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Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967) - Blu-ray Review

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Yongary, Monster From the Deep (1967) - Blu-ray Review

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2 beersSouth Korea’s first entry into the kaiju movie genre is probably the sole reason to ever pick up a copy of Kino-Lorber’s 1080p treatment of Yongary, Monster from the Deep and that truly is ONLY if you are nut about the genre. Believe me when I tell you that this is a monster movie for kaiju fanatics only as it is full of shoddy suitmation and the leveling of model cities and tiny toy tanks and nothing else.

 

To put it simply, Yongary, Monster from the Deep is amateur hour at the Electric Light & Power. Developed to rival Godzilla’s success, South Korea’s stab at kaiju can only copy what came before as South Korea – circa 1967 – tries its hands at making a monster for its republic with limited success.  

Directed by Kim Ki-duk and featuring special effects by Kenichi Nakagawa, Yongary begins quietly with a relatively domestic tale of a goofy young couple who are about to tie the knot. They are only a few days away from that blessed event. When a missile detonation in the Middle East forces South Korea to launch a manned space capsule to check out the bomb site, the couple is split apart as duty calls.

 

So much for their wedding plans. We don’t care, though. We only want to see the monster arrive and stop the wonky dubbing that accompanies the American International TV print. Television? Yes, television as the only remaining prints of the movie are the ones from the broadcast version American International Pictures own.

 

Something very large and very radioactive is kicking up dust and, when an earthquake hits South Korea a few days after the missile test, its originator is unleashed upon the earth. Yongary, a fire-spitting lizard 3/4ths the size of Godzilla, is tossed out of the earth and only knows destruction as he smashes his way through Seoul in his search for oil. And he has a thirst that puts America’s oil consumption to shame.

 

Leave it to an adolescent to figure out Yongary’s weakness. Everyone else is too busy screaming and losing their logic in the wake of the monster’s destruction. Of course, nothing is believable. The ill-moving rubber monster punches plaster and plows through balsa wood buildings with uncomfortable ease. It’d be pretty dull if it weren’t at the very least funny.

 

No amount of small-scale destruction in Yongary, Monster from the Deep manages to match the efforts of Godzilla.

Yongary, Monster From the Deep (1967) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime:
80 mins
Director
: Ki-duk Kim
Writer:
Ki-duk Kim
Cast:
Yeong-il Oh, Jeong-im Nam, Sun-jae Lee
Genre
: Sci-fi | Horror
Tagline:
A Monster from another age ... with terrifying destructive powers
Memorable Movie Quote:
Distributor:
American-International Television (AIP-TV)
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 23,  2004 (DVD premiere)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
january 5, 2016
Synopsis: Earthquakes in central Korea turn out to be the work of Yongary, a prehistoric gasoline-eating reptile that soon goes on a rampage through Seoul.

Yongary, Monster From the Deep (1967) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - Janury 5, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Kino Lorber’s transfer is as good as it gets for this poorly-treated print. There’s damage and dirt and scratches throughout the 1080p presentation but, honestly, I doubt you will care. This release features the 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is to be expected considering its source. While there are some parts of the film that feature a diffusion lens, the overall detail and clarity are okay for its age. Colors are good. Black levels could be stronger.  There is a nice layer of natural grain throughout. This 2.0 mono mix performs as expected.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Author Steve Ryfle joins Korean critic Kim Song-ho for an informative commentary track. The track, however, is more Ryfle as he lets his geek flag fly high during the recording.

Special Features:

To be expected, there are only two offerings and both are trailers that share the same genre space and have little to do with the movie.

  • The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues Trailer
  • The Monster that Challenged the World Trailer

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