A rookie cop teams up with a former detective with a supernatural gift to hunt down a serial killer.


Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai (as Wai Ka Fai)


Ka-Fai Wai (as Wai Ka Fai), Kin-Yee Au (as Au Kin Yee)
7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ching Wan Lau ... Bun (as Lau Ching Wan)
Andy On ... Inspector Ho Ka-on
Ka Tung Lam ... Ko Chi-wai (as Lam Ka Tung)
Kelly Lin ... May Cheung
Kwok-Lun Lee ... Wong Kwok-chu (as Lee Kwok Lun)
Choi-ning Lee Choi-ning Lee ... Gigi (as Karen Lee)
Flora Chan ... May Cheung - in Bun's eyes
Eddie Cheung ... Violent Man - Ko's Inner Personality (as Cheung Siu Fai)
Suet Lam ... Fatso - Ko's Inner Personality (as Lam Suet)
Jay Lau ... Calculating Woman - Ko's Inner Personality (as Lau Kam Ling)
Eddy Ko ... The Chief
Jo Kuk ... Cunning Woman - Ho's Inner Personality (as Jo Koo)
Ling-To Yuen Ling-To Yuen ... Policeman (as Yuen Ling To)
Jonathan Yat-Sing Lee ... Weak Boy - Ho's Inner Personality (as Jonathan Lee)
Ronald Yan ... Ko's Boss


A rookie cop teams up with a former detective with a supernatural gift to hunt down a serial killer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


I can see a person's inner personality.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


At the beginning of the movie, when the main character is cutting his ear off, we can clearly see the half of it. (at around 63 mins) when the ear unfolds from the bandage we see a whole piece of it. See more »


Inspector Bun: I can see a person's inner personality.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the part of the end credits sequence before the comprehensive lists of cast and crew begin to scroll, the lines of text of the credits are tilted counter clockwise, forming roughly thirty-degree slope/incline. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Eureka dvd features the intended/final cut (approved by the makers), with two scenes from the Mei Ah dvd cut out (the latter scene is replaced with an alternative scene). See more »


References Stray Dog (1949) See more »

User Reviews

It could have been a magnificent movie...
22 April 2019 | by paul_haakonsenSee all my reviews

Right, well I stumbled upon "Mad Detective" (aka "San taam") in 2019, blissfully unaware of its existence prior to finding it. But given my love and admiration for the Hong Kong cinema, I needed no persuasion in sitting down to watch it.

While the storyline in "Mad Detective" sure was unconventional and rather avantgarde in terms of the usual movies that you see from the Hong Kong cinema and also by director Johnnie To himself, then this wasn't exactly the finest moment in Hong Kong cinema, nor in Johnnie To's directorial track record.

The storyline was somewhat befuddled and somewhat difficult to really keep up with, because directors Johnnie To and Ka-Fai Wai were setting out to accomplish a little bit too much in terms of what they managed to deliver. Which was essentially a shame, because the movie suffered from this. It could otherwise have been a truly outstanding and remarkable movie, but the end result, sadly, turned out to be mediocre at best.

Actors Ching Wan Lau and Andy On carried the movie quite well. And of course with the likes of Ching Wan Lau, then you know you are getting a top notch performance. And it was interesting to see him in a movie such as this, and this role shows what kind of a diverse actor he really is. Just a shame that the storyline was working like an anchor around the actors legs.

Aside from Ching Wan Lau and Andy On, then the movie also boasts some other interesting names and familiar faces to the cast list, especially for a long time fan of the Hong Kong cinema like myself.

Sure "Mad Detective" was entertaining enough, but something of the enjoyment was smoldering away because of the rampart storyline and the fact that the two directors seemed to work in opposites of one another. I got through the entire movie, but felt my attention span start to falter throughout the course of the movie. And despite of my love for the Hong Kong cinema, then "Mad Detective" is not a movie that I will be watching a second time around.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Hong Kong


Cantonese | English

Release Date:

29 November 2007 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Mad Detective See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,682, 20 July 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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