KAIJU OF THE WEEK:
YONGARY - MONSTER FROM THE DEEP
(1967, South Korea)
Region 1 US DVD (Alpha Video release)
Considering myself to be a Giant Monster Movie completist, I felt compelled to get this, despite the awful stills I'd seen. It’s South Korea's answer to GODZILLA (every country should have one). The modelwork isn't THAT bad, about the same level as early GAMERA films, but the script goes way beyond stinky.
The giant monster emerges from the deep (earth), heads for Korea (in search of oil), fights off a small army of toy tanks and still finds time to dance (I’m not making this up). But an annoying kid and his scientist dad discover how to make the monster scratch... a lot...
The writer also ensured that the worst monster movie cliches were included (a prophet of doom, a baby left behind, a kid has all the bright ideas etc). The motivations of many characters are so consistently unfathomable as to make the movie enjoyably bad.
It's certainly not boring and is, perhaps, the best example of a bad kaiju movie - it's got the bad monster suit, the non-existent science, and totally ignores logic. I'll definitely be watching it again, as a double-bill with the also awful 1999 remake.
Alpha Video keeps many obscure titles in circulation for a very low price. This means no money for remastering – YONGARY is presented in a very tightly panned and scanned full screen version – sometimes the action happens out of frame!
The only extras are some stills and posters from the original release. Cheap and cheerful!
UPDATED September 2007:
YONGARY - MONSTER FROM THE DEEP was finally been given a 2.35 widescreen DVD release, on a double bill with KONGA!
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