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Film: Pulgasari
Godzilla... as envisioned by Kim Jong-Il

Pulgasari is an odd Kaiju film that came out of North Korea. It was produced and directed by a South Korean director who had been kidnapped and taken into North Korea and features special effects by the Godzilla effects team at Toho. It's complicated.

In the film, in feudal Korea, the evil King becomes aware that there is a peasant rebellion being planned in the country. He steals all the iron farming tools and cooking pots from the people so that he may make weapons to fend off the peasant army. After he returns the property to the people, an old blacksmith is imprisoned and starved to death. His last creation is a tiny figurine of a monster- Pulgasari, a Godzilla-like creature that eats iron. The blood of his daughter brings the creature to life, and fights with the poor, starving peasants to overthrow the corrupt monarchy.

Released in 1985, it was never shown out of Korea for well over a decade, when it was finally released to international audiences in 1998.


The film contains the following tropes:

  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": For the few people who've seen this film, Ken Satsuma did the suit acting for Pulgasari.
  • Blood Magic: Used to bring Pulgasari to life.
  • Evil Laugh: There's tons of it throughout the movie.
  • Kaiju
  • Mercy Kill: The blacksmith's daughter sacrifices herself by allowing Pulgasari to eat her (without him knowing) in order to prevent him from becoming both a burden and a threat to the farmers he helped rebel against.
  • Starter Villain: The Governor, the one who is directly oppressing the inhabitants of the village who form the bulk of the good characters. In fact, the very moment after he is killed is when the film first introduces the true Big Bad, the King.

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