Distribs Bend for ‘Rigor Mortis’

Old-style Cantonese horror is directing debut of HK music star

HONG KONG — “Rigor Mortis,” a vampire horror tale that marks the directorial debut of Hong Kong singer and actor Juno Mak, is scaring up business ahead of a high profile fall premiere.

The film draws on ‘Geung Si,’ traditional Chinese stories that typified numerous films from the 1970s and 1980s, notably the “Mr Vampire” comedy action series. It features “Mr Vampire” star Chin Siu-ho in a contemporary role as an out of work actor and vampire hunter, who has to do battle with mysterious forces in his own home.

Rigor Mortis” was picked up by Cinema de Manon for release in South Korea, by Orange Sky Golden Harvest for Hong Kong theatrical and by Scorpio East for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. Sales are handled by Hong Kong- and Amsterdam-based Fortissimo Films.

Production is through Mak’s own Kudos Films, with co-production by Japanese horror specialist Takashi Shimizu.

A high-profile slot in one of the major September festivals is expected to be “Rigor Mortis”’ premiere. That will be followed by commercial releases in time for Halloween.

Mak has been a star in the Cantopop music scene since 2002, with the Silly Thing and later the Universal Music group labels. His 2005 album was called “Chapel of Dawn,” a name he has used as a label for his fashion and charity activities.

He appeared as an actor in notorious 2010 Hong Kong slasher movie “Dream Home,” before writing and starring in the Wong Ching-po directed “Revenge: A Love Story” the same year.

Other cast in “Rigor Mortis” include Anthony Chan, Kara Hui and Paw Hee-ching.

The deals were struck by Fortissimo chairman Michael J. Werner with Sim Wee Boon for Scorpio East and with Manon Jin for Cinema de Manon.

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