Saturday, June 4, 2016

Day 3: Rigor Mortis (2013) 1h 43m

I have a love of horror films from Asian countries.  I've seen a few that have been really awful, and some American attempts at copying that style that have failed miserably!  However, Rigor Mortis was a solid C-horror (that's Chinese horror, not C-grade horror) film that does an excellent mix of vampires, ghosts, and magic in a way I haven't seen in a long time.

Focusing on Chin, an ex-actor that moves into an apartment building after his wife apparently left with his child, we're treated to a cast of provocative characters.  There's Yau who comes from a line of vampire hunters, but since vampires have long died out he is merely a cook.  Gau is a dark magic practitioner that exists with everyone else but is called on to help bring a man (Tung) back to life by his wife (Aunti Mui).  Finally there is Pak, the small boy, and Yeung, his mentally traumatized mother.  Chin's apartment 2442 once housed a murder followed by a suicide, and after his own suicide attempt causes one of the spirits to attempt a possession, the supernatural elements come out of the woodwork.

The ghost twins in this film are as stunning as any macabre spirit you find in Asian cinema.  Their presence is enhanced by the dramatic CGI elements encircling them.  The vampire is straight out of Chinese lore; gliding just above the ground with both arms straight out.  The fight scenes are vivid and dynamically filmed.  Couple that with martial arts and mysticism and they make this almost two hour film grip you until the credits roll.  Seriously, I loved this film from the moment the suicide/possession scene started.

Surprisingly, according to IMDB, this film did not do well State-side with the reviewers.  Well, fuck 'em!  Watch this film if you like foreign horror and don't mind subtitles.  There might be a dubbed version, but c'mon... subs are bullshit!

I give Rigor Mortis 3 Chinese vampire table-top miniatures out of 5:

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