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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.
  • Death by Adaptation: Yongary's decidedly gruesome death was added in the American syndication of the movie.
  • 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.

The 1999 Remake and 2001 special edition include examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: The remake monster is much stronger than the '67 original, having no weakness to ammonia and the military's might is completely ineffectual against it.
  • Asshole Victim: Professor Campbell spends all his screen time being a total Jerkass to Literally everyone he interacts with, the only exception being Bud and even then with barely restrained condescension. No tears are shed when Yongary steps on him.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The Galaxions are lead and represented by two aliens that are always seen talking together.
  • Behemoth Battle: the special edition has one between Yongary and Cykor.
  • Combat Tentacles: Cykor has these come out of his shoulder after losing his arm, and then his neck after losing his head.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Intrepid Reporter Bud Black spends the first half of the movie trying to get to the bottom of all the strangeness happens around the dig sight only to disappear as soon as Yongary is fully resurrected.
  • Importation Expansion: The special edition was the only one that received foreign syndication.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: During Yongary’s rampage through the city he destroys an overpass as a bus full of children speeds down the road, once the driver sees the gap he floors it and manages to make the jump.
  • Kick the Dog: Professor Campbell threatens to report his excavation team, made up of illegal immigrants, if any of them left after he refused to investigate the mysterious deaths on sight.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Cykor looks like a mix between a scorpion and an ankylosaur, with a touch of stag beetle.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Once freed of the aliens' control, Yonggary's first act is to save a group of civilians from a building toppled from another errant missile salvo.
  • Pet the Dog: Yongary stopping a building from falling on top of a group of innocents is used to show that he’s freed of the Galaxions' control.
  • Villainous Breakdown: While he's not so much a villain as he is a bastard, Professor Campbell’s reaction to Yongary’s resurrection qualifies.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After Cykor is defeated, the Galaxions retreat, vowing to return.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Bud Black and his story arc just disappear after Yongary wakes up.
  • Whole Plot Reference: the Special Edition is basically a simplified version of Destroy All Monsters with only two Kaiju.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Yongary looks drastically different from the original.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The aliens planned to have Cykor kill Yongary after Yongary had wiped out the human race.

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