Some of Hong Kong’s most high-profile murder cases are now chronicled in the television series Demon’s Path.
The murder mystery series is inspired by real-life murder cases such as the 1974 Happy Valley body-in-a-box case, the 1984 Elizabeth House double-murder case, and the 2011 Amoy Gardens missing-body case.
Demon’s Path is produced by Malaysia’s Astro in partnership with Hong Kong production company What A Sunny Day.
The 13-episode Cantonese language drama will be Astro’s first Hong Kong original mini series.
It is directed by Hong Kong screenwriters Wong Yi Hing and Sunny Lau, both of whom also star in it.
The story revolves around three murderers. As the tale unfolds, the paths of these prime suspects somehow become intertwined while they continue to plot and commit even more murders in order to conceal their evil deeds.
The key to unlocking the secrets begin with forensic pathologist Ho Fei (Wong), who possesses the special ability to replay the final 10-seconds of the deceased’s life.
He makes use of this ability to assist in tracking down murderers with the help of his friends including exorcist Chow Chu Kei (Lau), reckless policeman Yu Yik Sam (Kaki Sham), his policewoman sister (Kate Yeung) and Intelligence operative-turned-police inspector Madam Kok (Elanne Kong).
Soon, they find themselves the target of the killers, played by Hong Kong veteran actors Power Chan, Jim Chim, Ai Wai and Felix Lok.
When quizzed about the crew’s eerie experiences while preparing to shoot the drama, Wong shared a little secret.
“We managed to find a few abandoned lots in a market place in Yau Ma Tei (in Hong Kong) that exuded vibes similar to the police quarters in director Peter Chan’s Going Home segment of Asian omnibus horror film Three (2002).
“We spent a six-figure sum, the largest portion spent on our production budget, to renovate the place to resemble a police station, a mortuary and a coroner’s office.
“Conducting our shoots there, especially when pulling all-nighters, was remarkably atmospheric, without a doubt.
“Our colleague was tasked to snap pictures and the first photo actually caught ‘something’ on camera. It was immediately deleted and he was told to stop photographing, as they did not want to offend any of the ‘brothers and sisters’ there.
“He was advised to prepare some offerings and light some more joss sticks before continuing (work),” Wong said at a press conference in Malaysia to launch the drama.
Upon hearing that story, Hong Kong actor Chan sprung up from his seat to declare how upset he was about being kept in the dark about ghost sightings at the building as he actually stayed overnight at the location.
When pressed further about his reasons for spending the night there, Chan declined to elaborate, only saying: “I’m not at a liberty to disclose the plot twists or the circumstances leading to what my character was doing there. But I did sleep in that place. And only now I am hearing this story!”
In the Demon’s Path, Chan plays a man who is so afraid of his wife finding out about his extra-marital affair that he kills his girlfriend and hacks her body to pieces.
Crew members who watched Chan in action shooting the scene where he was hacking up his dead girlfriend had dubbed him the ‘Yan Yuk Cha Siu Bao 2.0’, referring to the infamous killer who chopped up dead bodies to make human meat barbecued pork buns in The Untold Story (1993), which won Anthony Wong his very first Best Actor award at the 1994 Hong Kong Film Awards.
Chan, who has played a murderer before in Diary Of A Serial Killer (1995), said all three killers in Demon’s Path have different reasons for their evil deeds.
“Some murderers just like the feeling of going for the kill. Others, like the character I play, resort to murder in order to cover up a lapse in judgement.
“Refusing to own up to his mistake leads to him committing an even bigger error in judgement. And from then on, he just keeps making one mistake after another to conceal the initial wrongdoing.”