A nuclear test being done in the Middle East triggers an earthquake. The earthquake shifts toward Korea. It’s headed for Seoul. A photographer manages to get pictures of the Earth splitting apart. It shows part of a giant creature. The authorities call the creature “Yongary” which is supposedly based on a Korean fable about a monster that is responsible for earthquakes.
The authorities order the evacuation of South Korea. The South Korean Army is sent to stop Yongary, however, they are unsuccessful. Ilo, a young scientist, goes to Seoul to try to find a weakness in Yongary. His girlfriend, Suna, is against him going. He goes anyway. Suna and her younger brother Icho follow Ilo to try to stop him. In the meantime, Yongary destroys Seoul. Icho ends up separated from his sister. He manages to escape through the city’s sewers and encounters Yongary. He finds him drinking oil and gasoline. Icho turns off the main valve which pisses off Yongary. He goes ballistic and destroys a tank filled with liquid. The liquid triggers a chemical reaction that makes the monster itch and scratch.
The military wants to use missiles against Yongary. When Icho finally returns to Ilo’s house he tells him what happened at the refinery. Ilo takes this information to the authorities and urges them to not use the missiles because they will give him more energy. His claims are brushed off and they proceed with the missile plan regardless. Ilo then goes to work on a chemical to defeat Yongary using a precipitate of ammonia.
Yongary is then struck with Ilo's ammonia and missiles, which is enough to put him temporarily to sleep, however, Ilo believes the ammonia needs more work.
"Yongary: Monster From the Deep" was released 1967 and was directed by Ki-duk Kim. Not very many movies come out of Korea. At least ones that are widely distributed in America. “The Host” and “A.P.E”, perhaps “Spider Forest” and the even more obscure “Wangmagwi”. However, since the 90’s more and more Korean films have been working their way to America. “Yongary, Monster From the Deep” (rhymes with ‘Hungary’) was one of the first. Probably because it was a joint effort with Japan. “Yongary” was released in 1967 in Seoul and directly to American television in 1969. The South Korean version is considered a lost movie. Yongary’s name comes from the Korean word for ‘dragon’. He is supposedly responsible for earthquakes.
There’s lots of action. Many miniatures are destroyed. The rubber monster suit was good, you know, for a rubber monster suit. It was created by a Japanese team and looks like a cross between Godzilla and Gamera. The plot is simple; however, there are a lot of problems with the story. The acting has issues as well. Then there is the annoying kid that seems to be a theme in a lot of Asian rubber monster movies. Of course no one really cares about the story, just the destruction. And this movie has a lot. Yongary not only stomps on things, he breaths fire and shoots lasers from his nose horn. That’s one more thing than Godzilla does. Overall it’s not the best rubber monster movie, but it is quite entertaining. For sheer destruction alone.
I will say that Yongary’s demise was, to put it into a word, disturbing. Usually rubber monsters just fall over dead or die quickly. This one didn’t. His death was protracted and agonizing. Something that was definitely not entertaining.