Okay, time for a couple of giant monster movies, one about a toxic waste creature and one about a giant mummy.
WATCH: The Host (Gwoemul – 2006) – “In Seoul’s River Han, a giant mutant creature has developed as a result of toxic chemical dumping. When the squidlike monster scoops up the teenage granddaughter of humble snack-bar owner Hie-bong (Hie-bong Byeon), he races to track down the murderous beast. With no help from the authorities, who are convinced the girl is already dead, Hie-bong and his family will have to band together to save her — and possibly the entire city.”
When you watch the beginning of this film, don’t feel that this is heavy-handed anti-American propaganda. The incident shown starting the film actually occurred in 2000. The heart of this movie is the relationship of Hie-bong and his family as they try to save their little girl. The monster effects are startling and quite well done. Many of the foreign touches make this a better film – the emphasis on family helps strengthen and ground the film, the details of life in South Korea are fascinating, and the cinematography is very attractive. This is a serious film but be aware that the South Korean sense of humor is a little more slapstick than ours.
AVOID: On the other end of the giant creature scale, we have The Fallen Ones. What a complete ripoff of The Mummy (1999) which itself was just a merging of Indiana Jones and The Mummy. It seems clear that this film was meant to start a series of films for direct-to-DVD actor Casper Van Dien. He stars as one of the least believable archaeologists since Raoul Bova in Alien vs. Predator. That’s ok because he co-stars with Kristen (The Condom Killer – no I’m not kidding) Miller as the least believable scientist/engineer since Denise Richards in The World is Not Enough. The special effects are anything but and Robert Wagner appears somewhat embarrassed to be in this. Written, directed and produced by Kevin VanHook, this is just plain awful.
People watchers: look for Tom Bosley in a small role.