Ricky 6 (2000)
Director: Peter Filardi
Kevin Gage/Pat Pagan
Alienated youngster Ricky (Kartheiser) finds new found confidence and direction when he falls into the wonderful religion of â€śSatanismâ€ť. Couple his new found vocation with heavy drug use and a schizophrenic personality and you get a mix that eventually leads him to commit bloody murder.
Loosely based on the â€śRicky Kassoâ€ť incident (real life murderous satanic teen) Ricky 6 is a character driven story that shies away from what could have easily been an exploitation flick full of violence. Instead of concentrating on mayhem or animal sacrifice the film focuses on the poignant relationship between Ricky and Tommy (Christ). We get to know these guys, we follow them around, we trip out with them and witness their descent into hell.
The movie has two focuses. The first is from Tommyâ€™s eyes who narrates the film and the second is from Rickyâ€™s eyes. We see what he sees, we see what he thinks and what he goes through and itâ€™s not pretty.
We witness many weed, acid, mushroom trips and let me tell you from a guy who did his share in the days, theyâ€™re very accurate. Since Ricky is schizophrenic, the trips have a stronger impact on him. The scene where â€śJesus Christâ€ť chases him in a supermarket is astounding. Apart from giving us an insight into Rickyâ€™s train of thought, the drug trips also gives the movie a chilling, dreamlike, hellish look. Visually itâ€™s very interesting.
The movie takes place in 1983 so we get a lot of 80â€™s metal, a dude who holds his joints in a â€śPlatinum Blondeâ€ť cassette box and â€śRonald Reaganâ€ť acid slips.
For me the movie falters twice. The first is when it comes to the love interest between Ricky and Kelly (Sabine Singh). The character of Kelly is a tad underdeveloped, so we never get to care for her or her relationship with Ricky. Tommy also gets a girl (kind of out of the blue) and we donâ€™t give a ratâ€™s ass for her either.
My other pet peeve is the effect sequence. The whole movie relies on filters, distortion of images, lighting to set itâ€™s mood but at a certain point in a â€śtripâ€ť sequence, they have a visual effect of a burning creature on a bed that looks really fake and took me out of the movie for a few seconds. The sequence stands out and goes against the grounded feel of the rest of the film.
Apart from that the film is a fascinating character study and a bleak look at the fall of what really is a misguided youth. Ricky is not a bad kid, he means well and wants control of his life. But Satan is the wrong dude to dance with. Say you love Satanâ€¦
Thereâ€™s violence and blood but itâ€™s dealt realistically and it isnâ€™t overdone.
Vincent Kartheiser (Ricky) gives a sympathetic, charismatic performance. Heâ€™s funny, scary and you canâ€™t help but feel for him. You want layers in a character? You got them. Very strong. Chad Christ (Tommy) gives solid support to Kartheiser. His tough guy not so tough guy performance is dead on, sensitive and equally sympathetic. Both guys have great chemistry together. Sabine Singh (Kelly) does good with what she has to do but more scenes with her would have helped the movie strengthen its â€śloveâ€ť aspect. Kevin Gage (Pat Pagan) is amusing and frightening as the seasoned Satanist. Nice collection of actors.
T & A
Filardi shows much confidence with this directorial debut. He gives the film a very somber look, I mean even when itâ€™s daylight you feel dread. The drug trips are the visual highlights of the flick and he sure knows how to direct his actors. Nice first show.
Some 80â€™s metal stuff that brought me backâ€¦yes, The Arrow use to be a metal head.
If youâ€™re in the mood for a fun Popcorn flick, this isnâ€™t it. But if you want a deep character study, chilling images, a strong story and wonderful actingâ€¦Rick 6 is the one. The flick rests on its two principal actors shoulders and they carry it all the way. With movies like this I realize how good acting really can make or break a flick. It made this oneâ€¦I say I love Ricky 6.
The film was shot in New Brunswick Canada. Official release date is still unknown.
Check out http://www.ricky6.com/