Kim Jong-Il, the Supreme
Leader of North Korea (from 1994 until his death in 2011) was the producer
for this film, proudly calling it 'the New Godzilla.' For the story, an
evil King in feudal Korea becomes aware that a peasant rebellion is being
organized. He steals all the iron from the people (including farming tools
and cooking pots) to keep them from making weapons. An old blacksmith
ignores the decree and uses his iron to create a tiny figurine of Pulgasari,
a Godzilla-like creature that eats iron to survive. The blood of his daughter
brings the monster to life and it joins the poor, starving peasants in
their quest to overthrow the corrupt monarchy.
North Korean dictator
Kim Jong-Il was a huge movie fan. His favorites were Friday the 13th
(1980), Freddy vs Jason (2003),
Rambo: First Blood (1982), and the
(1954). He was also a big fan of South Korean filmmaker
Shin Sang-Ok (MY
MOTHER AND HER GUEST, 1000
YEAR OLD FOX, et al) and wanted Shin to direct his Godzilla
film. Since North and South Korea do not have diplomatic relations (they've
been at war since 1951), Dictator Kim had Shin Sang-Ok and his wife kidnapped.
They were taken to North Korea and forced to make this film. Shortly before
PULGASRARY was finished, the two sought and were
granted asylum in the United States. Shin Sang-Ok died in April 2006 after
complications during a liver transplant. He was 79 years old. Supreme
leader Kim Jong-Il died from a heart attack in December 2011, shortly
after the release of his book The Art of Cinema Directing.
As a side note:
was so dedicated to making his 'Godzilla' that he hired Jenpachiro
Satsuma to be inside Pulgasari's rubber suit. Mr Satsuma is considered
the best-of-the-best, having played the famous Godzilla monster for 25
years between 1971-1995.
Korean film with English subtitles; fullscreen format (4:3), uncut (96
minutes), DVD encoded for
ALL REGION NTSC WORLD FORMAT; extras include original theatrical trailer.