Space Monster Wangmagwi (1967)

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Space Monster Wangmagwi
See alternate titles
The South Korean poster for Space Monster Wangmagwi
Directed by Kwon Hyeok-jin
Producer Ki-dong Woo
Written by Ha-yeong Byeon
Music by Jong-kun Jeon
Distributor Century Company
Running time 83 minutes
(1 hour, 23 minutes)[1]
Aspect ratio 1.33:1

Space Monster Wangmagwi ( () () () () 왕마귀,   Ujugoein Wangmagwi) is a 1967 giant monster film produced and distributed by Century Company. It was distributed to South Korean theaters on June 27, 1967.[2]

Plot[edit | edit source]

Spoiler.png SPOILER WARNING: This section may contain major plot and/or ending details. Proceed at your own discretion.

High in orbit, aliens called the Gamma observe the planet Earth in preparation for planetary conquest. Having searched hundreds of planets, these aliens have found that Earth has the perfect conditions for a colony, save for the existence of the humans on its surface. The Gamma commander calls for Wangmagwi, a genetically-engineered creature with the ability to grow exponentially in size proportionate to increasing air pressure, to be launched to the surface. Remotely controlled by a radio receiver on its back, Wangmagwi will be used as a weapon to eradicate the human resistance so that a colony can be established, by which point the remaining humans will be used to feed the creature. They launch Wangmagwi through a typhoon, presently bearing down on the Korean Peninsula.

As the storm bears down on Seoul, Ahn-hee, a young bride-to-be and her fiancé, Korean Air Force pilot Jeong-wan Oh, are spending time together at her home before their wedding day when Oh receives an order recalling him to the air force base. Dismayed but certain in the happiness of their wedding, the couple part ways for the night as Ahn-hee’s mother remarks on how well the wedding will go well in spite of the night’s weather. At the base, Oh arrives to find the commander and technicians concerned with an anomaly in their radar systems, coinciding with the arrival of the aliens and Wangmagwi, leaving any planes grounded until the storm can pass.

The next morning, Ahn-hee and her mother are awoken by their neighbor alerting them that a monster has been spotted near Seoul, urging them to evacuate and expressing condolences over the wedding. Still determined that the wedding will go through, Ahn-hee and her mother make the necessary arrangements with the tailor and hairdresser, only for both to run away in the evacuation as the giant Wangmagwi approaches, tearing through hillsides and buildings as it makes its way into the city. Left behind in the desolation, the bride and mother are caught in Wangmagwi’s sight, the both of them fainting in horror. Wangmagwi picks Ahn-hee up and, amused with itself, carries the unconscious bride off as it tears a trail of havoc through Seoul, with the Air Force unable to stop its advance without being able to use weapons.

As Wangmagwi rampages through Seoul with Ahn-hee in its grasp, a collection of characters have comedic encounters with the alien monster. Two men bet one another over who can stick around longest before running away, the both of them turning out equally cowardly; dozens of people end up trapped in a skyscraper as the monster rocks its foundations; and Ahn-hee’s mother desperately pleads with police for help finding her daughter in the middle of a panicking crowd of evacuees as Wangmagwi carries her overhead.

Meanwhile, a homeless boy hears the news of Wangmagwi’s attack over the radio while living off the spoils of an abandoned mansion. Taking it upon himself to confront the alien monster with all but his wits and his knife (which he calls his “sword”), he scales up Wangmagwi’s body until he makes it inside of its ear. Finding the eardrum to be like a sheet of fabric, the boy goes on the attack from within; with his knife, he cuts the eardrum to shreds before crawling through the sinuses to make it to the other ear and deafening the monster, nearly falling out of Wangmagwi’s nose before doing so.

