Rigor Mor­tis

Hop­ping mad

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Cinema -

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.

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