaps more believable than the original (which may actually detract from the entertainment value). Judging from the trailer, looks like the third installment is less sedate and more of a roller coaster ride like the first one.
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6/10
An interesting but flawed "Pinky Violence" film by Toho...
jmaruyama2 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Konketsuji Rika" was Toho studio's attempt to compete and trump rival Toei's "Pinky Violence" 70s exploitation films like "Sukeban Bancho" (1973), "Sukeban Guerilla" (1972), "The Zubeko Bancho" series(1970-1974) and "The Sukeban Blues" series (1971-1973).

The plot of "Rika" shares many similar themes with the Toei movies which it tried to emulate...you have the noble "sukeban" (bad girl)heroine who seemed to always make the wrong decisions in life, and who try as she might could not escape the bitter life of crime and revenge.

All the elements of a typical Pinky Violence film were present: the bitter rivalries between beautiful gang leaders, the skimpy 70s fashions and go-go boots, the tragic love romance between the heroine and a strong but equally noble male Yakuza, the obligatory rape scenes and cat fights and the unapologetic and often gratuitous scenes of grim violence and over-the-top action.

Star Aoki Rika isn't pretty like other Sukeban heroines such as Ike Reiko, Sugimoto Rika and Oshida Reiko. She doesn't have the stunt woman background of Shihomi Etsuko and is not as graceful or alluring as Kaji Meiko. What makes her unique is that she is a "half" (Caucasian/Asian "hapa" mix) and is tall (she often stands considerably taller than her opponents both male and female). She is more of a tough brawler and she fights almost like a man with a lot of punching, kicking and wrestling involved. She is Tamara Dobson's "Cleopatra Jones" to Pam Grier's "Coffy".

There are parts were it is obvious that Rika is being doubled for a male stuntman especially in the end where we see her riding a motorcycle. I can't tell if her fights are also like that but it could be as Rika looks very "mannish" in some of her fight scenes.

The acting is bad but it is basically on the same level as other Pinky Violence movies. Aoki Rika "lip syncs" a lot of her singing in the movie and I wonder how much of her dialog is also dubbed (sometimes it seems like the voice track doesn't quite match her lips).

I was hoping that more focus would be placed on her unique ethnic, mixed background as Toho did in the similar but much better "Noraneko Rock: Sex Hunter" but unfortunately very little mention was made regarding this. Rika did have an interesting friend in fellow mixed cell-mate Hanako (Souda Masumi playing a mixed "hapa" Black/Asian), who is in love with a G.I. trying to avoid the Vietnam War.

I kind of wish that the producers had gotten someone like Yamamoto Linda, Komaki Risa or Mitchie Love to play the heroine but then again maybe Aoki Rika's rough look is keeping with the tone of the movie.

In the end "Konketsuji Rika" is a good attempt by Toho to match Toei's Pinky Violence films but is neither one of the best nor one or the worst of the genre. It is an interesting if but flawed piece of Japanese sexploitation and 70s violence cinema that is more of curiosity piece and will appeal to die hard fans of the genre.
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5/10
Alone and Always Out-Numbered
Uriah4310 July 2016
Born because her Japanese mother was raped by an American soldier, "Rica" (Rika Aoki) endures a harsh childhood and gradually forms an all-girl gang who fear nothing. However, when they tangle with the Yakuza "Tachibana Gang" things don't go well for them as Rica is carted off by the police for murder while the rest of the women are brutally raped and then sold into sex slavery in Vietnam. Vowing to get even with the Tachibana Gang she escapes from the detention facility but not before earning the enmity of the leader of the female prisoners named "Reiko" (Kazuko Nagamoto). Alone and always out-numbered Rica does the best that she can as she faces countless new obstacles that stand in the way of obtaining her revenge. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this film suffered from a couple of flaws which repeated themselves throughout the movie. For example, the fight scenes were rather clumsy and could have used more attention to detail. Likewise, some of the special effects were almost laughable and in need of improvement as well. Even so, the movie wasn't too bad overall and managed to keep my attention for the most part. For that reason I rate it as about average.
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6/10
Lacklustre pinky violence from Toho
fertilecelluloid26 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Rica" is Toho's attempt to create a pinky violence series in the Toei style. Unfortunately, this entry doesn't quite cut the mustard. Rica (Rika Aoki) is the product of a rape by a white soldier. She springs from the womb and is subjected to a life of sleaze, violence, and betrayal -- the essential ingredients of a hot exploitation film. After the teenage Rica is raped by one of her whore mother's clients, a despicable businessman, she leaves the nest and gets involved in gang wars, bloody violence, and a plot to sell local women into foreign prostitution. The film bounces along and is never dull. It is close to as bloody as one of Toho's Baby Cart films and is assisted by a jazzy score. Unfortunately, the direction is slipshod and the fight scenes are pretty sloppy. There is a looseness to the production that reduces its impact. Rika Aoki is merely okay in the lead role. Too unwieldy to be a convincing heroine and a little too large to be sexy, she falls into a strange twilight zone of on-screen fighting gals. As odd as it may sound, the film is somewhat redeemed by its obsessive focus on rape and sexual abuse; there is barely a sex scene that isn't a rape scene. A subplot involving a mysterious man who comes to Rica's aid when necessary is the film's only authentic aspect. Better to seek out "Zero Woman - Red Handcuffs", a far superior example of pinky violence with style to burn.
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5/10
Konketsuji Rika
RaulFerreiraZem30 November 2022
Not as good as the Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto sukeban films by a long shot but still kind of entertaining for fans of these kinds of films. Konketsuji Rika moves astoundingly fast, like so fast it feels like watching 2 or three movies in a sequence rather than one. The plot loses itself quite a bit and it might be hard to follow at times too. To me however what makes this one not stand out in the slightest is the fact that, while it is gorier than its peers, it also has a lot less charisma. The acting is mediocre, the soundtrack is okay; literally nothing in this one makes it stand out; While films like Terriffying girls highschool lynch law had the star power from both Miki and Reiko and also the unarguably better direction from Norifumi Suzuki and the better soundtrack and the better script, Konketsuji Rika has the most convoluted script and the most gore and that is about it.
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