Venice: Well Go USA Acquires 'Rigor Mortis' Ahead of World Premiere
BERLIN -- The niche Asian cinema distributor Well Go USA has snatched up North American rights to Chinese vampire film Rigor Mortis from Hong Kong multi-hyphenate Juno Mak ahead of the movie's world premiere in Venice.
Well Go signed the deal with rights group Fortissimo Films and is planning a multi-platform release for the film in early 2014. The deal was negotiated by Fortissimo’s EVP of Sales and Acquisitions Winnie Lau and Well Go President Doris Pfardrescher.
Lau said, "Juno is truly one of the most original filmmakers coming from Hong Kong in recent years. With his debut feature, he has announced himself as a must-see director. We are thrilled that Well Go USA has joined us to handle Rigor Mortis in North America."
Juno Mak’s directorial debut, Rigor Mortis is billed as a re-imagining of the Geung Si (or Jiangshi) genre popular in Chinese-language cinema of the 1970s and 80s which draws on Chinese folklore about an undead creature that steals the qi, the life force, of living creatures. After its Venice premiere, the film will screen in Toronto’s Midnight Madness section. It bows in Hong Kong in early November before rolling out across Asia.
The film stars Chin Siu-ho as a depressed former vampire-hunting actor who checks into a Hong Kong public housing facility intending to commit suicide. However, he soon finds himself fighting off the building's undead occupants, including vampires with unsettled business.
"Rigor Mortis has such a terrifying and beautiful esthetic, and style and we are proud to bring it to North America where it will find its audience and fans," Pfardrescher said in a statement. "Once again, Well Go is bringing a groundbreaking and highly commercial Asian movie to the US and Canadian audience."
Veteran Japanese horror director Takeshi Shimizu (Ju-On, The Grudge) co-produced Rigor Mortis.
Well Go have released several of Fortissimo’s Asian horror titles in the past, including Takeshi Shimizu’s Shock Labyrinth 3D (2009) and Tormented (2011) as well as the drama Touch of the Light, Taiwan’s official Oscar entry last year for best foreign language film.