The boy eventually does fall into Wangmagwi’s hand, however, where he meets Ahn-hee. She expresses concern for after learning the boy had put his life at risk, but the boy in turn expresses a resentment for adults not doing as they should and panicking. Nevertheless, he offers Ahn-hee his optimistic disposition and an apple, before crawling back up the monster’s arm. As the monster heads into the Korean countryside toward the border, the boy finds the radio control device on Wangmagwi’s back and unscrew’s the cap of the antenna receiver, disabling the aliens’ control over the creature and leaving it ultimately vulnerable to attack. Airman Oh, now given the go-ahead to attack, makes a daring run at the monster, sending his jet on a collision course with Wangmagwi. As he ejects from the cockpit, the bride and the boy jump from the monster’s hand and catch onto Oh’s parachute, landing on a lakeshore near Panmunjom, opposite the injured beast. The Gamma aliens, frightened by the possibility that the humans could overcome Wangmagwi, call off the invasion and retreat to their homeworld of Gamma Castle. Across the lake, the monster topples over from its injuries and explodes in a fireball, having self-destructed at the command of its Gamma creators.

Overjoyed to be rescued by her love on their wedding day, Ahn-hee embraces Oh, while the boy pouts over his inevitable return to homelessness, only for Ahn-hee to adopt him into the family as her little brother. Now together, the three walk along the lakeshore back to Seoul.

Staff[edit | edit source]

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

  • Planned by   Jong-taek Lee
  • Directed by   Kwon Hyeok-jin
  • Written by   Ha-yeong Byeon
  • Produced by   Ki-dong Woo
  • Music by   Jong-kun Jeon
  • Cinematography by   Chang Gi Ham
  • Edited by   Dong-Chun Hyeon
  • Special effects by   Byung-Soo Kim

Cast[edit | edit source]

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

  • Won Namkung   as   Jeong-wan Oh
  • Seon-kyeong Kim as Ahn-hee
  • Sang-cheol Jeon as Street Urchin Boy
  • Eun-jin Han
  • Hie-gab Kim
  • Kim Hee-kap

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Monsters[edit | edit source]

Weapons, vehicles, and races[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Main article: Space Monster Wangmagwi/Gallery.

Alternate titles[edit | edit source]

  • Big Monster Wangmagwi[3]
  • Wangmagwi[3]

Theatrical releases[edit | edit source]

  • South Korea - June 27, 1967[2]
  • Canada - July 23, 2022[1]

U.S. release[edit | edit source]

SRS Cinema will release Space Monster Wangmagwi on Blu-ray and VHS in January 2023,[4] after first approaching the South Korean rights holder in 2019.[5] The releases are assumed to be using the HD transfer made by the Korean Film Archive in 2010 from surviving film prints.[6]

Video releases[edit | edit source]

SRS Cinema VHS (2023)

  • Tapes: 1
  • Audio: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special features: Unknown
  • Notes: Limited to 50 copies.

SRS Cinema Blu-ray (2023)[4]

  • Region: N/A
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special features: Audio commentary by Sueng-hoon Jeong and John Goodrich, Fans Speak Up! featurette, trailers
  • Notes: Limited to 2,000 copies.

Videos[edit | edit source]

SRS Cinema Space Monster Wangmagwi trailer
Footage from Space Monster Wangmagwi

Trivia[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

This is a list of references for Space Monster Wangmagwi. 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]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Space Monster Wangmagwi. Fantasia Festival. Retrieved on 11 July 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Space Monster Wangmagwi (우주괴인 왕마귀). ko.wikipedia.org. Retrieved on 13 February 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Space Monster, Wangmagwi. Wikipedia. Retrieved on 13 February 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Space Monster Wangmagwi Blu-ray. SRS Cinema Store. Retrieved on 30 September 2022.
  5. Correspondence with Avery Guerra.
  6. Space Monster Wangmagwi. Korean Movie Database. Retrieved on 30 September 2022.
  7. Audio commentary by Steve Ryfle and Kim Song-ho for the 2016 Kino Lorber Yongary, Monster from the Deep DVD/Blu-ray.

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