Friday, August 9, 2013

1967 Korean film Yonggary, 1968 Japanese film Genocide in Dormont tomorrow.

Yonggary poster 1967

On August 10, Dormont's Hollywood Theater is hosting "13 Hours of Sci-Fi", which will show 10 classic science-fiction movies from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1980s. Among them are two old Asian monster movies: Korea's Yonggary (용가리) and Japan's Genocide.

Yongary starts at 5:30 and has a Godzilla-like creature and a Godzilla-like premise. Wikipedia summarizes:
In the Middle East, a bomb is set off that creates massive earthquakes. Meanwhile in South Korea, a young couple is about to get married and the tension builds when South Korea sends a manned space capsule to investigate the bomb site. The earthquake makes its way to South Korea, caused by a giant monster named Yongary (inspired by a mythical creature in Korean lore). Yongary attacks Seoul and makes his way to the oil refineries where he consumes the oil. A child related to the aforementioned couple turns off the refineries' oil basins; Yonggary, enraged, starts attacking until a chemical explosion at the refinery proves to have an effect on it. The Korean Government then uses oil to draw Yonggary to a local river, and kills it with a refined version of the ammonia compound.
One reviewer writes:
When people complain how the Godzilla movies have bad special effects, I point them to the Gamera movies (of the sixties, that is). When they complain that the Gamera movies have bad special effects, I point them to the Korean giant monster movies. When they complain that the Korean giant monster movies have bad special effects, I agree.
But when they complain about bad special effects in 1967, though, I point them to a GDP that was 1/26th that of the United States. For those interested in mid-century Korean history and architecture---well, architectural models---the film is worth a watch for more than just its kitsch. It's available on Youtube, without English subtitles.


Genocide is a 1968 insect invasion movie starting at 7:05. The Criterion Collection provides a plot summary:
The insects are taking over in this nasty piece of disaster horror directed by Kazui Nihonmatsu. A group of military personnel transporting a hydrogen bomb are left to figure out how and why swarms of killer bugs took down their plane; the answer is more deliriously nihilistic—and convoluted—than you could imagine. Also known as War of the Insects, Genocide enacts a cracked doomsday scenario like no other.
Another review on whether the film is "fun":
"Fun" isn't quite applicable. Genocide is a grim film with few likable characters, all but one of whom die in the end. Yet, it is also an intriguing film. It is as if the writer had many different movie stories in his head, and didn't want to leave any of them out. The dubbing is a source of mild amusement, for those with a soft spot for dubbed Japanese movies. And, in the Japanese sci-fi tradition, there are models (planes, buildings and landscapes).
Tickets are $5 per film or $13 for an all-day pass. The Hollywood Theater is located on a cute tree-lined street in Dormont, about a block from Potomac Station on the T, Pittsburgh's understated light-rail system.

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