Monday, June 18, 2018


Comet TV has become one of my favorite cable channels. I have been recording horror, monster and sci-fi movies from the 1950s, 1960s and more, then watching them in bits and pieces when I take breaks from my writing. The prints are awful and the movies are sometimes equally bad, but I get a kick out of reliving my youth staying up late at night to watch films like this as hosted by Ghoulardi aka the great Ernie Anderson.

Just the other day, I watched Yongary: Monster from the Deep [1967] on Comet. It’s a movie I wrote about last July and said I wouldn’t watch a second time. Re-watching it didn’t change my low opinion of the movie, but it did give me a few other thoughts that I wanted to share with you.

First off, here’s my original review...

It’s a South Korean kaiju film whose original version was lost when its negatives were shipped to American International Pictures to be edited for distribution in the United States. Perhaps someday that original version will surface. If it does, I’ll do my best to watch it and write about it in a future bloggy thing.

Here’s the quick Yongary summary from the IMDb:

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.


The film is so forgettable that, just a few days after watching it, I have trouble remembering details. It opens with a small wedding. Driving off, the couple begins to itch painfully because Icho, one of those typical-for-monster-movies mischievous boys, is firing an “itch ray” at them. The ray was invented by Icho’s brilliant if shy with women uncle.

It takes a good twenty minutes before we get the vaguest glimpse of Yongary. Maybe the intent there was to build suspense, maybe it was to delay showing the audience the full Yongary suit. Said suit is well below the quality of Toho Studios kaiju movies, even though it was built by the same guy who built Godzilla and Kong suits for earlier movies.

Politicians, scientists and military men are all familiar with the legend of Yongary. They take learning the creature really exists in stride. Not so much their failure to stop him. In an explicable scene, Icho uses the itch ray on Yongary and the two of them dance to generic pop music.

Icho stumbles on a way to incapacitate the monster. His uncle takes it from there. In the end, Yongary is destroyed.

Icho is sad but philosophical. He knows Yongary had to be killed, but wishes the adults could’ve seen the monster dancing so happily. Icho’s uncle gets the remaining single girl.


The movie’s human characters are likeable, even the annoying Icho. There are scenes of the politicians, scientists and military folks discussing possible courses of action in a manner done much better in 2016's Shin Godzilla.

Yongary was kind of sort of remade in 1999 as Yonggary, released in the U.S. as Reptilian. The remake is a decent giant monster film that casts the title monster as a Godzilla-like hero-villain. It’s a real stretch to seriously consider it a remake of the original.

The bottom line is Yongary: Monster from the Deep is simply not a very good film. The only reason I’d ever watch it again would be if the original uncut version surfaced, giving me a chance to compare the two. I’d recommend the existing version only to those monster movie fans who have to see every giant monster movie.

On to my additional comments...

When the military got together with the politicians and scientists for long and often self-congratulatory meetings, the head military guy really stood out. When he wasn’t doing his little “We’ve killed the monster! No, wait. We haven’t killed the monster! We must kill the monster!” song and dance, he was an arrogant asshat, refusing to consider that his plan might not be the right plan. It wasn’t, but he never acknowledges that. Just goes around glad-handing the other suits when the shy scientist slays Yongary.

When Yongary is dying, after falling in a river and convulsing, we see bloody red discharge from his ass. When I wrote my review, I can’t believe I passed on the chance to make a monster hemorrhoids joke. That’s not like me.

These next several days are going to be crazy busy for me. I’ll do my best to keep the bloggy things coming until I leave for New York  for a few days. Marvel Comics invited me to a special screening of the season premiere of the second season of Luke Cage. I leave on Thursday afternoon and return on Saturday afternoon.

After that, I’m home for one full day. Because Marvel also invited me to the world premiere of Ant-Man and the Wasp in Los Angeles. I leave on Monday morning and return on Tuesday evening. Needless to say, I’m excited to be attending both events.

Am I cheating on DC Comics? Well, you know, a guy likes to be asked out every once in a while. It’s not like everyone at DC could have lost the bar napkins they wrote my number on.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

No comments:

Post a Comment