Malaysian Instagram sensation Lin Min Chen is a lucky girl.
After making waves on Instagram, the social media darling went on to pursue a career in music in Taiwan. Then recently, she made the news when she starred in a smartphone commercial with A-list South Korean heartthrob Lee Min-ho.
Now, she is making her big screen debut in Hong Kong horror rom-com Vampire Cleanup Department alongside rising star Babyjohn Choi and vampire movie veterans Chin Siu Ho, Richard Ng and Susan Shaw.
In the movie, the Vampire Cleanup Department (VCD) is a top-secret underground branch of the police force that works undercover as street cleaners while protecting the living from the undead.
The members of the said VCD include advisor Uncle Chung (Ng), team captain Chau (Chin), Maoshan Taoist mystic arts practitioner Ginger (Yuen Cheung Yan), technical support specialist M (Bondy Chiu) and weapons expert Kui (Law Mon).
After being attacked by a vampire, a nerdy young man named Tim (Choi) is accidentally rescued by some members of the Vampire Cleanup Department. When they discover that he has immunity against vampire toxin, the senior members quickly recruit him and train him to be a vampire hunter.
Lin plays water vampire Summer who turns into a pretty young girl after she bites Tim on the lips. Playing a vampire meant she had no dialogue, yet it was no walk in the park for the actress.
“I had to endure five to six hours of vampire makeup for that scene. Since we had to shoot underwater, the glue had to be stronger. That meant it was also harsher on the skin.
“And, with that underwater scene, I had to keep my eyes wide open and latch onto his lips after biting him,” shared Lin, about her unusual first on-screen kiss.
The bubbly artiste also spoke about the accident she suffered on her first day of filming, which landed her in hospital. “I fell down hard, and it hurt so much that I could not get up. I felt so bad about it, as it resulted in a lot of worry and even caused a two-week delay in filming.”
The reason for her accident? Lin was learning how to balance on a hoverboard, a two-wheeled hands-free, self-balancing electric scooter.
“I was balancing on my own and it took me less than 10 minutes to get the hang of it. I zoomed around singing Fly Me To The Moon, and that’s when I fell. In hindsight, I realise I had to reflect on my own actions. The incident happened because I was too excited and felt too proud about my ability to pick up a new skill so fast.”
For action scenes, Lin said she was fortunate to have benefited from the expert guidance of Hong Kong action star Chin.
“I knew that for an action scene to succeed, a good sense of rhythm is required. But I was new at it, so Siu Ho offered to guide me. He helped a lot in prepping my action scenes.”
Despite the initial hiccup, Lin said she learnt so much that she is ready to take on an action role next. “Actually, when I got the script for VCD, I thought I would be the one playing a vampire hunter. But it turned out that I had to play a vampire instead. I really hope I can get a action-packed role next,” she said.
Vampire Cleanup Department is the directorial debut of Hong Kong film directors Yan Pak Wing and Chiu Sin Hang.
Director Chiu, known as Hang Zai in Hong Kong, is the frontman of Hong Kong underground band ToNick, so he also provided the music and performed the Cantopop theme song for the movie.