Also known as: Myung ryoung-027 ho (original title), Order 27 (alternative English title)
Release Date: 1986 (North Korea)
Directed by: Ki Mo Jung, Eung Suk Kim
Written by: Sang Uck Ri
Music by: Jin Yong Hwang
Cast: Sung Chol Cha, Yong Chol Choe, Pong Ho Han, Kwang Jo, Ha Chun Kim, Hye Son Kim, Jeong Woon Kim, Kun Sang Pak, Won Bok Ri
Korea February 8 Film Studio, Korean Film, 77 Minutes
I’d like to see as much North Korean cinema as possible but a lot of it doesn’t make it over to the United States in any sort of accessible way for obvious reasons.
Still, it’s interesting to see how they express themselves through art because of how secretive and controlled that fascist dictatorship is. And there’s no part of me that believes that this wasn’t 100 percent approved by the government but it is still interesting to see, especially in regards to this, a film about war that’s full of North Korean propaganda.
The summary found on IMDb shows just how propaganda filled this movie is:
A group of elite soldiers is sent across the border to South Korea to destroy a military base. The soldiers are well aware of the inherent suicide nature of their mission, but are happy to risk it all for the benefit of their Great Leader.
In fact, the film ends with the hero riding on the landing gear of an American helicopter as it explodes, fulfilling his suicide mission for his Great Leader, Kim Jong-il.
While it’s obvious that the film was made to fulfill one agenda, I can’t not look at it as an artistic body of work and judge it on its merits.
Unfortunately, it’s poorly made, poorly shot and employs really basic and pedestrian cinematography. As for the positives though, the actors seemed pretty good, despite the language barrier, and the martial arts fights were really well choreographed and actually made the film somewhat salvageable for those who like Eastern style martial arts cinema.
Even if it is a real stinker of a film, the people of North Korea don’t have a lot to compare this too and in their country, this could be their Bridge On the River Kwai.
This is a much more straightforward film than Pulgasari, which was a bonkers and insane fantasy kaiju movie. But, overall, I found it less enjoyable and kind of boring when people weren’t doing martial arts shit.
Pairs well with: other North Korean cinema but the only other film I’ve seen is Pulgasari.