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When Ghost Meets Zombie

Opening Date
14 Feb 2019
NC16 Some Violence and Sexual References
107 mins
Mandarin - subtitles to be advised
Han Yew Kwang
Nathan Hartono, Ferlyn G, Jesseca Liu, Jeremy Chan, Fann Wong, Gurmit Singh, Andie Chen, Kate Pang
She is a soul without a body
He is a body without a soul
Together, they become 'Soulmates'

Things are already complicated when an expressionless zombie falls in love with a vivacious female ghost.
It becomes even more intriguing when the female ghost is forced to possess the stony zombie to take part in a male beauty pageant...
By Say Peng  19 Feb 2019
A lesser effort from local director Han Yew Kwang in his first studio commercial movie.
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Local director Han Yew Kwang has made a name for his independent romantic comedies such as ‘18 Grams of Love’ and ‘When Hainan Meets Teochew’. His latest film, ‘When Ghost Meets Zombie’ (WGMZ), once again treads the genre of romantic comedy, but with a riff: the couple is a pair of male zombie and female ghost. It is a pretty original and promising premise, which unfortunately was let down by a weak script and hammed up performances.

Hartono stars as Pong, a hunky Thai man who died saving his village from a flood and turned into a zombie, and, for some reason, ended up in the present day being exploited by a Taoist priest (Gurmit Singh) as one of his sex slaves.

One day, he bumps into Zhen Zhen, a wandering female ghost (newcomer Ferlyn G, former member of the K-pop group Skarf). When Zhen Zhen was still alive, she aspired to win a beauty pageant, but her premature death put a stop to it. If she does not fulfill her dream in 49 days, she will lose the chance to reincarnate. When they meet, she accidentally enters the body of Pong and is able to control his body. She plans to use her newfound body to achieve her dream of winning a beauty pageant. But the Taoist priest is determined to stop Zhen Zhen and retrieve his zombie.

This is director Han’s first relatively bigger budget studio film, and one hoped that Han could still retain his indie rom-com sensibilities. But that has not been the case. The film suffers from a clear case of too many cooks having a hand at the broth (there are four co-writing credits, not to mention probably the even more feedback he’d receive during editing). It is most clearly seen in the confused plot, where the film doesn’t seem to know, out of the multiple storylines, whose story it wants to focus on. The characters are also threadbare thin. Pong is not only missing a soul; he’s also missing characterization.

Most of the jokes don’t land and the rampant slapstick comedy quickly wears itself out as it does in many local commercial comedies (more is not necessarily better). Han’s brand of humour, as shown in his previous films, is idiosyncratic and trashily quirky; all that is whitewashed in WGMZ.

The result is a film that interesting premise aside is safe and bland, not something we’d expect from the director that brought us the raunchy sex comedy ‘Rubbers’ or the riotous gender-bending “anti-rom-com” rom-com ‘When Hainan Meets Teochew’.
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When Ghost Meets Zombie Official Trailer

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