Release Date: 27 March
15 | 105 minutes Director: Juno Mak Cast: Anthony Chan, Siu- Ho Chin, Fat Chung, Hee Ching Paw, Richard Ng
After an opening
section soaked in sadness, suicide attempts and sudden stair- death, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching the bleakest fear flick since Martyrs or The Human Centipede II. But then the spooks show up, Rigor Mortis loosens its shoulders, and the fun begins.
The film follows failed actor Chin ( Siu- Ho Chin) as he moves into a trashy tenement building. Clearly haunted by a troubled past, Chin soon encounters real- life ghosts, zombies, and hopping vampires; but does he have the will to survive?
Tonally, Rigor Mortis is all over the place. Sentimentality mixes with scares and silliness – not entirely successfully. Still, it’s stylishly shot and packed with performances far better than the patchy script deserves. Veterans Hee Ching Paw and Anthony Chan’s studied performances steal the show from some pretty intense visual effects and memorable monsters.
Apparently, Rigor Mortis is meant as a homage to gong zi ( Chinese hopping vampire) horror- comedies of the ’ 80s like Mr Vampire ( in which Siu- Ho Chin also had a role), but the film spends too much time being po- faced – and, yes, stiff – to be a true tribute. With resurrection such a key theme, it seems a shame that first- time director Juno Mak has brought a much- loved genre back from the dead while accidentally leaving behind its soul.
Still, any film that features kung- fu ghosts can’t be all bad – just don’t expect the experience to be laugh- a- drop- kick. Sam Ashurst
But Kev’s mate always got the ladies.