Rule #1

Rule #1


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Rule number one: there are no ghosts. Rule number two: assume nothing. Rule number three: there are no rules.

Kelvin Tong’s lightweight shocker is a zombie movie, dressed up as a spooks alive serial murder mystery, which is too stupid to disturb a hair on the back of your neck. Even amongst the dead there must be logic, or, at least, a plan, in order to manipulate the audience’s disbelief. Otherwise, anything goes and everything falls apart. Especially terror.

Sergeant Lee (Shawn Yue) is a keen young Hong Kong cop who starts seeing things, like a dead girl walking, before being shot to bits by a mild looking driver in an underground car park. After weeks in a coma, he recovers and is transferred to a dilapidated, disused factory, known as The Miscellaneous Affairs Department. Just when he thinks he’s been put out to grass, weird stuff starts happening and another cop, Inspector Wong (Ekin Cheng), turns up and tells him about the ghosts.

Apparently they are everywhere, but no one is supposed to know. Wong and Lee’s job is to eliminate them before they infect others.

How do you kill a dead person? Shoot them, of course.

How does a ghost infect a living person? By touch.

If it’s that easy, why haven’t they taken over the world? Beats me.

Vampires have an agenda; what do these white-eyed ghouls have? A lenient scriptwriter.

Confusion adds to the general feeling of unease. Has Lee been touched? Is Wong an alcoholic? Will Lee’s girlfriend’s baby be alright? Is the blow up dinosaur a present from the teenage girl on the bike, or a dancing partner for the emotionally stunted plain clothes detective inspector?

If answering these questions makes a soupcon of difference to your enjoyment of the film, they deserve an airing. And having aired, what's next?

Perhaps this is a comedy and I didn’t get it.

Reviewed on: 16 Jun 2009
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Two cops attempt to rid Hong Kong of murderous ghosts.
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Director: Kelvin Tong

Writer: Kelvin Tong

Starring: Shawn Yue, Ekin Cheng, Stephanie Che, Fiona Xie, Lee Wan, Bill Liu

Year: 2008

Runtime: 93 minutes

Country: Singapore/Hong Kong


EIFF 2009

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