Dead Mine: Action-horror film is HBO Asia’s first original production

Leow Si Wan
Singapore Showbiz

From left: Indonesian actors Ario Bayu and Bang Tigor play soldiers who have been brought onboard for the treasure hunt. (HBO Asia Images)

If you think that treasure hunts, undead creatures and elaborate action scenes belong only to a Western film, think again.

HBO Asia's first attempt at an original movie after 20 years of being in the business is an ambitious story about an expedition led by a pampered rich young man to uncover treasure in a mine of untold terrors.

Dead Mine, the title of the horror-action movie shot in Singapore-based media company Infinite Studios' new facility in Batam, is set to be released in theatres during the second half of this year.

Click here for a slideshow of pictures taken on the set of Dead Mine

And HBO Asia is hopeful that the film will be the start of much more original content.

Said Erika North, the vice-president of programming at HBO Asia, "The Asian film industry is in a healthy state and there are a lot of talents from Asia. To produce our own content is therefore a natural progression for us.

"Dead Mine is a first step, our first experience, and of course we will be keen to produce more in the future."

When asked about the choice of the horror-action genre, North said that the movie came out of a collaboration and much discussion with Infinite Studios.

"The action-horror genre also has a very wide audience appeal. The movie will be in English and its cast is international," she said.

She added that Dead Mine would be released in Asian cinemas and that HBO Asia is "hopeful for international exposure".

The filming crew also has high hopes for the movie, which is directed by Steven Sheil of British horror flick Mum & Dad fame.

The global cast comprises actors from different parts of the world- Britons Sam Hazeldine and Les Loveday play a former soldier and the pampered lead character respectively, Malaysian Carmen Soo is the go-getter girlfriend of Loveday, Japanese cult action star Miki Mizuno stars as a reseacher and Singaporean Jimmy T is a soldier trapped in the mine.

Mike Lewis, Carmen Soo and Les Loveday all star in HBO Asia's first original production Dead Mine (Yahoo! Photo)

A bunch of popular Indonesian actors - Ario Bayu, Bang Tigor, Joe Taslim and Mike Lewis - round out the group.

Said Lewis who plays a tough and determined soldier: "My career started in Indonesia, I married an Indonesia and have a very cute Indonesian baby. Hopefully, Dead Mine will give me international exposure."

Bodybuilder and comedian Bang Tigor said of his first tough-guy role: "I hope the movie will be accepted worldwide and that the audience would be able to know me not just as a comedy actor.

"It took me about a year to prepare for this character- a big guy who is fearless."

Jimmy T, Sam Hazeldine and Miki Mizuno take a break from filming to talk about their respective roles. (Yahoo! Photo)

Singaporean Jimmy T perhaps summed it up best.

"This is the first time I am working in Asia but I have been seeing a lot of US and Europe productions coming to Southeast Asia because it is very colorful and because of its exotic locations.

"Hopefully, Dead Mine can provide a gateway for Southeast Asia to really attract international interest from the film industry."