Also known as: Taekoesu Yonggary (South Korea)
Release Date: August 13th, 1967 (South Korea)
Directed by: Kim Ki-duk
Written by: Kim Ki-duk, Seo Yun-sung
Music by: Jeon Jeong-Keun
Cast: Oh Yeong-il, Nam Jeong-im
Keukdong Entertainment Company, American International Pictures, 80 Minutes
Since almost every country under the sun tried to make their own ripoff of Godzilla, South Korea thought they could take a crack at it too. What they gave the world is Yongary: Monster From the Deep.
In this film, we are given a monster that looks like an unofficial Mexican knockoff of a rubber Godzilla toy with a rhino horn glued to its snout in an effort to not be sued. His name is Yongary but the Koreans spelled it Yonggary, which reminds me of Young Gary a gay porn that was really popular when I worked at a video store, back in the day.
Anyway, Yongary is unleashed on Seoul after being woken up by an earthquake. The Korean kaiju develops a taste for oil. When the oil supply is turned off, he goes ape shit. Eventually, he shows weakness when a refinery blows up. The Koreans then use oil to lure Yongary into a trap where he is killed and then bleeds out into the river. It is kind of a sad sight, actually. And if only Yongary would’ve been around fifteen years earlier, we could’ve used him to crush those commies to the north! Actually, the South Koreans missed the boat in not using oil to lead Yongary to the commie capital.
The special effects in this thing are pretty bad. While some idiots out there like to talk smack about the crappy special effects in Godzilla movies, I like to point to films like Yongary and say, “Well, this piece of shit makes Godzilla vs. Megalon look like Jurassic Park.” Besides, nothing in the 1950s or 1960s can compare to the miniature work of Eiji Tsuburaya’s in those earlier Godzilla pictures.
Yongary finally got the recognition it deserves though, as it is featured in the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Despite all the negatives though, I do like this film. I think you have to have a real love of kaiju pictures for this one to resonate but it is better than weak efforts like The X From Outer Space and Reptilicus. And at least Yongary doesn’t have that Dutch Jerry Lewis a.k.a. Dirch Passer, who made Reptilicus a lot worse than it needed to be.