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Film / Yongary: Monster from the Deep

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"You know, where Godzilla was a parable about nuclear war, Yongary is a parable about copyright infringement."

Yongary: Monster from the Deep is a 1967 South Korean/Japanese Toku Kaiju film directed by Kim Ki-duk and featuring special effects by Kenichi Nakagawa. An attempt to ape the success of the Godzilla and Gamera series, it tells the story of a monster awoken by nuclear weapons, which then rises up to wreak havoc on a populated city. Never Heard That One Before, right?

Remade as a 1999 film intended to ape the success of Godzilla (1998), simpily titled Yonggary. The following year, yet another remake, titled either titled 2001 Yonggary or Reptilian depending on the market, was released. Also featured on the Netflix revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000. For the recap, go here.


Yongary: Monster From The Deep Provides examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Icho half-heartedly mourns Yongary's death at the end of the film.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Yongary is defeated by...concentrated ammonia, which does... something. Also, the itch ray. It's never explained how it works, what the "side effects" of it are, or why it caused Yongary's horn to glow.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Several hours into an attack on the city by a giant reptilian monster, a General laughs off Icho's report that said monster depends on oil, calling it just a childish prank.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Yongary is said to be a 'Giant Reptile.' So what else is new right?
  • Beneath the Earth: Where Yongary is from.
  • Captain Ersatz: In addition to the similarities to Godzilla, Yongary is curiously reminiscent of Gamera foe Barugon. I'm sure this was purely coincidental.
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  • Creepy Child: Icho tortures his newlywed sister and brother-in-law with an "Itch Ray" and has the requisite obsession with Yongary.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Yongary dies seizing in agony while bleeding out the rectum.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: Yongary's origins are even more vague than your average Kaiju; it just... appears, after having been awoken by a Nuclear Test "Somewhere in the Middle East." Whether the nukes mutated it, making it the fire-breathing, oil-devouring monstrosity it is, or if it was just born that way, is never discussed.
  • Dutch Angle: Used during Yongary's rampage through Seoul. A somewhat unusual stylistic device for a 60's Kaiju film.
  • The End Is Nigh: A brief shot of a priest walking against the fleeing crowd toward the monster, urging "all you sinners... Repent!"
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Nuclear Tests awaken a monster. Again.
  • Mood Whiplash: Like most Kaiju films, the Science Hero finds the right Applied Phlebotinum to defeat the monster, but the effect it has on Yongary is... not what you'd expect.
  • Nonindicative Name: Yongary rises up from the bowels of the Earth, yet the title makes it seem like it's coming from the depths of the ocean.
  • Surprise Creepy: Yongary's fate.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Yongary is defeated by ammonia.
  • While Rome Burns: Some of the Koreans don't try to flee Yongary at all, choosing instead to spend their last hours alive pigging out at a restaurant or partying hard at a nightclub.


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