on September 15, 2007
First up is Yongary Monster From The Deep. This film seems to be judged pretty harshly but I was surprised at how enjoyable it was. Is the monster suit bad? Yes. Are the effects bad? Yes. Is it worse than the later Showa Series of Godzilla films? No. (Refer to the title of the review). The print looks very good and is 2.35 anamorphic which is far better than any previous release that I know of. On the flipside we have Konga. I didn't like this one as well but it has its merits I guess. The movie has a pretty good build up but the special effects climax is anything but! It is fun seeing Michael Gough over act as a mad scientist. It is the same release as the previous stand alone disc so the print isn't too bad (not as good as Yongary's) unfortunately it is still Non-anamorphic. Anyway two good monster flicks worth adding to your collection. I'm glad I did.
MGM continues to release some great titles in these Double Feature DVDs. KONGA, a goofy-but-entertaining one, has been released previously, so the real reason to get this is for the nice widescreen print of YONGARY, which was for many years the only South Korean monster film to be seen in the USA. Of course, comparisons to Godzilla and/or Gamera are all but inevitable, but the film stands on its own as a favorite Saturday afternoon Creature Feature. Video quality of both titles is fine, and YONGARY includes a scene I had not seen before: planes and military vehicles are sliced in half by Yongary's death ray...I guess he learned that trick from Gyaos. If you're a kaiju fan, this one's a must!
on November 7, 2007
Y'know, I wasn't really expecting to like either of these...
So why buy the thing? Hey, it was cheap and I love the genre.
But Konga was great! Misanthropic to be sure, some clunky effects without doubt but the former just added to its bent charms and the latter were not as numerous as I expected. Way more enjoyable than I was led to believe and everybody in the thing (except, weirdly, them playing cops) is a glorious, fat ham!
Yongary, on the other hand, is the worst man-in-suit- monster movie I have had the rabid displeasure to see. I have a high tolerance for crappy movies but this is just unwatchable.
So all three stars are for Konga, a deliciously guilty pleasure.
And both flicks look great!
The Korean monster picture YONGARY looks phenomenal here in nicely restored widescreen, especially when compared to the various public domain releases of years gone by, but it's as boring as it ever was, sadly (it takes a good three+ minutes for the heroes to administer their winning "dose" at the climax). Also probably the only time I've seen a major character in a 60's movie anywhere die from rectal bleeding. Unique for what it is--Korea's first giant monster film--but squarely aimed at undiscriminating kids of the day (who preferred their monsters to dance!). KONGA's a different beastie altogether, although it's as budget-minded as YONGARY thanks to legendary producer Herman Cohen. But with Michael Gough in the lead, an actor who knew just how to pitch performances in this kind of material (most notably in Cohen's HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM), this is premium schlock with a gigantic ape--made that way by a jilted woman no less--stomping around a miniature London.
on May 4, 2011
Just when one thinks only the Japanese can make giant reptile monster movies, along comes one from...South Korea!
YONGARY: MONSTER FROM THE DEEP is awakened by an A-Bomb test in the Middle East and decides to make a beeline for...not Tokyo...but, rather, Seoul, South Korea to get revenge for having his slumber disturbed. You know how it is with 200 foot tall reptiles. They always wake up grumpy.
The rubber monster suit / model jets on black strings in this flick are certainly on a par with anything Toho produced in that era. But, this movie suffers from a serious lack of depth to its plot. Monster wakes up and attacks. Monster gets killed and all is well on planet Earth again. That's it folks...don't expect anything more from this film.
KONGA, on the other hand, I found to be very entertaining. It's sort of a murder mystery with some sci-fi thrown in to make it even more interesting.
Michael Gough plays the ultimate mad scientist out to "prove" to the world and those in academia who dismissed him as a kook that his new discoveries will revolutionize life on Earth. And, of course, he does not care how many standing in his way he has to kill to do so. To accomplish this, he will need one love obsessed female lab assistant, one chimp turned into a murderous zombie gorilla with injections of plant growth hormones extracted from rare African plants, and a large van to transport said gorilla to the homes of his victims. That should give you an idea of about 90% of the plot of this little gem.
This film is worth the price of the DVD just to see Gough's over the top performance.
on December 9, 2008
First; Yongary, Monster from the Deep
It sure is refreshing to see some city other than Tokyo being stomped into the ground by a giant monster. Until the Heisei Gamera trilogy, every Kaiju just made a bee-line for Tokyo, it got kind of boring after a while.
But being Korean and not Japanese, Yongary had no choice but to go after Seoul. He probably could not get a tourist visa and Japanese immigration officials are notoriously strict. But that aside, I thought he was a pretty cool monster, although in the end you kind of feel sorry for him. After all, how would you feel if you were knocked out of bed by a nuclear test in the nebulous "Middle East" (where was that, anyway??), and then when you went out for a drink and to do a little dancing, they started firing on you with artillery?? I would be damned surly about that myself. And then to add insult to injury they started spraying you with nasty chemicals that got you stoned and you eventually died from an overdose?? Not very hospitable if you ask me.
