I went to the fantastic Roxy Bar And Screen to see PULGASARI.
Now, the story behind the film is pretty amazing. Back in 1985, Kim Jong-Il had South Korean Director Shin San-ok make a monster movie. Of Course, San-ok had been kidnapped by North Korea, and was being held against his wishes. Special effects are from Godzilla studios Toho.
The film follows the story of a village which is being, essentially, pillaged by the King. The villagers revolt, and several are taken prisoner. One, the blacksmith, creates a small doll out of rice and food. When touched by human blood, the doll comes to life, and begins to eat metal.
As the villagers continue to fight against the evil regime, the monster grows in size, before becoming large enough to take on entire armies.
Some of the torture scenes are surprisingly shocking – particular an old woman getting her legs beaten by a plank of wood. Some of them are fairly silly (such as an executioner giving a full-on movie ‘evil laugh’). However, it isn’t the people that are the stars of this film, it’s Pulgasari himself.
In his first scenes, he’s tiny. You will want one as a pet. Once he’s big, though, the effects are standard 80′s Godzilla stuff. It’s bonkers, and I loved it. It’s really the sound effects that lift this film, though. They are very cartoonish in places, with hilarious consequences.
Without getting into the politics of the film, it is very entertaining in a ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ kind of way, and is different enough from other Toho monster films to be fresh.
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