Sunday, June 29, 2014


The power of the masses serves as a metaphor in this North Korean Godzilla ripoff produced by Kim Jong-Il and directed by the guy Kim Jong-Il kidnapped, and yes, I just said Kim Jong-Il kidnapped someone to make a Godzilla movie because that's a plot that would be better than the plot in Pulgasari.

Here's the lowdown: A man fashions a small reptilian talisman out of rice and gives it to his daughter because that's a gift that keeps on giving, and a drop of her blood brings it to life because of course it does. After enjoying a light snack of sewing needles, the creature grows and grows. Then it battles an evil king wearing a small table for a hat.

Featuring suspect mustaches, dodgy forced perspective, obvious rear projection, 1980s headbands, anti-capitalist propaganda, and a guy in a rubber monster suit with soulless, unblinking yellow eyes, Pulgasari isn't as awful as I'd hoped, but it sure isn't great. There are sword fights, stick fights, extravagant headwear, and feudal missiles. Someone hurls food into a hunger striking prisoner's jail cell window, horses are cooked, piles of swords are eaten, and people are crushed by rolling logs and unconvincing boulders. An army kidnaps the woman who controls Pulgasari, forces it to climb into an enormous cage it just happens to have handy that no one seemed to have noticed before, and then sets the cage on fire which just makes the beast angry, and you can tell he's angry because he's bathed in the glow from a red light. Then the army digs an enormous hole to trap Pulgasari and hires a priestess to do an exorcism dance for some reason that has to be seen to be believed. Hey, let's watch that right now!

I don't know how you feel about that, but that clip fills the void where my heart should be with something that approximates what I can only assume is the opposite of unhappiness. Pulgasari is boring, over-long, and takes just about almost nearly forever to get to the giant monster part, but I would begrudgingly recommend it if you like stuff that sucks, but just so you can tell your friends you watched a Godzilla ripoff produced by Kim Jong-Il and directed by the guy he kidnapped.

Hey, that trailer almost makes Pulgasari look exciting.

It isn't.

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