Were the special effects cheesy, yeah kind of. Especially his fire-breathing where the metal nozzle is clearly visible in his mouth. The laser beam emanating from his rhino horn was pretty cool, he should have used that more often. And his "roar", well if he went up against Godzilla with THAT roar Big "G" would laugh himself to death. Imagine a lion's roar with a donkey braying superimposed on it and you hit it right on the head. But for a 60's monster movie the effects were certainly at least average.
The cast was pretty well developed. Who knew Korea had a space program capable of putting a man in orbit on a moment's notice?? And the protagonist Il-lo's girlfriend Soon-a and here sister Yu-ri were incredibly cute. And the little kid Icho filled the bill nicely as the one who "befriends" Yongary, even if it was a bit late and then only to admonish them not to kill him quite so dead. To no avail I might add, the ending left very little room for a sequel. There was even an actor who was a dead ringer for Kim Jong-Il, which was strangely prophetic given that he was still decades away from taking power in the north at the time this flick was shot. And the cars, I would kill for a Corvair like the one driven by the heroic astronaut/monster fighter Kwang-nam, not to mention all the other cool American iron from the 50's and 60's. If they still built 'em like that the Not-So-Big-Anymore Three would not be in Washington rattling the tin cup, but that has little to do with the film.
I wish the DVD had also had the Korean soundtrack, although that would have involved doing more than just slapping the dubbed english version on a disc. I give it four stars, it probably only deserves three because of the weakly dubbed voices in a British accent and no Korean soundtrack, but four it is.
God, what an awful movie this was. But then I am having a hard time thinking of a GOOD British monster movie. They were all pretty terrible. This one especially so. Terrible special effects, terrible acting, terrible plot, terrible everything. It took a great deal of resolve just to sit through this one, and it was impossible to take it all in one dose. The one bright spot was near the end when the professor goes horn-dog on a student he has the hots for in the greenhouse and is in turn snatched up by Konga leaving the girl, who was not all that attractive in the first place, in the grasp of a giant Venus' Flytrap. Konga carrys the screaming prof around in one hand for what seemed like forever before tossing him on the sidewalk with a nice little splat, hoisting him by his proverbial pitard. We never did find out what happened to the girl, but presumably the Venus' Flytrap was the only real winner in this turkey of a flick. If this cinematic abomination were on a disc by itself, I would give it zero stars, but as it is it gets to ride Yongary's coat tails to a four star rating.
on December 22, 2012
Having a superior print of Yongary available is worth getting this double-feature! The movie is present very well and, while the movie, from a technical standpoint, is FAR from perfect, it is an enjoyable film. Sure, it borrows from Godzilla and Gamera, but those films were popular at the time and Korea was wanting to hit it big in the international cinema market.
Konga, I find, to be an inferior film. Of course, its inspiration is derived from King Kong. Michael Gough is the main actor and it's nice to watch him act as the mad scientist. The Konga suit is goofy and the movie is not as enjoyable as Yongary.
I recommend this DVD mainly for those who enjoy Godzilla and Gamera films simply for Yongary. Konga can be skipped.
on October 3, 2015
Bought this set mainly for Konga. The special effects are crap but I love Michael Gough as the horny mad scientist infatuated with one of his students, and the way he keeps testing the obedience of his gorilla slave by having it murder people. I'm sure there are others ways to test obedience, but this worked well to rid him of romantic and scientific rivals.
Yongary, I'd never seen, but it's not without it's charm, I suppose. A giant reptilian creature that drinks crude oil and occasionally likes to break into a dance routine with a little boy looking on; the same little boy who is the only one who knows how to beat the giant lizard. The adults are clueless. Fun movies and well worth the nominal price I paid for them.
on September 18, 2009
The prints which M G M Midnite Movies used for the transfer of these films, are beautifull. These films are fun. Yongary will give you a time to be a kid again. It also sports a well produced English dub. Konga features Michael Gough in true form. These films are among the classic monster films which evoke a compassion towards the monster. If you enjoy these, you will most likely appreciate Gorgo, Gappa (aka Monster from a pre-historic planet) ; or any film which features a creature minding its own business, which is up-heaved by an "act of man".
YONGARY is the low-low-rent, Korean GODZILLA clone that manages to suck the very life out of the giant monster genre. Dull and ridiculous, it will have you begging for anything from Japan, even GAMERA as a substitute! KONGA is the hilarious, ultra-schlock KING KONG knock-off from England, complete w/ daffy dialogue, hysterical fx, and Michael Gough devouring the scenery like a maniacal threshing machine! KONGA will have your sides aching for days! This double feature is the perfect way to waste time on a rainy Saturday afternoon...