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.
Reviewed by The_Void7 / 10
Frenzied but entertaining slice of Pinky Violence
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!
Reviewed by zetes8 / 10
Wacky, fast paced and a lot of fun
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.