South Korean film (1967; vt Yongary, Monster from the Deep). Kuk Dong and Toei Company. Directed by Yi-Duk Kim, starring Yeong-Il Oh, Jeong-Im Nam, Sun-Jae Lee, Moon Kang, Kwang Ho Lee, Cho Kyoung-Min. Written by Yi-Duk Kim and Yun-Sung Seo. 100 minutes, cut to 79 minutes for American release. Colour.
An astronaut is called away from his honeymoon for an emergency "reconnaissance flight" into Earth orbit to observe a nuclear test in the Middle East. Everything goes fine, except for a brief moment of drama when he loses contact with Earth, but he is forced to change his landing site because of a strange earthquake with a constantly moving epicenter. The cause is soon revealed to be Yonggary, a legendary giant Monster who emerges from the ground and begins a destructive rampage through a city in South Korea, smashing buildings and destroying vehicles with his fiery breath and laser blasts from his horn. A Scientist devises an ammonia compound that temporarily makes the monster unconscious, but it reawakens and begins attacking again. However, while the army's missiles are ineffective, the scientist drops an improved version of the compound on Yonggary which kills the monster.
For the most part, this is a thoroughly routine monster movie, except that this film's creature, who closely resembles the famed Gojira, is ravaging South Korea instead of Japan. Its introductory space flight, which has absolutely nothing to do with the story, was presumably added to provide a touch of novelty and modernity to its otherwise familiar story. [GW]