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Monday July 23, 2012

Price of greed

Greed turns men into ghosts in horror comedy.

WHAT is a greedy ghost, one may ask? “The Greedy Ghost is actually not a ghost, but a man. It’s due to his excessively greedy nature that this man eventually ends up seeing ghosts,” came the reply of Greedy Ghost executive producer Mark Lee in a press conference held before the commencement of the movie shoot last October.

“Generally, we know people tend to be greedy, regardless of whether they are millionaires, billionaires, trillionaires or zillionaires. As long as there is something that they like, and yearn for, I believe they will want to get it for themselves, regardless of the price. Yet, there are some things that result in major consequences and require us to pay a hefty price,” offered Lee, a household name in Singapore for his boisterous variety shows and hilarious movies.

“Hence, this movie aims to get across the message that what’s yours is yours, and what’s not is not. So, if it’s not yours, don’t take it, because the consequences may be more than you can imagine,” stressed Lee, 43, who was last seen in Chai Yee Wei’s horror comedy Twisted.

Quick money: (From left) Lim (Kang Kang or Kang Jing Rong), Hui (Henry Thia) and Huat (Brendan Yuen) hope to strike it rich in Boris Boo-helmed Chinese horror comedy Greedy Ghost.

Greedy Ghost is helmed by Singaporean director Boris Boo, whose previous movies include Where Got Ghost? (2009, co-directed with Jack Neo) Aku Tak Bodoh (2010, the Bahasa Malaysia remake of 2006’s I Not Stupid Too), and Phua Chu Kang, The Movie (2010).

In Greedy Ghost, three bumbling buddies, whose greed prompts them to steal from the deceased, find that the payback is beyond their imagination. The klutzy trio are played by Taiwan’s Kang Kang (real name Kang Jing Rong), Singapore’s Henry Thia and Malaysia’s Brendan Yuen.

Perpetually jinxed, Lim (Kang) can hardly believe his luck when he chances upon a book called Wordless Script that somehow brings him a windfall. His compulsive gambler friend Huat (Yuen) spends the lottery winnings and even steals valuables from graves.

Another friend, the clear-headed Hui (Thia), offers advice but to no avail so he joins them in spending Lim’s winnings, too. To maintain their lavish lifestyle, the three strike a deal with the book spirit, unaware that everything comes with a price.

Unfortunately, even Huat’s goody-two-shoes girlfriend Xiao Qian (Jesseca Liu) has to pay for the guys’ greed.

With popular Taiwanese TV host/actor/singer Kang Kang as the lead in the S$1mil (RM2.5mil) horror comedy, Lee also hopes to take Greedy Ghost to Taiwan.

“I’m very happy to have gotten my good friend Kang Kang to play the lead. When I spoke to him about the project, I told him not to think of me as a boss, but as a good friend,” shared Lee, who befriended Kang Kang during a trip to Taiwan with prolific Singaporean filmmaker Jack Neo where they met up with Taiwanese variety show host Jacky Wu.

Filming for the first time in Malaysia, Kang was simply elated to be celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife here in Kuala Lumpur.

“My wife and I went to Fahrenheit, then we watched (Jet Li’s) The Sorceror And The White Snake as well as (Jackie Chan’s) 1911 Revolution. It felt like we were holidaying before even starting work, so she was very happy,” gushed Kang, 45, about his merry outings in town.

This time around, Singaporean funnyman Thia had a major image makeover for his role as Hui. The 60-year-old actor had to shave his head bald and stick on some sparse strands. So, for the duration of the shoot, he had to shave his head everyday. Because of that, Thia, who was named Best Supporting Actor at the 53rd Asia Pacific Film Festival for his role in Money No Enough 2 (2008), even caught a cold.

> Greedy Ghost creeps into cinemas on Thursday.

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