“To pain someone is to render them inert, [and] in a way, it an be seen as a form of murder, as you take someone full of life and represent them perfectly still,” writes Goomba Stomp on Tan Bing’s newest film, THE FATAL CONTRACT, which explores the relationship of art and life, of love and reality as well as romance and art.

Los Angeles, CA – July 31, 2018 –

THE FATAL CONTRACT – “An interesting blend of drama and thriller,” Asian Movie Pulse.

“During Romanticism, many painters and authors believed in the ability to build a bridge with the afterlife through their sheer will and creative power,” opened Asian Movie Pulse, which is key for Chinese director Tan Bing’s newest film, THE FATAL CONTRACT (aka Zhing Ming He Yue). The film inspiration stems from knowing a painter who was famous for depicting dead people as Tan Bing was intrigued by “the decision to portray either life or death.”

“I will use my brush to paint your breath drifting through the air.”

Now streaming on U.S. online platforms from TriCoast Entertainment exclusively, watch THE FATAL CONTRACT here today:

As Chinese murder mystery, THE FATAL CONTRACT follows the owner and bartender of a small bar, Tu La (Zhao Yanguozhang), and his regular drinker, the former model and mistress to a painter, Bei Wei (Bai Ling). But their nights of enjoy the trademark cocktail, Lycoris Blossom, and each other’s company is quickly disturbed when they discover a local painter’s (Zhao Haunyu) mangled body found in a bathtub. Outside the bar’s walls, there has been an epidemic of murdering of the town’s well-known painters and their models. Leading the police investigation is Officer Li (Xuan Miao), he already suspects Bei Wei as the culprit. Enthralled by the mysterious murder and desire to solve the crime, Tu La and Bei Wei get caught in the middle of a dangerous police investigation where they run headfirst into scandalous secrets, sudden plot twists and an art dealer, Lv Li (Tao Hong), who solely collects dead works. Bei Wei and Tu La’s even fall into an intense chemistry and as “romance between the two begins to fully bloom, Tan Bing’s film reaches its narrative peak, a physical act of devouring the other,” noted Asian Movie Pulse, adding “there is always the foreboding sense of love and romance doomed to fail, especially with characters so drawn to their darker side and death especially.”

THE FATAL CONTRACT falls into a mixed-genre of “gothic romance and [a] police thriller,” observed Goomba Stomp, continuing, with a “barman who can only paint women when they are dead, and a woman who only buys art when both the artist and the model are also deceased. It’s a classic gothic territory, evoking ‘The Oval Portrait’ and The Portrait of Dorian Grey in the way it uses portraiture as a metaphor for death.”

“Visually, Wang Xingyuan’s camera, along with the editing by Li Dianshi and Yan Riopeng, supports the character’s struggle for happiness and romance, but also the constant confusion between art and reality,” reviewed Asian Movie Pulse, adding, “Bright colors and a good sense for the individual sets provides THE FATAL CONTRACT with an interesting look coinciding with both, the more romantic and the fatal notions of the characters.”

Produced by Jiang Xiao Yu and in association with Shandong Cienyuan Culture Media Company, THE FATAL CONTRACT stars the controversial American-Chinese actress, Bai Ling as her first feature film set in China after being banned for openly criticizing the government. “Bai Ling gives a committed performance as a character tormented by a mysterious past as well as having been exploited by the males in her life,” appraised Asian Movie Pulse. 

“There’s a sense that the plot is catching up with itself, giving one the feeling that the movie is being written as it’s being shot,” wrote Goomba Stomp.

THE FATAL CONTRACT stars the authentic and talent cast of Bai Ling (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow), Xuan Miao (China Salesman), Tao Hong (Death Dowry) and Zhao Yan Guo Zhang (The Emperor and The Assassin). THE FATAL CONTRACT is now streaming on U.S. video on-demand platforms, including Amazon. Watch it here:

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THE FATAL CONTRACT (2018) Directed by Tan Bing. Produced by: Jiang Xiao Yu. Editor: Li Dianshi and Yan Riopeng. Cinematographer: Wang Xingyuan. In association with: Shandong Cienyuan Culture Media Company. China, Chinese, English subtitles. TriCoast Worldwide, TriCoast Entertainment. 

About TriCoast Entertainment: 

TriCoast Entertainment is a premium Domestic Distributor, representing the best of US and international films: in theaters, on VOD, on DVD and TV. Sister company to TriCoast Worldwide and TriCoast Studios, the company is located at the Studio facility in Culver City, Los Angeles.

Founded by: Strathford Hamilton and Marcy Levitas Hamilton. 

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