Nongshim America INC

North American premiere
Fantasia Retro

Space Monster Wangmagwi

Directed by Gwon Hyeok-jinn

South Korea 1967 83 mins OV Korean Subtitles : English

Menacing, masked humanoids from another world are approaching Earth, and they haven’t come in peace. Their arrival coincides most inconveniently with the wedding plans of a handsome Air Force pilot. When the alien attackers drop a gigantic, remote-controlled cosmo-creep through our stratosphere, the jets take off to confront it, leaving our hero’s fiancée to weep with worry. The couple’s special day may be cancelled forever, however, because the giant monster—a ludicrous, lop-eared, tongue-lolling, hobnailed horror nicknamed Wangmagwi (“Big Devil”)—deviates from its devastation of Seoul to scoop up the bride-to-be. Despite their evident difference in size, and species, and so forth, Wangmagwi develops an immediate, King Kong-sized crush on the pretty lady in the palm of its hand. Resolving this romantic dilemma—and saving the world, of course—will require some very daring maneuvers.

Preceding even YONGARY, MONSTER FROM THE DEEP, 1967’s SPACE MONSTER WANGMAGWI is South Korea’s oldest surviving homegrown entry in the primarily Japanese kaiju genre (its only antecedent, 1962’s BULGASARI, is long lost to the winds of time). All but unseen outside of South Korean archival screenings for decades now, its reputation bordered on the legendary, but no more. The team at SRS Cinema, expert locators of obscure kaiju movies (for refined connoisseurs, of course!), have resurrected the film and unleashed the Seoul-stomping Wangmagwi on the world once again. Filmed in crisp, classic black and white, the production’s ramshackle, homemade astro-science gear is certainly hilarious, but the life-sized monster parts created for certain shots—notably a scrappy street urchin’s crawl up the creature’s nasal passage—are surprisingly impressive! – Rupert Bottenberg