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Movie Review: Yongary, Monster From The Deep

Yongary, Monster From The Deep (aka Great Monster Yongary in South Korea) was made in 1967 and was produced by Keukdong Entertainment and Toei Company as a response to Japan's Godzilla by using the same style of special effects and film-making. Keukdong Entertainment hired their special effects staff from Daiei, the company that made the Gamera movies and hired Masao Yagi, the man who built the Godzilla and Gamera suits for TOHO and Daiei. The director was disappointed with the final result of the monster suit, but he proceeded with the production of the movie since he had no time and money to spend on building a new suit. The film sold 110,000 to 150,000 tickets when it premiered in Seoul, which is seen as a success at the time due to low amount of theaters. When it was time to distribute it over seas, Keukdong Entertainment sold the film to American International Pictures (aka AIP-TV). When the film was sold, the producers shipped all of the original materials, including the negatives. The result was that the original South Korean version is deemed lost and the English version is the only version that is available.

The story of the movie is that after a nuclear test in the Middle East, an earthquake erupts and heads for Seoul. The quake stops and reveals to be the mythical Yongary, the fire breathing monster that creates earthquakes. Yongary attacks Seoul and drinks oil from oil refineries and was lured to a river where Yongary is killed by refined ammonia. The story was not hard to follow, but there are several places where the movie just jumps everywhere. What annoyed me most was that I didn't expect much from this movie and I still felt let down. I was so bored that I almost fell asleep half way through the movie. That is quite an achievement to get me to fall asleep since I usually watch the whole movie no matter how bad it is. It seemed like it didn't know it was trying to be a serious movie or a movie for kids or straight up comedy. Before the monster attacked, you see this montage of what people are really doing during a time of crisis. In the first segment, you see all these business men just stuffing their faces with food and beer and one guy was yelling at them to stop acting so foolish while being laughed at. The next segment was showing a dance club full of drunk college students dancing away, and the last part showed a priest calling out to the crowd of people running to repent their sins before the world ended. Somewhere close to the end of the movie, Yongary wakes up after being unconscious and out of no where he starts dancing and there was a kid dancing with him. It was so random that I cringed and had to skip the rest of that 2 minute long segment just to so I can watch the rest of the movie. There were times where the parts where Yongary was attacking the city looked like that they were copying the same scenes from Godzilla (1954).

The voice acting is not all that great and it made me wonder what the original was like. They made the characters sound very annoying and I kept asking myself if the original wasn't as bad as how the English version.

Yongary looks very generic and does not stand out as well as other monsters. I mentioned that there were parts where the monster attack scenes looked like they were copying Godzilla. Taking a look at the monster itself, if you got rid of the horn and the tusks then you pretty much have Godzilla right there. A very generic looking Godzilla, but you would still be able to recognize it.

All in all, it's only alright. There is nothing note-worthy for this movie. Yongary, Monster From The Deep was a real snooze fest that I don't plan watching again anytime soon.

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