Hong Kong’s “Rigor Mortis” Resurrects, Murders Vampire Flick Genre

June 6, 2014 | Marina Galperina

With the recent release of Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, it looks like the vampire genre is getting a long overdue overhaul. This one comes our way from Hong Kong. In Juno Mak’s Rigor Mortis, a washed-up actor (self-referentially played by Chin Siu Ho, former star of Ricky Lau’s Mr. Vampire, the seminal comedic action film that shaped the Chinese genre in 80s) moves into a crummy apartment complex with several disturbed neighbors, particularly an elderly widow who resurrects her dead husband via a coffin/blood ritual.

Twitch says that the dark, contemplative, gonzo film essentially homages that goofy 80s genre, but only to destroy and redefine it. The visual effects look particularly sleek and strange, reminiscent of Bekmambetov’s Night Watch. The film opens in select U.S. theaters today.