Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967)
Yongary, Monster from the Deep (
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Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Ki-duk Kim
- Written by Seo Yoon-seong
- Produced by Cha Tae-jin
- Music by Jeon Jeong-keun
- Cinematography by Byeon In-jib, Lee Seong-chun
- Special effects by Kenichi Nakagawa, Masao Yagi, Akira Suzuki
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Oh Young-il as Ko Il-woo (Illoo Nami in the English dub)
- Nam Jeong-im as Yoo Soon-a
- Kang Moon as Kim Yu-ri (On-na in the English dub)
- Lee Soon-jae as Yoo Kwang-nam
- Lee Kwang-ho as Yoo Young (Icho in the English dub)
- Kim Shin-jae as Kim Yu-ir's Mother
- Twist Kim as Soldier
- Cho Kyoung-min as Yonggary
- Ted Rusoff as Illoo Nami (voice, English dub)
Weapons, vehicles, and races
Yongary, Monster from the Deep emerged out of a thriving South Korean film industry and the Japanese "Monster Boom" of the late 1960's. Keukdong Entertainment was particularly interested in the number of kaiju films that were distributed in the United States, a rarity for South Korea's own offerings. Because of the studio's inexperience with the special effects techniques essential to the genre, it hired Japanese technicians to work on that side of the production. Yonggary himself was a $5,000 suit constructed by Ex Productions co-founder Masao Yagi, who was heavily involved with the Showa Gamera films. Principal photography began on April 3rd, 1967, with special effects photography beginning on April 6th.
Unfortunately, while Keukdong Entertainment was able to secure distribution for the film abroad through Toei Company, Ltd. in Japan, it would prove to be the undoing of the original South Korean version. The studio sent all of the original film elements overseas, where they were lost. The Korean Film Archive possesses only 48 minutes of a heavily damaged 35mm release print, discovered in the 2000s. As a result, the film has never been released on video in its country of origin, and was not shown on television there until 2011; even that broadcast used the English dub with Korean subtitles.
- Main article: Yongary, Monster from the Deep/Gallery.
- Great Monster Yongary (대괴수 용가리; South Korea)
- Giant Monster Yongary (大怪獣ヨンガリJapan) Daikaijū Yongari,
- Yongary, Abyss Monster (Yongary, Monstre des Abysses; France)
- Yongary the Greatest Monster (Yongary il più Grande Mostro; Italy)
- Godzilla's Deathpaw (Godzillas Todespranke; Germany)
- Godzilla, Monster of Terror (Godzilla, Monster des Schreckens; German Video Title)
- Yongary - The Monster from the Deep (Yongary - Das Monster aus der Tiefe; German Video Title)
- Youngary, The Monster from the Deep (Youngary, O Monstro das Profundezas; Brazil)
- The Return of Godzila (Le Retour de Godzila; French Belgium; De Terug Keer van Godzila; Dutch Belgium)
American International Pictures acquired the rights to Great Monster Yongary in 1969, retitled it Yongary, Monster from the Deep, and released it directly to television. The cast for the English dub included many of the same voice actors that appeared in the European-recorded English dubs for kaiju films such as The X from Outer Space, War of the Monsters, Return of the Giant Monsters, and Majin, the Monster of Terror. It is believed to be the first Korean film to receive widespread release in the United States. Since then, the rights to the film have changed repeatedly, with Filmways purchasing AIP in 1979, the Orion Picture Corporation merging with Filmways in 1982, and MGM purchasing Orion in 1997. Additionally, companies such as Alpha Video have released unlicensed DVDs of the film over the years.
Yongary, Monster from the Deep was one of only 14 South Korean films produced in 1967 to record over 100,000 admissions. Sources vary on exactly how many tickets it sold, with most saying either 110,000 or 150,000.
Although it represents a landmark in South Korean special effects, Yongary, Monster from the Deep is regarded poorly by kaiju fans. Respondents to surveys conducted by G-Fan gave it a 4.52/10 rating in 1996 and a 5.3/10 in 2014.
There are no critic reviews for the film listed on Rotten Tomatoes, although Flixster users give it a 2.7/5. On IMDb, it has a 4.3/10.
Orion Home Video VHS/LaserDisc (1989)
- Audio: English
- Notes: The LaserDisc is packaged with The X from Outer Space.
CMV DVD (2006)
- Region: N/A
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (2.0 Mono), German (2.0 Mono)
- Subtitles: None
- Special features: Image slideshow (5 minutes), Super 8 version of the film (15 minutes), German trailer, two short films ("Gazorra" and "Bambi Meets Godzilla")
MGM DVD (2007)
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (Mono and Stereo), Spanish (Mono)
- Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
- Special features: None
- Notes: Packaged with Konga. Opening credits and "The End" are digital recreations, as the source for the film was a textless interpositive. The also results in an extended shot of space at the start of the film which would have served as a background for a longer credits sequence in the Korean version. English audio reverts to what is possibly the film's export dub for one line.
Run Corporation DVD (2014)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (2.0 Mono)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special features: None
Kino Lorber Blu-ray (2016)
- Region: A/1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
- Subtitles: None
- Special features: Audio commentary by film historian Steve Ryfle and genre journalist Kim Song-ho, trailers
- Notes: Uses the same textless interpositive as the MGM DVD. Out Of Print
The film has received several unlicensed DVD releases using fullscreen 16mm prints from companies including Alpha Video and EastWest.
- The West German release of this film was titled Godzillas Todespranke (Godzilla's Deathpaw), with Yonggary referred to as "Godzilla" throughout the film's trailer but not in the film itself.
- The film features 12 miniature sets and 280 special effects shots.
- Yonggary does not die in the Korean version of the film; in an apparent nod to Gamera, Yoo Young tells reporters that he wishes that the world’s scientists would build a rocket that could send Yonggary into space where he could live peacefully.
- Yonggary surfaces at Panmunjom, the village where the armistice which ended the Korean War was signed.
- In Seoul, one of the structures Yonggary destroys resembles the Government-General Building, an infamous symbol of the Japanese occupation of Korea. The real building was demolished from 1995 to 1996.
- Yongary, Monster from the Deep was featured on Season 11 of the movie-mocking television series Mystery Science Theater 3000.
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