Pulgasari (1985)

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Image gallery for Pulgasari (film)
Pulgasari (film) soundtrack


Monster Movie
North Korean Pulgasari poster
Pulgasari
Directed by Shin Sang-ok
Chong Gon Jo
Produced by Kim Jong-il
Shin Sang-ok
Written by Kim Se Ryun
Music by So Jong Gon
Distributor Raging ThunderJP
Rating Not Rated
Running Time 95 minutesJP
(1 hour, 35 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Rate this film!
3.21
(19 votes)

Pulgasari (불가사리,   Bulgasali?) is a 1985 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by a North Korean film studio. It was released to North Korean theaters in 1985 and to Japanese theaters on July 4, 1998.

Plot

In feudal Korea, during the Goryeo Dynasty, a King controls the land with an iron fist, subjecting the peasantry to misery and starvation. An old blacksmith who was sent to prison creates a tiny figurine of a monster by making a doll of rice. When it comes into contact with the blood of the blacksmith's daughter, the creature springs to life, becoming a giant metal-eating monster named Pulgasari. After he kills the king and fulfills his purpose, he becomes a nuisance, feeding on metal and eating buildings. But, Ami tricks Pulgasarri into eating her, causing him to revert back to his original components and crumble away.

Staff

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Shin Sang-ok and Chong Gon Jo
  • Written by   Kim Se Ryun
  • Produced by   Kim Jong-il and Shin Sang-ok
  • Music by   So Jong Gon
  • Cinematography by   Kenichi Eguchi, Cho Myong Hyon, and Sung Ho Pak
  • Edited by   Ryon Sun Kim
  • Assistant Directing by   Eiichi Asada and Chong Gon Jo
  • Special Effects by   Duk Ho Kim, Teruyoshi Nakano, Chong Gil Pak, Eiji Shirokuma, and Nobuyuki Yasumaru
  • Assistant Director of Special Effects   Osamu Kume

Cast

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Chang Son Hui   as   Ami
  • Ham Gi Sop   as   Inde
  • Jong-uk Ri   as   Ana
  • Gwon Ri   as   Takse
  • Gyong-ae Yu   as   Inde's Mother
  • Hye-chol Ro   as   Inde's Brother
  • Sang-hun Tae   as   Rebel Forces
  • Gi-chon Kim   as   Rebel Forces
  • In-chol Ri   as   Rebel Forces
  • Riyonun Ri   as   General Fuan
  • Yong-hok Pak   as   The King
  • Pong-ilk Pak   as   The Governor
  • Kenpachirô Satsuma   as   Pulgasari
  • Masao Fukazawa   as   Baby Pulgasari

Appearances

Monsters

Gallery

Main article: Pulgasari (film)/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Pulgasari (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Bulgasari (Alternate romanization)
  • Pulgasari: Monster of Legend (プルガサリ:伝説の大怪獣,   Purugasari: Densetsu no Daikaijū, Japan)
  • Zombi 34: The Communist Bull-Monster (زومبی 34: کمیونسٹ بل دانو; Pakistan)

Theatrical Releases

  • South Korea - 1985; July 22, 2000 (Re-Release)
  • Japan - July 4, 1998

Video Releases

ADV VHS (2001)

  • Audio: Korean with English subtitles

Geneon DVD (2004)[1]

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Korean, Japanese
  • Notes: Subtitles are Japanese only. Out of print.

Bootleg / Public Domain Releases

Pulgasari has never received an official DVD release in the United States, but English-subtitled bootlegs of the film are sold on Amazon by GI Studios and PR Studios.

GI Studios DVD (2014)[2]

  • Region: N/A
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Korean with English subtitles
  • Notes: Bootleg DVD-R

PR Studios DVD (2014)[3]

  • Region: N/A
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Korean with English subtitles
  • Notes: Bootleg DVD-R

Videos

Japanese Pulgasari trailer
Complete film with English subtitles

Trivia

  • The director of Pulgasari, Shin Sang-ok, was kidnapped in 1978 by North Korean intelligence on the orders of Kim Jong-il, son of the then-ruling Kim Il-sung.
  • The director of the film imported suit actor Kenpachiro Satsuma (who portrayed Godzilla himself in the Heisei series) to play Pulgasari.

References

This is a list of references for Pulgasari (film). These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

Era Icon - Heisei.png
Kaiju
Movie



Comments

Showing 8 comments. Remember to follow the civility guidelines when commenting.

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avatar

ItsDestoroyah

4 hours 30 minutes ago
Score 0

Communism.

It's a meme now.
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Mikezilla23

7 months ago
Score 0
Isn't this film public domain in the US?
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Toa Hydros

15 months ago
Score 0

My Thoughts: Pulgasari

It really is hard to judge this film. On one hand, it is a decent flick, but on the other, it's production history is nothing short of disgusting. That being said, let's take a moment to look at this film as just that, a film, without the influence of how it came to be.

Honestly, this is a fairly well-made film. It has likable characters brought to life by decent actors, typical Toho-caliber special effects, and a memorable monster. Pulgasari himself is an interesting kaiju; he has the typical Godzilla body plan, but with a minotaur-like head and a metallic sheen. His baby form is cute without being annoying, while his adult form's rampages are very well done; I especially love the scene where Pulgasari is set on fire and proceeds to literally boil his enemies alive when they attempt to flee into a river. The miniatures Pulgasari destroys are also very well done.

Another thing I really like about the movie is the setting; more kaiju films should be set in older eras. It just lends to more possibilities.

Apparently, the film's intended message was to "warn" people of the dangers of western capitalism. Symbolism is a tricky thing though; one could watch the film and just as easily consider it commentary about North Korea's ruling family: A force that sets itself up as being a benevolent protector, but ultimately ends up devouring the possessions, freedom and lives of the people who depended on it. From what I've heard, the director intentionally left the film's message ambiguous as a subtle dig at the Kim family.

Overall, it's a competently-made film; I dare say it's probably one of the better kaiju movies to come out of the 80's. As entertaining a movie as it is, though, it most assuredly wasn't worth two innocent people's freedom being stolen from them.
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Titanollante

18 months ago
Score 0

WTF is that Pakistan title?? Zombi 34: The Communist Bull-Monster

??????????????????
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MosuFan2004

14 months ago
Score 0
wtf
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Fabulous Dinosaur Man

27 months ago
Score 0
Suprisingly good film.
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Green Blob Thing

21 months ago
Score 0
Surprisingly dark backstory.
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ItsDestoroyah

4 hours 33 minutes ago
Score 0
Surprisingly communistic.