Know Your Monster: 30

YONGGARY

Yonggary is a South Korean movie monster, inspired by the Japanese Kaiju. He’s said to be a 200 million-year-old dinosaur, resurrected by aliens to help them conquer the Earth. Yonggary looks a lot like Godzilla, but has a protruding horn in place of his nose. In some incarnations, he even has a few horns. Yonggary also has a jewel called the “Damon” on his forehead. It’s through this jewel that the aliens control the beast. When the jewel gets destroyed, Yonggary breaks free from his alien masters, turning against them and fighting to protect the planet.

Besides looking like Godzilla, Yonggary exhibits many similar traits. He dines on gasoline and oil, shoots fireballs from his mouth and emits a laser beam from his horn. Reacting to criticism that Yonggary was a Godzilla clone, the Korean filmmakers modified the monster’s original appearance, giving him a few new distinguishing attributes. There’s also some trash talking against Godzilla in the Yonggary movies. As one policeman observes in the 1999 remake of Yonggary: Monster from the Deep: “Compared to this guy, Godzilla is a pussy.”

Yonggary translates as “Huge Dragon” in Korean. The monster has not built up much of a homegrown fan base, and the Yonggary movies haven’t been particularly successful at the box office. The first came out in 1967, and promptly disappeared. However, the 1999 remake was repackaged as Reptilian for release in the United States. It’s aired a few times on the Sci-Fi channel and also surfaced in a Midnite Movies DVD series marketed  by MGM.

Here’s a short clip of the CGI-generated Yonggary in action.

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Tomorrow’s featured monster will be Zedus, wrapping up our month-long salute to the Kaiju.

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