Space Monster Wangmagwi (1967)

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Credits for Space Monster Wangmagwi


Space Monster Wangmagwi
See alternate titles
The South Korean poster for Space Monster Wangmagwi
Directed by Kwon Hyeok-jin
Producer Woo Ki-dong
Written by Byeon Ha-yeong
Music by Jeon Jong-kun
Distributor Century Company
Running time 82 minutes
(1 hour, 22 minutes)
Aspect ratio 1.37:1
Rate this film!
1.75
(4 votes)

Space Monster Wangmagwi ( () () () () 왕마귀,   Ujugoein Wangmagwi) is a 1967 giant monster film directed by Kwon Hyeok-jin and written by Ha-yeong Byeon, with special effects by Byung-Soo Kim. It stars Namkoong Won, Seon-kyeong Kim, and Sang-cheol Jeon. It was produced by Century Company and distributed to South Korean theaters by them on June 27, 1967.[1] The film remained unseen outside its country of origin until 2022, when it was licensed by the American company SRS Cinema. The film's international premiere took place at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal on July 23, 2022, and SRS released it on Blu-ray and VHS in the United States in January 2023.

Plot

High in orbit, aliens called the Gamma observe the planet Earth in preparation for planetary conquest. Having searched thousands 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 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, Republic of Korea Air Force pilot Oh Jeong-wan, 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. Fighter jets sortie, but are unable to spot anything.

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 officiator 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. Jeong-wan can only watch from the sky as 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 named Squirrel 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”), Squirrel 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. Next, he finds the radio control device on Wangmagwi's back and unscrews the cap of the antenna receiver, disabling the aliens' control over the creature and leaving it ultimately vulnerable to attack. After he tries to rappel down the monster's back, Wangmagwi seizes him and drops him next to Ahn-hee. She expresses concern after learning Squirrel had put his life at risk, but he 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.

Left to its own devices, the monster heads into the countryside, and the military finally makes its move; however, it withstands both high-tension wires and an artillery barrage. Airman Oh, now given the go-ahead to attack, makes a daring run at the monster, only for it to hit his jet with the flaming mist from its forehead. 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. The jet crashes into Wangmagwi, setting it on fire. The Gamma aliens, frightened by the possibility that the humans could overcome Wangmagwi, call off the invasion and retreat to their homeworld. 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 Squirrel 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

Main article: Space Monster Wangmagwi/Credits.

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

  • Directed by   Kwon Hyeok-jin
  • Written by   Byeon Ha-yeong
  • Planned by   Lee Jong-taek
  • Produced by   Woo Ki-dong
  • Music by   Jeon Jong-kun
  • Cinematography by   Ham Chang-gi
  • Special cinematography by   Lim Seong-duk
  • Edited by   Hyeon Dong-chun
  • Special effects by   Kim Byung-soo

Cast

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

  • Namkoong Won   as   Major Oh Jeong-wan
  • Kim Seon-kyeong   as   Ahn-hee
  • Jeon Sang-cheol   as   Squirrel
  • Kim Hie-gab, Song Hae   as   gambling men
  • Park Am
  • Han Eun-jin
  • Park Si-myung
  • Park Ok-cho
  • Ahn Seong-jin
  • Seok Woon-ah
  • Kim Woong
  • Lee Ye-sung
  • Ji Bang-yeol
  • Kim Ki-beom
  • Lee Eop-dong
  • Kim Se-gwa
  • Im Hwa
  • Choi Jun
  • Jeong Chul
  • Im Hae-rim
  • Yoon Il-joo
  • Lim Dong-hoon
  • Park Soon-bong
  • Jo Duk-seong
  • Kyung Yun-su
  • Lim Saeng-chul
  • Song Hwa-chun
  • Kim Hae-seon
  • Seok
  • Kim Shin-myung
  • Kim Ji-young
  • Park Soo-jin
  • Lee Su-il
  • Ji Won-bae
  • Park Young-il
  • Kim Wang-gi

Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, vehicles, and races

Gallery

Main article: Space Monster Wangmagwi/Gallery.

Theatrical releases

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

U.S. release

SRS Cinema released Space Monster Wangmagwi on Blu-ray and VHS in January 2023,[3] after first approaching the South Korean rights holder in 2019.[4] The releases use the HD transfer made by the Korean Film Archive in 2010 from surviving film prints.[5][6]

Video releases

SRS Cinema Blu-ray (2023)[3]

  • Region: N/A
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special features: Audio commentary by Sueng-hoon Jeong and John Goodrich; "Acquiring the Monster" article by Ron Bonk, "Wangmagwi and Me" article by Tom Giammarco, "Old-school Special Effects with S(e)oul" article by Kevin Derendorf, "The Day Everything Changed" short Godzilla fan film (3:04); Fans Speak Up! - Love for the SWM Release (27:16 total); trailers for Space Monster Wangmagwi (1:21), Uktena: The Horned Monstrosity (0:45), Doll Shark (1:15), Day of Destruction (1:24), House Shark (0:58), Howl from Beyond the Fog (1:08), Dragon Lizard Lord Super Monsters and Hammer of Draco (2:32), Amityville Karen (1:36), Konga TNT (1:02), Gamis Lives: The Final Battle (6:12), Nezura 1964 (1:08), Raiders of the Lost Shark (0:30), God Raiga vs. King Ohga: War of the Monsters (1:03), Raiga: God of the Monsters (1:05), Reigo: King of the Sea Monsters (1:01), Steven Kang's Sharks of the Corn (1:02), Snaggletooth (0:20), The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (2:17), Blood and Steel (1:52), Attack of the Giant Teacher (1:33), The Great Buddha Arrival (0:46), The iDol (1:28), Amityville Thanksgiving (1:33), Puppet Shark (0:42), and Zilla Foot (0:49)
  • Notes: Limited to 2,000 copies.

SRS Cinema VHS (2023)

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

Videos

SRS Cinema Space Monster Wangmagwi trailer
Footage from Space Monster Wangmagwi

Trivia

  • Space Monster Wangmagwi is the second known giant monster film to be have been made in South Korea, following Bulgasari in 1962.
  • Keukdong Entertainment sued Century Company for producing Space Monster Wangmagwi on the grounds that it copied the basic premise of their own 1967 giant monster film, Yongary, Monster from the Deep.[7]
  • Ahn-hee's neighbor and an evacuee compare Wangmagwi to King Kong.
  • The 1980 book Movie Facts and Feats: A Guinness Record Book alleged that Space Monster Wangmagwi featured 157,000 extras, among the highest for any film, although this is not borne out in the film itself.[8]

References

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 (우주괴인 왕마귀)". ko.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  2. "Space Monster Wangmagwi". Fantasia Festival. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Space Monster Wangmagwi Blu-ray". SRS Cinema Store. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  4. Correspondence with Avery Guerra.
  5. "Acquiring the Monster" by Ron Bonk, included as a bonus feature on the SRS Cinema Space Monster Wangmagwi Blu-ray.
  6. "Space Monster Wangmagwi". Korean Movie Database. Retrieved 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.
  8. Robertson, Patrick (1980). Movie Facts and Feats: A Guinness Record Book. Sterling Publishing. p. 94. ISBN 0-8069-0204-3.

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