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When Geek Meets Serial Killer

JC Chee and Shiga Lin in When Geek Meets Serial Killer.
Chinese: 野狼與瑪莉  
Year: 2015  
Director: Eric Cheng, Remus Mook  

Dato Sri, Gavin Tee Swee Heng, James Koh Wee Chong, Guan Xiaojie, Derek Moey


Eric Cheng, based on his manga “Wolf and Mary”


Bryant Chang, Shiga Lin Si-Nga, JC Chee, Lin Ming-Chi, Ming Jai, Steve Yap, Vincent Wong, Rachel Chang, Candy@Twinko, Christina@Twinko, Tani@Twinko, Hsiao@Twinko, Cathy@Twinko, Eric Cheng

The Skinny:

Category III comic adaptation holds interest for a while but the tepid third act brings everything to a close with a thud. Darkly entertaining at times but not one to get too worked up about – either positively or negatively.

by Kozo:

A Hong Kong comic book called “Wolf and Mary” gets adapted to film via Malaysian producers, and yet takes place in Taiwan and is retitled When Geek Meets Serial Killer. How oddly roundabout. Co-directed by Remus Mook and the comic’s creator himself, Eric Cheng, this Category III black comedy is about a geeky comic artist who meets a suave serial killer – and hey, that’s it! Really, the film’s content is only slightly more expanded than its title, though there are some notable if minor bits of fleshing out. Zhang Jian-He (Bryant Chang) lives alone in an industrial building where he draws comics and faps to private fantasies of girl group Twinko. Unfortunately, when his dirtbag friend Cheng Jun (Lin Ming-Chi) accosts him for a loan, an accident occurs. Cheng Jun slips on a toy car and ends up with a sharp pen through his throat. As an artist and a friend, Jian-He has some explaining to do.

Jian-He eventually comes up with a clever way of disposing of Cheng Jun’s body, but it requires him to sequester himself in his flat for a long period of time. During the process, he discovers that Cheng Jun was actually an even worse friend than he previously thought. Meanwhile, Jian-He’s angelic girlfriend, transplanted Hong Konger Ya Shi (Shiga Lin), one day shows up at his door when he expressly told her not to do so. Also, there’s a young white-haired cop (JC Chee) hanging around, and his presence makes Jian-He apprehensive. Not surprisingly, the cop is the serial killer of the film’s title. The story then shifts to the killer, named Jia Ming, with flashbacks to his childhood that entertainingly explore how his serial killer tendencies first arose. Eventually, the film returns to the present and acknowledges that yes, the geek has finally met the serial killer. Now what?

Up until this point, When Geek Meets Serial Killer holds a surprising amount of interest. Despite the dark subject matter and violent images, the content isn’t heavy. The editing and in-character voiceover push a hyper, blackly comic tone, while the film offers plenty of gross-out gags and images, including disembowelments, some flying ejaculate and even the sight of Shiga Lin taking a prop penis in her mouth. The film is very shallow; character types are well-established but not deep or twisted enough to enthrall. If it weren’t for the gross imagery, When Geek Meets Serial Killer would be the perfect PG-13 thriller because that’s where its juvenile sensibilities lean. None of this stuff really comes off as horrifying or titillating – though pearl-clutching audiences should obviously steer far clear – and enough narrative tension is created that one will likely want to see what happens when the geek meets the serial killer.

However, a good third act never materializes. A few small surprises occur; Ya Shi gets her own little story section about her personality (she’s not as angelic as she seems), and the geek and the killer do try teaming up, but the whole thing doesn’t lead anywhere besides a self-fluffing cameo from creator Eric Cheng. The film builds up a connection between Jian-He and Jia Ming but can’t develop it in an interesting manner, such that whatever happens doesn’t earn more than a mild shrug in response. The actors aren’t really at fault; despite his buff physique, Bryant Chang (he goes by “Ray” nowadays) makes a decent cartoonish geek, and Shiga Lin busts her image if not her acting limitations as Ya Shi. JC Chee makes the best impression as the calm, self-assured psychopath Jia Ming. When Geek Meets Serial Killer does possess clever ideas but it’s really too slight, and comes off as a naughty frat boy gag reel instead of the more biting satirical thriller that it could be. I’m guessing the comic is better. (Kozo, 3/2016)



DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Deltamac (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Mandarin Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS
Removable English and Chinese subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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